Meet the likely killers of Nick Berg....
From December 1942 to June 1943, the 509th trained in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943.
During the invasion of Sicily, the 509th was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, but was held in division reserve and saw no action in that
The 509th was reactivated in Mainz, Germany, as two battalions, then later reduced to one b The 1st-509th is tasked to provide a variety of opposing
force units during training rotations at the Readiness Training Center (JRTC).
On 1 September 1973, the 509th was relieved from assignment to the 8th Army and subsequently moved to Vicenza, Italy. In 1975, one company of the
509th moved to the continental United States to fill the requirement for a company sized Airborne/ Pathfinder unit to support the United States Army
Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama. The redesignation of the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team in Italy as the 4th Battalion, 325th Infantry
in July 1983 left C Company, 509th Infantry (Airborne/Pathfinder) as the only remaining unit of the Regiment.
On 18 December 1987 the Headquarters for the 509th was transferred to the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command and organized at Little
Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas.
A Company, B Company, and D Troop were formed and initially served at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas as the opposing forces for the Army's Joint Readiness
Training Center. In 1993 the 509th was transferred to the U.S. Army Forces Command and subsequently moved to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where it serves
today as the world's premier opposing force for light infantry and Special Operations Forces.
During low intensity phases of the rotations, they fight as the main force (guerilla) units, ‘terrorist cells’ and special operations forces. The
guerrillas are well armed, well trained uniformed forces attempting to "liberate" the local population from the target Government. Wearing civilian
clothes they establish operational cells intermingled among the population, in order to identify and target key personnel, equipment or facilities.
During the initial phase of operations the detachments are insered by airborne assault or helicopter- insertion in order to train the local
guerrillas, resupply the guerrillas or conduct unilateral attacks on key systems according to the desires of the mission and military. Finally,
during the initial phase, the 509th resupplies the ‘stay-behind’ units using either helicopters delivering mortar rounds, mines, missles and small
arms ammunition to small secure LZs in the area, or AN-2 Colt delivered bundle drops.
When the rotation progresses to a mid intensity fight, the 1st-509th (AIR) changes roles and fights as motorized infantry, mechanized infantry, tank
forces, counter-insurgent detachments and terrorists. These detachments will insert by airborne assault or helicopter into the rear areas in order to
disrupt rear area activities, while the terrorists continue to target other key systems. A majority of the battalion, often augmented by additional
infantry augmentees as well as calvary troops from 2nd ACR, will fight as a Motorized Infantry Brigade (MIB). The MIB is often given the mission to
attack, in order to destroy the defending US forces. The MIB can also be given the mission of defending key terrain. During the mid-intensity phase,
the 1st- 509th (AIR) is supported by both fixed wing and helicopters providing CAS and interdiction, as well as an extensive array of air defense
weapons, including ZSU 23-4, SA-8s and SA-9s.
After the completion of the mid intensity phase, the 509th transitions to the MOUT phase. This phase is conducted at the Shugart-Gordon complex. It is
a defense in a three dimensional terrain. Civilians on the battlefield are integrated into the scenario by using them as shields for sensitive areas
and as targetting dilemmas for the aggressor. Counterrecon, obstacles, indirect fire, and ADA assets are integrated and brought to bear upon the
invasion force in order to make it difficult for the force to enter the MOUT complex.