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Operation Golden Pheasant

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Title: Operation Golden Pheasant  
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Subject: 27th Infantry Regiment (United States), 7th Infantry Division (United States), 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, History of Nicaragua, 504th Infantry Regiment (United States)
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Operation Golden Pheasant

Operation Golden Pheasant was an emergency deployment of U.S. troops to Honduras in 1988, as a result of threatening actions by the forces of the Nicaraguans.

History

In early March, 1988, the Nicaraguan Sandinista government launched Operation Danto to overrun Contra rebel supply caches in the San Andrés de Bocay region, crossing into Honduran territory in their drive.

The United States, under President Ronald Reagan, dispatched elements of the 7th Infantry Division (Light) Quick Reaction Force (QRF) on a no-notice deployment. This small force quickly landed at Palmerola Air Base (now known as Soto Cano Air Base) and moved quickly into position at a Honduran military base to facilitate the guarding of a local general. The units from the 7th Infantry Division were on the ground several days when the 82nd Airborne elements arrived. The deployment evolved into a live-fire training exercise, but the light infantry soldiers and paratroopers deployed ready to fight, causing the Sandinistas to rapidly withdraw back across their border.

The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment 82nd Airborne Division, were joined by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 9th Infantry Regiment, 2d and 3d Battalions of the 27th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light) from Fort Ord, California.

On 17 March, 1st Battalion landed at Palmerola Airfield, a Honduran Air Force base that was the headquarters for the U.S. military presence in Honduras. The 2nd Battalion jumped onto the airfield a day later, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Regiment (the "Wolfhounds") rappelled onto the airbase on 17 March 1988 and moved within 3 miles of the Nicaraguan border the same day.

The units from the 82nd Airborne, the 504th began rigorous training exercises with orders to avoid the fighting on the border. Had those orders changed, the paratroopers and infantrymen were prepared to fight, but the invading Sandinista troops had already begun to withdraw. Within days, the Sandinista government negotiated a truce with Contra leaders, and by the end of March the 7th Infantry had returned to Fort Ord, California and the paratroopers of the 504th had returned to Fort Bragg.

Participating Units

United States Army Units

  • 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • Bravo Battery, 6th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • 13th Engineer Battalion
  • 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 10th Mountain Division (Light)
  • 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Company C, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Company A, 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • 3rd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light)
  • 21st Military Police Company (Airborne), 503rd Airborne MP Battalion, 16th MP Brigade (Airborne)
  • 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Battery A, 1/14th Field Artillery, 24th Infantry Division
  • Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Company B, 307th Medical Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division
  • Company B, 407th Supply and Transport Battalion, 82d Airborne Division
  • Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division (Light) along with elements of Headquarters and
  • Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment
  • Joint Task Force Bravo, 401st Military Police Company
  • 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  • Second Battalion, 9th Aviation Regiment
  • 864th Engineering Battalion (Combat, Heavy)
  • 1st Squadron 17th Cavalry Regiment (Airborne, Air Cav)
  • 988th MP Company, 3rd Platoon
  • Company C, 426th Signal Battalion (retasked from supporting Exercise Ahuas Tara 88)
  • HHC 50th Signal Battalion (Airborne, 18th Airborne Corps Electronic Technician)
  • Company A, 307th Engineer Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division

United States Marine Corps Units

  • 2nd Battalion 7th Marines
  • 2nd Battalion 5th Marines

United States Air Force Units

External links

  • Operation Golden Pheasant
  • History of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • A 1988 U.S. Army news archive about 7th Infantry Division (Light) QRF deployment on Operation Golden Pheasant.
  • Official welcome document to JTF-Bravo

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