68th Chemical Company U.S. Army

68th Chemical Company Dragonmasters 1950 - 2005 The Company participated in nine campaigns during the Korean War, and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation and two Korean Presidential Unit Citations. On 4 March 1954, the Company was redesignated as the 68th Chemical Company and was transferred to Germany. The next activation brought the 68th Chemical Company to Fort Hood, Texas on 25 March 1963, where it lasted for only three years. The unit remained at Fort Hood and was deactivated on 24 June 1969. Nine years later, the 68th Chemical Company was again activated at Fort Hood and designated the 68th Chemical Company (NBC Defense). It was assigned to the First Cavalry Division. In 1979, the 68th became the first chemical company in a heavy armored division and was structured to conduct decontamination, NBC reconnaissance, and smoke missions. The company participated in at least three exercises annually at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California. On 14 October 1990, the 68th Chemical Company deployed to Southwest Asia to assist in the defense of Saudi Arabia. While deployed, the company played a key role in the First Cavalry Divisionýs ground offensive, executing the first use of mechanized smoke in combat. On August 1996, the 68th Chemical Company minus deployed to Southwest Asia on a no notice deployment to Kuwait to assist in its defense. While deployed, the company played a key role executing several decontamination missions. As the Global War On Terrorism unfolded in Iraq in 2003, the 68th Chemical Company was called on once again to provide NBC support. Portions of the Company, attached to the 3rd Infantry Division, were among the first not only to enter Iraq during the initial spearhead, but also among the first to enter Baghdad. The Smoke Platoon proved itself critical during the seizure of BIAP, marking both the first and last time smoke was blown in support of combat operations since Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Their support in Operation Iraqi Freedom I lasted from February 2003 until June 2003. Less than a year later, the 68th Chemical Company returned to Iraq, deploying with the 1st Cavalry Division in March 2004 for Operation Iraqi Freedom II. However, their mission drastically departed from a typical chemical defense company. The Company evolved into a unique fighting force, organizing into Hazard Response Teams (HRTs), capable of mitigating TIC, TIM, and chemical threats. Additionally, the Company reorganized its platoons into Motorized Infantry platoons, executing a multitude of missions including cordon and searches, raids, movement to contacts, and even service operations such as shoe and food distributions. Throughout the deployment, the 68th Chemical Company continued maintaining its expertise in NBC defense. 68th Chemical Company redeployed with the 1st Cavalry Division in March 2005. 63 years after its inception, the 68th Chemical Company was once again deactivated in July 2005.