Without "Airborne" Tab: XVIII Corps / Eighteenth Corps / 18th Corps / XVIII Army Corps
With "Airborne" Tab: XVIII Airborne Corps / Eighteenth Airborne Corps / 18th Airborne Corps / XVIII Airborne
World War II [XVIII Airborne]
Armed Forces Expeditions [XVIII Airborne]
Jan 17, 1942 [XVIII Corps]
Feb 15, 1944 [XVIII Airborne]
May 21, 1951 [XVIII Airborne]
Feb 14, 1944 [XVIII Corps]
Oct 15, 1945 [XVIII Airborne]
The XVIII Airborne Corps is the corps of the United States Army designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world. It is referred to as "America's Contingency Corps" and is the Army's largest warfighting organization. As of 2004, it consists of approximately 88,000 soldiers in four divisions. Its headquarters are at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
World War II
The corps was first activated as the II Armored Corps at Camp Polk in Louisiana, 17 January 1942, then redesignated as XVIII Corps October 9, 1943, and became the XVIII Airborne Corps on August 25, 1944, assuming command of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions, as part of the preparation for Operation Market Garden.
Major General Matthew B. Ridgway commanded the corps, which then consisted of the 82d Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division and was part of the First Allied Airborne Army. Following the Battle of the Bulge, all airborne units in the U.S. Army fell under the command of the corps. XVIII Airborne Corps participated in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine river into Germany. It was one of the largest airborne operations in World War II, including the 17th Airborne Division and the British 6th Airborne Division. The 82nd Airborne Division was to participate in the assault, however due to a lack of a sufficient number of transports, it was unable to take part.
The XVIII Airborne Corps returned to the U.S. in June 1945 and deactivated on October 15th 1945 at Camp Campbell, Kentucky.
Post-World War II to Present
The Corps was reactivated at Fort Bragg on May 21st 1951, under the command of MG John W. Leonard. Since then, the Corps has been the primary strategic response force, with subordinate units participating in over a dozen major operations (Listed Below) in both combat and humanitarian roles, primarily in Central America and the CENTCOM area of responsibilty.
XVIII Airborne Corps most recently returned, in January 2006, from a year-long deployment to Baghdad, Iraq, where it served as the Multi-National-Corps-Iraq.
Operations Since World War II
Operation Power Pack - Dominican Republic, 1965
Operation Urgent Fury - Grenada, 1983
Operation Golden Pheasant - Honduras, 1988
Operation Nimrod Dancer - Panama, 1989
Operation Hawkeye - U.S. Virgin Islands, 1989
Operation Just Cause - Panama, 1989
Operation Desert Shield - Saudi Arabia, 1990-1991
Operation Desert Storm - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, 1991
Operation GTMO - Cuba, 1991
Operation Hurricane Andrew - Florida, 1992
Operation Restore Hope - Somalia, 1992
Operation Uphold/Maintain Democracy - Haiti, 1994
Operation Vigilant Warrior - Kuwait, 1994
Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan, 2002
Operation Iraqi Freedom - Iraq, 2005
The Future of XVIII Airborne Corps
Under the current Army Chief of Staff's future restructure of the Army, the corps headquarters of the XVIII Airborne Corps will lose its Airborne (specifically parachute) certification as a cost-cutting measure—the same will occur to the divisional headquarters of 82nd Airborne Division. This plan is designed to follow the U.S. Army's restructuring plan to go from being division-based to a brigade-based. This will mean that the largest units that will be Airborne—specifically parachute certified—will be at the brigade level. Even so, for traditional and historical reasons, the formation will continue to be called the XVIII Airborne Corps.
The divisions that fall under the XVIII Airborne Corps (as well as the other two corps in the Army) are in a period of transition, shifting from corps control to fall directly under FORSCOM, eliminating the corps status as a middle man. This ties in with the Army's broad modularity plan, as a corps can deploy and support any unit, not just the units subordinate to the corps. The 3rd Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) have already changed over to FORSCOM control. The 10th Mountain Division will transfer after the division returns from Afghanistan, as will the 82nd Airborne Division, following its deployment.
Divisional history from:
Edited by Schottzie, 23 September 2007 - 12:05 PM.