The 101st Airborne Division is a division of the United States Army that provides forcible entry capability through heliborne 'air assault' operations. Capable of inserting a 4,000 soldier combined arms task force, 150-kilometers into enemy terrain in one lift, and possessing 281 helicopters, including three battalions of Apache attack helicopters, this division is the most versatile in the Army. For this reason, the 101st Airborne Division is the division most in demand by combatant commanders.
Based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the division is capable of inserting a 4,000 soldier combined arms task force, 150-kilometers into enemy terrain in one lift, and possessing 281 helicopters, including three battalions of Apache attack helicopters, this division is the most versatile in the Army. For this reason, the 101st Airborne Division is the division most in demand by combatant commanders.
The 101st stands as the Army's and world's only air assault division with unequaled strategic and tactical mobility. The 101st is unique in that it normally conducts operations 150 to 300 kilometers beyond the line of contact or forward-line-of-own-troops, requiring theater- and national-level intelligence support as a matter of course.
The 101st was formed on August 15, 1942. The 101st played a key role in D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. The night before the invasion they were dropped behind enemy lines. The planes carrying them were under heavy antiaircraft fire and took evasive action. Scattering much of the division all over Normandy. They caused havoc among the German ranks even though they were not formed up into their proper units and companies. After World War II the 101st Airborne Division was deactivated.
In 1956, the 101st was reactivated as a combat division. Lead elements of the division deployed to Vietnam in 1965, and were joined by the rest of the division in 1967. In 1968, the 101st was reorganized as an airmobile division. In 1973, after its return from Vietnam the 101st was designated an air assault division, and is the only air assault division in the U.S. Army.
In 1991, the 101st Airborne fought in the Persian Gulf conflict, conducting air assault operations deep into enemy territory. The 101st sustained no soldiers killed in action during the 100-hour war and captured thousands of enemy prisoners of war. The division served multiple deployments to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
- The Story of the 101st Airborne Division (WWII book)