OPERATION Iraqi Freedom
The 278th ACR (278th RCT) deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (2004-2005) from late Nov. 2004 until Nov. 2005 under the command of COL Dennis Adams. The 278th RCT took over from the 30th BCT North Carolina, commanded by BG Danny Hickman,and were part of Task Force Liberty commanded by the 42nd Infantry Division, the only activated National Guard Headquarters in recent history. The TROA Transfer of Authority ceremony took place on Christmas Eve 2004 at FOB Caldwell where the regimental headquarters was established and designated Battle Position Caldwell. FOB Caldwell had the 1/278th and the 386th Engineer BN located on it along with the Regimenatal HQ. The mobilization site was Camp Shelby, MS, to where the regiment began moving en masse in June 2004. Initially the 278th RCT fell under Task Force Danger and the 1st Infantry Division so members could choose between their patch, the 42nd Infantry Division patch, and of course the regimental patch for a combat patch. The 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) replaced the 278th RCT upon redeployment to the United States. The Regiment lost ten soldiers killed in action and had additional soldiers seriously wounded during the deployment. It deployed with roughly 3800 members and its major attachments were the 2/127th Infantry, Wisconsin Guard and the 386th Engineers from the Texas Guard. The regiment operated along the Iranian border in the Diyala Province centered southeast of Baquba, Balad ruz being the nearest town. Each Squadron was assigned to a FOB (forward operating base and detachments sent to other locations, such as F Troop going to Baghdad and falling under the 3rd Infantry Division, and others performing convoy escort missions from Kuwait all the way to Mosul.
FOB Assignments: FOB Caldwell: RHHT, SPT/278th ACR, 1/278th ACR and attachments. FOB Cobra (Jalula, Iraq): 3/278th ACR and attachments. FOB Bernstein (Tuz, Iraq): 2/278th ACR and attachments.
The 2005 Elections were a prime mission in early 2005 and again in OCT 2005. The overall accomplishments of the regiment were staggering when taken cumulatively by the end of the deployment. Its members also accumulated a number of individual awards for valor to include Silver Star recipient 1LT Tiedeman.
An Armored Cavalry Regiment usually has organic air assets (Apache and Kiowa helicopters) but the 278th RCT was without these in Iraq and reorganized at the Troop level leaving two troops out of three without the usual armor (Bradley FV and M1A1 Abrams tanks). Its Scouts and Tankers patrolled in the M1114 unarmored hummer. One Troop per FOB had tanks and BFVs and there were 155 mm Paladins for artillery support. An armored cavalry unit usually provides the screen for an army corps or is the spearhead of a main effort as it is the only unit other than a division that can sustain itself in the field for a limited time. An ACR commander has every combat asset under his command, it is organic, he owns it. This firepower was not needed for the Iraqi mission which is why the regiment was tailored to meet Task Force Danger and Liberty needs, security, AIF (Anti Iraqi Forces) interdiction, and supporting the civil affairs mission (elections/infrastructure improvement etc.).