11th Air Assualt
1 February 1963 - 1 July 1965.
In May 1962, a meeting was convened by the commander of the
XVIII Airborne Corps to evaluate existing army tactical doctrine
as it pertained to mobility on the battlefield. The recommendations
that the board, known as the Howz Board, came up with were to give
the army a new approach to conducting its land battles through use
of helicopter air transport. An air-assault division was to be
formed for a test using the first airborne battle group, the 187th
Infantry, along with additional engineers and artillery troops
coming from the Eighty-second Airborne Division. Some 150 aircraft
from the Sixth Aviation Group (provisional) were also assigned to
the task force. The Eleventh Air Assault Division (test) was
activated at Fort Benning, Georgia. In September 1964, the division
was moved into North and South Carolina for exercise "Hawk Blade."
On 1 July 1965, the Eleventh Air Assault Division (test) was merged
into the First Cavalry Division (Air Mobile). The cavalry colors
were flown to Fort Benning, Georgia and a swap of flags was made.
On 14 August, an advance element was airlifted from Robbins
Air Force Base, Georgia to Camp Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and on 27
August, they were flown to the Special Forces Camp at An Khe.
There, "the first team," the first full division to arrive in
Vietnam, fought the enemy to a standstill in the bloody battle of
the Ia Drang Valley in Pleiku province and confirned the potential
of the air mobile concept of warfare. The design of the shoulder
sleeve insignia with its winged (airborne) numerical designation
is taken from that of the Eleventh Airborne Division.