164th Air Defense Artillery
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Col. Matthew Hearon
Command Sergeant Major
CSM “Neihl” Keefer
Mission: To provide command and control over two Air Defense Artillery battalions, one field artillery battalion and one Transportation battalion. Additionally, there are three Military Police companies in the brigade’s force structure.
The 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, headquartered in Orlando, is home to 1st and 3rd Battalions, 265th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, (located in Daytona Beach and Sarasota), the 254th Transportation Battalion (located in West Palm Beach and possessing both transportation and military police assets), and 3rd Battalion, 116th Field Artillery Regiment, (located in Plant City).
The 164th ADA Brigade is resourced to multiple missions and may be required to conduct air and missile defense operations across the full spectrum of warfare to include major theater war or smaller contingencies and military operation other than war.
The 164th has played an integral role in the National Capital Region defense strategy that emerged in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. The Soldiers have rotated through numerous deployments since the mission’s inception in 2003 – leaving behind their jobs, their families, and all other freedoms in an effort to prevent the horrendous acts of that September from ever happening again.
The two air defense battalions and the brigade headquarters have shared responsibility for the mission in Washington, D.C. with the Ohio Army National Guard, the Mississippi Army National Guard, and the South Carolina Army National Guard.
The 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade has peacetime command and control responsibility of four separate battalions, three Avenger/Stinger battalions and one Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) battalion.
Unit History: In 2002, the 164th ADA was known as the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, the Army’s only multi-command comprised of the active Army, Ft. Bliss, Texas and Florida Army National Guard fighting units. It’s mission was to strategically deploy combat ready Air Defense units and perform theater Air and Missile Defense planning, coordination, integration and execution in support of the Commanders in Chief’s (CINC’s) priorities. The 164th Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Brigade was activated Sept. 1, 2004, following the inactivation of Detachment 1, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command. The unit’s mission is to strategically deploy combat ready Air Defense units and perform Corps air and missile defense planning, coordination, integration and execution in support of Corps Commander’s priorities.
Following Sept. 11, 2011, units assigned to the brigade were deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. Personnel from the Brigade participated in air and mission defense planning in support of operations in Southwest Asia as well as the United States. Deployment of 164th ADA Brigade personnel continued with the assumption of command control responsibilities at the Joint Air Defense Operations Center at Bolling Air Force Base.
The 3-265th battalion was mobilized in February 2003 in support of Operations Nobel Eagle and Enduring Freedom. The battalion successfully completed an external security mission at MacDill Air Force Base in December 2003. The unit’s mobilization was extended and the battalion deployed to Washington, D.C. to provide air defense in the National Capital Region. The battalion returned to Florida in December 2004.
The 1-265th battalion was mobilized in March 2003 in support of Operations Nobel Eagle and Enduring Freedom. The unit has also mobilized personnel in support of the air defense mission in our nations capital.
The 2-265th battalion was mobilized in March, 2004 and deployed to Afghanistan after receiving training at Fort Dix, New Jersey in Military Police individual and collective tasks. The unit returned to Florida in May 2005.
The 3-116th battalion was mobilized in June 2005 to conduct a Security Force mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit received training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey in Military Policy individual and collective tasks before deployment.
On July 1, the unit welcomed back the 1218th Transportation Company out of West Palm Beach after a yearlong deployment to Iraq. Family and friends lined the street in front of the armory waiting for a chance to hug the Soldier they hadn’t seen in 12 long months.
That same month, the 164th ADA Brigade welcomed the 690th Military Police Company out of Crystal River into the brigade. The unit was officially repatched under the ADA on July 8th in a dual ceremony involving both its rear element in Crystal River and a simultaneous ceremony for its forward element deployed in Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. Frank Laudano assumed command of the 164th ADA from Brig. Gen. Don Tyre May 3, 2009.