The 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2nd BCT), 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) rapidly deploys trained, combat-ready forces globally in order to fight and win in combat. The 2nd BCT is uniquely organized with flexible and capable battalions – ready to deploy when called upon to do so.
At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Army recognized the need for highly trained light infantry able to respond rapidly to contingencies worldwide. It re-established the 7th Infantry and 10th Mountain Divisions as light infantry divisions to accomplish this task and established the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division “Commandos” on Oct. 7, 1985, at Fort Benning, Georgia, as part of this effort. Soldiers of 2nd Brigade trained at Fort Benning for three years before relocating to Fort Drum, New York, in January 1989. Since its arrival at Fort Drum, 2nd Brigade earned the title of most-deployed brigade in the Army by deploying forces to nearly every major contingency, from disaster relief in the United States to combat operations around the globe.
The 2nd Brigade’s first deployment was to support relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in August 1992. The brigade deployed its headquarters, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, and 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, to support disaster relief throughout southern Florida.
Less than two months after returning from Florida, the brigade deployed to Somalia in support of Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope. The brigade executed combat operations throughout Somalia that enabled the successful delivery of humanitarian assistance, ending the country’s famine. In addition, the brigade supported operations designed to neutralize Somali warlords, including the raid against Mohamed Farrah Aidid that became known as the Battle of Mogadishu. During the battle, the Commandos helped to relieve U.S. Army Rangers and other special operations forces that had been surrounded by insurgent forces in the Somali capital.
Soldiers of 2nd Brigade returned to Fort Drum in early 1994. Later that year, the brigade deployed to Haiti, where the Soldiers participated in peacekeeping operations that created a safe and secure environment for democratic elections. The brigade remained in Haiti into early 1995 before returning home to Fort Drum.
In 1998, the brigade began a series of deployments to two peacekeeping operations, one in the Middle East and one in the Balkans. Throughout the late 1990s, 2nd Brigade deployed battalion task forces to the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Multinational Force and Observers, the peacekeeping force employed to enforce the peace established between Egypt and Israel in the Camp David Accords. In addition, the brigade deployed its headquarters and several battalion task forces to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Implementation and Stabilization Forces. In Bosnia, the Commando Brigade enforced the tenuous peace established by the Dayton Peace Accords and helped that country to repair the damage cause by its long and deadly civil war.
America’s response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, again saw the employment of the Commandos around the globe, as the brigade had been designed. Initially, the brigade deployed domestically to secure key infrastructure in the eastern United States. It later deployed forces to Uzbekistan, Kuwait, and Qatar to secure key military facilities overseas. The forces deployed to Uzbekistan, including the brigade headquarters, and the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment deployed into Afghanistan and participated in the first conventional combat operations against the Taliban, including Operation Anaconda.
The brigade deployed again in early 2003, splitting its forces across three separate theaters of operation simultaneously, a first among active brigades in the U.S. Army. Commandos deployed to Iraq as part of the initial invasion, and 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment became the first conventional unit to enter the Iraqi city of Mosul. Commandos deployed again to Afghanistan, where the brigade headquarters and elements of several battalions formed Coalition Joint Task Force Phoenix, the first conventional task force to execute security force assistance with the Afghan National Security Forces. Finally, Commandos deployed to the Horn of Africa to support special operations forces and to perform security force assistance with Djiboutian, Ethiopian, and Kenyan forces.
In mid-2004, Soldiers of 2nd Brigade deployed to Iraq for the second time. In Iraq, the brigade executed combat operations in northwest Baghdad attached to the 1st Cavalry Division and detached forces to support other brigades across the city, including a brigade fighting insurgents in Sadr City. In northwest Baghdad, the Commandos secured several key roads and neighborhoods. In addition, the brigade enabled newly established Iraqi Security Forces to secure polling centers during Iraq’s elections in January 2005, the first free election held in the country since the 1950s.
The brigade returned to Iraq for a third time in late 2006, this time to the area southwest of Baghdad known as the “Triangle of Death.” There the brigade battled insurgents and international terrorists alongside its Iraqi Security Force comrades in the area’s canals, along the banks of the Euphrates River, and through the cities of Mahmudiyah, Yusafiyah, and Lutafiyah.
The Commando Brigade’s fourth and final deployment to Iraq began in 2009, this time in southeastern Baghdad. This deployment saw the brigade execute security force assistance with Iraqi Security Forces before redeploying home as part of the final withdrawal of international forces from Iraq in 2010.
The 2nd Brigade completed its third deployment to Afghanistan in October 2013. During this deployment, the brigade assisted Afghan National Security Forces across Paktika Province in eastern Afghanistan. The brigade supported combat operations throughout the province and employed more artillery and close-air support than any other brigade, enabling its Afghan counterparts to win every significant engagement.
Beginning in April 2015, elements of the brigade deployed across Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. During this deployment, the brigade supported the Train, Advise, Assist Command-South and Train, Advise, and Assist-Capital. The mission focused on advising the Afghan National Defense Security Forces, providing both force protection for tactical infrastructure and advisers and assisting the retrograde of coalition equipment.
In February 2016, Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, deployed to Forward Operating Base Shorab, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, where they helped to re-establish an expeditionary advising platform for the 215th Corps of the Afghan National Army. They returned in September 2016.
The Commandos temporarily divided in October 2018. The brigade’s rear element comprised Task Force Honor, while Task Force Courage deployed in support of missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Elements of the brigade returned to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment assumed responsibility as the rotational Forward Command Post of Kosovo Forces (KFOR) Multinational Battle Group East in Kosovo. KFOR is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) international peacekeeping force responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo. Task Forces Courage and Honor dissolved when deployed elements returned to Fort Drum and reunited the Commando Brigade in July 2019.
Today, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) stands ready to fight and win our nation’s wars.
2nd Brigade Combat Team
2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment
2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment
4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion, 89th Cavalry Regiment
2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment
41st Brigade Engineer Battalion
210th Brigade Support Battalion