The XVIII Airborne Corps, with Headquarters at Ft. Bragg, NC, was originally activated as the 11 Armored Corps at Camp Polk, Louisiana, in 1942. It was redesignated as the XVIII Corps October 9, 1943, at the Presidio of Monterey, California.
The Corps celebrates it's birthday August 25, 1944, when the blue airborne tab was added at Orbourne St. George, England. On this same day, the XVIII Airborne Corps assumed command of the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions. Within a month, Major General Matthew B. Ridgway, the first Corps Commander, sent his men into action in Operation Market Garden, the allied invasion of the Netherlands during World War II.
The Corps returned to the United States in late June 1945 and was deactivated October 15, 1945, at Camp Campbell, Kentucky. The XVIII Airborne Corps was reactivated at Fort Bragg on May 21, 1951.
Today the XVIII Airborne Corps - the Army's largest warfighting organization - is the only airborne corps in the defense establishment of the United States and exercises control over approximately 88,000 thousand soldiers assigned to the 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York, 82d Airborne Division, Fort Bragg; 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery; 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk, Louisiana; 108th Air Defense Artillery, Fort Bliss, Texas; 18th Aviation Brigade; 229th Aviation Regiment; 20th Engineer Brigade; 525th Military Intelligence Brigade; 16th Military Police Brigade; 35th Signal Brigade; 1st Corps Support Command; 44th Medical Brigade; 18th Finance Group; 18th Personnel Group; and Dragon Brigade, all located at Fort Bragg.
The Corps capability for rapid deployment and reputation as the premier power projection force continues to be tested. It's operational tempo remains the highest in the Army and it's resolve as a quick reaction force has been the key to success in numerous crisis.
Over the past two years the XVIII Airborne Corps has deployed countless Corps soldiers to more than twenty-seven countries throughout the world, including, Bosnia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Haiti. From February 1996 to March 1998 the XVIII Airborne Corps has either conducted, participated in, or been the exercise director for over 79 exercises, to include, 25 Joint Exercises involving all of the services. The Corps recently completed Purple Dragon, one of the most successful and largest Joint Task Force exercises in XVIII Airborne Corps history, consisting of 33,000 sailors, marines, airmen, and soldiers.
The XVIII Airborne Corps is superbly trained in tactical operational and strategic levels of war and is capable of exercising the nation's ability to conduct strategic forced entry operations, any where in the world on 18 hours notice. They have been widely recognized as a superbly trained force capable of operating from peace operations to general-purpose war and capable of conducting large-scale joint and combined operations.