5th Battalion 52d Air Defense Artillery (United States)

5th Battalion 52d Air Defense Artillery (United States)

The 5th Battalion 52nd Air and Missile Defense (AMD) is an air missile defense battalion in the United States Army. They are based at Fort Bliss, Texas. Known as "five-five-deuce", the battalion motto is "Fighting Deuce". The former motto was "One team, one fight!". The battalion is part of 11th Air and Missile Defense Brigade and the 32nd Army Air & Missile Defense Command (32nd AAMDC).

The Battalion is an Air and Missile Defense (AMD) Battalion. It consists of four Patriot Missile batteries (Alpha through Delta), one Avenger battery (Echo) and a maintenance company (Foxtrot Company, formerly the 507th Maintenance Company ) and a headquarters element (HHB). Each battery has six PATRIOT missile launchers per the Patriot PAC-3 configuration.


Global War on Terror

The battalion was split into two separate groups during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Alpha, Bravo, and Echo Batteries, along with 507th Maintenance Company and 5/52 HHB, were assigned to 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, under Colonel Heidi Brown, the first female Patriot brigade commander, to provide air defense coverage for Coalition forces entering Iraq. Alpha, Bravo, Echo, and HHB batteries were provided security (prior to and during the invasion) by the 3/124th's Infantry Companies Alpha and Charlie (Florida Army National Guard) from Kuwait to Baghdad. Charlie and Delta Battery were assigned to 32nd AAMDC to provide air defense coverage for Kuwait. Delta 5/52 shot down the first Scud launched by Iraqi forces during the opening days of the invasion. Charlie 5/52 ended the war with the highest amount of intercepted missiles. During the invasion, Echo battery was bombed by friendly aircraft outside of FARP shell. Thus, creating a thirty by thirty foot hole and damaging the radar system. A few days later Echo battery fired two Pac-3 missiles and shot down U.S. Navy F-18 pilot Nathan White outside of the Karbala (he avoided the first missile, sadly not the second one). He was found dead in one of the only lakes in Iraq. This friendly fire incident sidelined Echo battery allowing Alpha and Bravo 5/52 to be the first Patriot batteries in Baghdad, Bravo battery preceding Alpha by a few hours. The 507th Maintenance Company was ambushed during the rapid advance towards Baghdad. The unit made a wrong turn into Nasiriyah, northwest of Basra. The mistake was due to lack of rest, limited communications and human error according to a U.S. Army investigation. Several soldiers were killed and six were held as prisoners of war. Prior to invasion, 5-52 AMD had never conducted a bounding movement excersice to the extent Operation Iraqi Freedom required. In the summer of 2005, the 507th was deactivated and re-formed as E Company, 5/52 AMD BN, latter to be re-flaged as F Company. The battalion received an Avenger battery that became E Battery 5-52. This was part of an Army-wide reorganization of patriot battalions.

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