3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (United States)

3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment (United States)

3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment is an Infantry Battalion assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team 187th Infantry Regiment ("Rakkasans"), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. 3rd Battalion activated on 25 February 1943 at Camp Mackall, North Carolina as an organic element of the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment. The battalion is known as the Iron Rakkasans. The movie Hamburger Hill is about the battalions fight for "Hill 937" during the Vietnam War.


In early 2002 the Iron Rakkasans joined the other units of 3rd Brigade in Afghanistan. While deployed the battalion conducted patrols and contributed to the early success of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Upon redeploying in August, 3rd Battalion immediately began preparing for other deployments in the war on terror; spending extensive time training at Fort Campbell, and completing a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. In early 2003 the 101st Airborne Division began ramping up for deployment to Kuwait.

Invasion of Iraq

In February 2003, 3rd Battalion became the first combat unit from the 101st to deploy to Kuwait. The battalion was located at Camp New Jersey initially, and moved to Camp Udari after March 19th for the air assault into Iraq. Sandstorms delayed the main air assault until around March 27th, though Bravo Company had already been emplaced as security for Forward Area Refueling Point (FARP) Shell around March 23rd. After a week spent in fighting positions in southern Iraq, 3rd Battalion was attached to 3rd Infantry Division for the push into Baghdad. While in Baghdad, the Iron Rakkasans cleared the main terminal of Saddam International Airport (now Baghdad International, or BIAP) and some sections of the government district of the city. For their actions in Baghdad, the battalion was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, becoming the only unit of the 101st to earn the Army's most prestigious unit award. Later in the deployment, 3rd Battalion was tasked with nation building missions in northern Iraq, working closely with Kurds and Iraqi border police. After rejoining 3rd Brigade at Tall Afar, the battalion was temporarily attached to 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Husaybah to assist in disarming local radicals. Awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for the latter part of their deployment, the Iron Rakkasans redeployed in January 2004.

Chain of Command

As of December 2006, the 3rd Battalion was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew M. Rohling and Command Sergeant Major Dennis E. DeFreese.


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