4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment
"Iron Thunder"

 

 


1-35 AR

 

History of the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment
The 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery was first constituted on July 5, 1918, in the National Army as Battery D, 27th FA, an element of the 9th Division. It was organized on Aug. 2, 1918, at Camp McClellan, Alabama, and subsequently demobilized on Feb. 8, 1919, at Camp McClellan, Alabama.

The unit was reconstituted on March 24, 1923 in the Regular Army as Battery D, 27th FA, an element of the 9th Division. The 27th FA as a whole was relieved on Oct. 1, 1933, from assignment to the 9th Division. The unit was redesignated on July 15, 1940, as Battery D, 27th FA, and activated at Fort Knox, Kentucky, as an element of the 1st Armored Division. The unit was absorbed on Dec. 15, 1941, by Battery A, 27th FA. Battery A, 27th FA, was redesignated on Jan. 1, 1942, as Battery A, 27th Armored FA. As part of Battery A, 27th Armored FA, the unit's personnel served through seven campaigns in World War II. These were Algeria-French Morocco (as part of the initial invasion), Tunisia, Naples-Foggia, Anzio, Rome-Arno, North Apennines, and Po Valley.

After the World War II, Battery A, 27th Armored FA was converted and redesignated on May 1, 1946, as Troop A, 27th Constabulary Squadron, and relieved from assignment to the 1st AD. It was inactivated on Dec. 20, 1948, in Germany, and converted and redesignated as Battery A, 27th Armored FA, an element of the 1st AD.

On March 7, 1951, the 27th Armored FA was activated at Fort Hood, Texas, as part of the newly reactivated 1st AD. Battery A, 27th Armored FA, still containing the lineage and honors of D Battery, 27th FA, was activated on the same day. The 27th Armored FA subsequently moved to Fort Polk, Louisiana.

Battery D, 27th FA, was formally reconstituted on Feb. 15, 1957, in the Regular Army and redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Battalion, 27th Artillery. It was redesignated on March 19, 1959, as Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 4th Howitzer Battalion, 27th Artillery. At this point it was concurrently withdrawn from the Regular Army, allotted to the Army Reserve, and assigned to the 83rd Infantry Division.

 
 

It was not until March 20, 1959, that the 4th Battalion, 27th FA was formally activated, with Headquarters at Chillicothe, Ohio. There it was inactivated on April 15, 1963, and relieved from assignment to the 83rd Infantry Division. While inactivated, the unit was redesignated on Sept. 1, 1971, as the 4th Howitzer Battalion, 27th FA.

On June 16, 1985, the unit was redesignated as the 4th Battalion, 27th FA, concurrently withdrawn from the Army Reserve, allotted to the Regular Army, and activated in Germany. A non-divisional artillery battalion assigned to VII Corps, the unit was equipped with the M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System and based in Wertheim, Germany.

On Nov. 4, 1990, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA was alerted for service in Operations Desert Shield/Storm, deploying between late December 1990 and early January 1991 as an element of the 75th FA Brigade, VII Corps Artillery. Once again, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA was assigned the mission of reinforcing to the 1st AD. In February 1991, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA fired 588 rockets prepping the battlefield for ground offensive operations.

Following action in the Persian Gulf, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA returned to Germany with assignment to the 41st Field Artillery Brigade.

The battalion was subsequently redeployed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and inactivated on Jan. 15, 1996.

 
   

On Feb. 16, 1997, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA was reactivated at Baumholder, Germany, equipped with the M109A2/3 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers and assigned to the Division Artillery of the 1st AD. In 1999, Battery A, augmented by elements from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, and Service Battery saw action with Task Force Hawk during Operation Noble Anvil in Albania and Kosovo.

Into the early 2000’s, 4-27th FA was equipped with the M109A6 Paladins and deployed to Kosovo from Nov. 23, 2000, to May 28, 2001, in support of operations in the Balkan Peninsula. This mission significantly contributed to security and stability in Kosovo.

In April 2003, 4-27th FA returned to the deserts of Kuwait to assist in the establishment of a free Iraq. By May 2003, the battalion assumed responsibility for the Al Karkh district in Baghdad, Iraq. In April 2004, the battalion’s deployment was extended and 4-27th FA was tasked with clearing the routes south of Baghdad in the areas around Iskandariah and Al Kut in support of 2/1 AD. The battalion redeployed to Baumholder, Germany, in July 2004.

In November 2005, the battalion deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07. This time, the battalion was reorganized and trained as a motorized rifle battalion and served as a part of the theater reserve in the 2/1AD. As needed, elements from the battalion were called up to engage the enemy and suppress the insurgency in various areas throughout Iraq. The battalion redeployed back to Baumholder, Germany, in November 2006.

 
 

As the last standing Division Artillery in the Army, 1st AD DIVARTY cased its colors and inactivated at Baumholder, Germany, on May 1, 2007. 4th Battalion, 27th FA was subsequently reassigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team; the brigade it had habitually supported.

On April 7, 2008, the battalion once again deployed to the Madain Province of Iraq. In late October 2008, the battalion’s mission changed and it (minus C Battery) assumed a new battlespace in Macmahdia Province (south of Baghdad) and received attachments from B/2-6IN and B/1-35AR. Upon redeployment back to Baumholder, Germany, in late May 2009, the battalion deactivated on July 15, 2009, and cased its colors for its move to a new home at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The 4th Battalion, 27th FA “Iron Thunder,” was reactivated at Fort Bliss, Texas, on Sept. 15, 2010, with the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st AD. In November 2010, the battalion assumed its new mission along with the 2/1 AD, to that of test and evaluation of future Army programs. In support of its mission, the battalion became the Army's first standing composite direct support field artillery battalion equipped with M109A6 self-propelled Paladin and M777A2 towed howitzers. In 2011, 4-27th FA was selected by the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army to be the first unit to test and evaluate the Army’s newest howitzer under the Paladin Integrated Management program. Additionally, it was selected to be the first unit that reconsolidates all of the Brigade Fire Support Personnel and equipment two years ahead of the remainder of the Army.

On Oct. 15, 2017, the 4th Battalion, 27th FA deployed from Fort Bliss, Texas, to the Kingdom of Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield. Within 72 hours of arriving elements were deployed to Iraq to provide lethal fires in support of the Coalition offensive operations to defeat ISIS. In support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the battalion provided fire support, radar observation, and force protection to enable the defeat of the last pockets of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In support of Operation Spartan Shield, Iron Thunder supported Theater Security Cooperation exercises in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Jordan, Kingdom of Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. These efforts helped deter regional aggression and fostered interoperability with GCC partners. Today the Iron Thunder Battalion stands ready as part of the 1st Armored Division Artillery to provide timely and accurate fires in support of the 2nd ABCT “Iron Brigade.”