World War II

   The night prior to D-Day and the invasion of Normandy, France, the 101st airborne division dropped into France. Their objectives were to secure causway exits behind Utah beach (the name of one of the beaches that the Allies landed on), destroy German arillery targeting the beaches, capture strategic buildings, and also disrupt German movement and communication. The 101st Airborne also took place in the Battle of Bulge, in the Ardenis Forest, Belgium. This was Hitler's last major offensive, and it is named this because it created a bulge in the Allied line. The paratroopers helped to hold the Allied line for long enough that the Germans ran out of fuel, halt this German offensive and take back many towns that were taken by the Germans, such as Bastogne and Foy.

This is clip from the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers of the 101st Airborne's D-Day jump in Normandy.

 Vietnam War

 

   The 101st Airborne was in combat for 7 years in Vietnam, and participated in 15 campaigns. They mainly operated against the North Vietnam Army (NVA), attacking their routes through Laos and the A Shau Valley. They participated in many large and famous battles of the Vietnam War, including the Battle of Hamburger Hill and Firebase Ripcord.

 Operation Iraqi Freedom


   In 2003 the 101st Airborne Division was deployed to Iraq. Their main objective was to provide support for the 3rd infantry division and clear Iraqi strong points that they had bypassed. Following the invasion and the takeover of Iraq, the division went on a tour of duty as occupational forces. They were withdrawn in 2004, so that they could rest and refit. They were deployed for a second time in 2005. Some of there missions included acting as security forces and training Iraqi troops.

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