75th Ranger Regiment 3rd Battalion
Following operation “Urgent Fury,” in Grenada, the Department of the Army ordered the activation of 3rd Battalion. In April 1984, a small cadre arrived at Fort Benning, Ga., to begin the selection process.
Rangers from all over the world were interviewed, selected and moved to Fort Benning. On October 3, 1984 at York Field, Fort Benning, Ga., the Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John O. Marsh, presented the colors and activated the 75th Ranger Regimental Headquarters and 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. The activation of the Regimental Headquarters and 3rd Battalion marked the first time since World War II that such a large Ranger force had been activated.
On Dec. 20, 1989, the entire 75th Ranger Regiment was committed to Operation “Just Cause,” in Panama. Along with 2D Ranger Battalion, Companies A and B, 3rd Battalion conducted an airfield seizure of the Rio Hato Airfield, and Company C participated along with 1st Battalion to seize the Airfield at Torrijos/ Tocumen Airport, and subsequent combat operations contributed significantly to the United States victory in Panama.
In August 1993, Elements of Company B, 3rd Ranger Battalion and the Battalion Headquarters deployed to Somalia as part of Task Force Ranger. After several successful missions, on Oct. 3, 1993 exactly nine years from the activation of the Battalion, they performed a courageous daylight assault where they were engaged in the most intense ground combat since the Vietnam War. In commemoration of the Rangers who fought and died in Somalia, several members of Company B deployed to Morocco in 2001 to act as advisers in the making of the movie “Blackhawk Down.”
After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, 3rd Ranger Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. On the night of Oct. 19, 2001, elements of 3rd Battalion conducted a daring low level parachute assault onto Objective Rhino, a desert airfield in Southwestern Afghanistan, to capture key logistical information. The Battalion conducted a follow-on special operations raid mission on Objective Gecko.
Due to growing terrorist attacks and terrorist threats throughout the world, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, declared war on terror and the Global War on Terrorism campaign began in March 2003.
Once again 3rd Battalion was called upon to fight against terrorism, but this time it was to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom. A few weeks later, Company C, 3rd Battalion carried out a successful parachute assault in Southwestern Iraq near the Syrian border in order to secure a small desert landing strip to allow follow-on coalition forces into the area.
March 28, 2003, Company's A, Headquarters and Headquarters Company with engineers attached conducted a parachute assault onto H1 Airfield in Western Iraq. After the successful jump onto H1, on the night of March 31, 2003, Company B, 3rd Battalion moved to gain a foothold of the Hadithah Dam complex and fought off elements from the Iraqi Republican Guard’s Hammurabi Division over the course of the next week.
This was a critical part in the grand scheme of things as leaders feared that Saddam Hussein would either open the flood gates to flood the down lying approach into Baghdad or try to destroy the dam to achieve the same affect. This would have had a tremendous affect on the armored approach into Baghdad.
At the end of 2003, the Battalion deployed again, this time sending elements of the Battalion to both Afghanistan and Iraq. The Battalion deployed multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom until summer 2010. The Battalion continues to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.