Tracing its rich history to 1942, the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment (101st Airborne) Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is poised to continue its tradition as the battalion observes a 30-year reunion with the “Expect No Mercy” motto resonating across the Army.
1-101 Aviation began with the Apache fielding program in 1987, and it was the first aviation unit to arrive in Vietnam.
In August 1990, immediately after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, the 1-101st Aviation Regiment deployed, with Task Force Normandy firing the first shots of the allied offensive, destroying two Iraqi early warning/ground control radar intercept sites. This action marked the beginning of Operation Desert Storm.
Indeed, the motto has been exemplified by Maj. Gen Doug Gabram, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command. He was in the front seat of an Apache attack helicopter using the “No Mercy Six” call sign.
“I think that it’s the best attack battalion in the Army,” Gabram said. “It’s a feeling, an attitude and a mindset that is important; it’s all about the people.
“I made it a routine to go to Mesa, Arizona, and to thank the workers who make the AH-64. On one visit, a worker who had been on the line more than 30 years told me that his son was in the 4th Infantry Division and that the ‘No Mercy Six’ call sign saved his life.
“The only reason Army aviation and the No Mercy battalion exists is to support the ground commander. We do a pretty good job of that.
“It’s important that we understand the conditions and where we come from. Those in the battalion today represent all those who have gone before them and that’s important.”
Gabram, along with Team Redstone’s John Jones and Fred Pieper, all 1-101 alumni, will be featured in a reunion video tribute.
The division history narrative says, “As we take time to reflect on our division’s great history and many extraordinary achievements, on and off the battlefield, we must remember that these accomplishments were not won by aircraft, weapons and technology. They were earned by our Soldiers. Our thoughts remain with those Screaming Eagles currently engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan.”