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The Eaglehorse Border Surveillance Mission
Bob Stefanowicz

 
From the first days of the Cold War to the fall of the border barrier system,  the US Army played a key role in the surveillance of the internal German border.  This forty year mission was assigned to the regimental and select divisional cavalry squadrons of USAREUR and was accomplished in addition to all  normal training and readiness activities of any Army unit.  The visible presence on the border performed both an intelligence gathering mission and  of equal importance,  provided a daily reminder  to both Western Europe and the nations of the Warsaw Pact,  of the commitment of the United States to the peace and security of the democratic NATO members.
 
The Eaglehorse Squadron performed this mission from 1972 until 1990 along approximately 130 kilometers of border in the northern region of the German state of Bavaria.  The border ran along the former state boundaries between Bavaria, Federal Republic of Germany and Thuringia,  in the Democratic German Republic.  To the northwest, at the boundary of West German state of Hesse, the border mission was assumed by the 1/11 ACR.  In the south, the mission passed off to troopers of the 3-7th Cavalry from Schweinfurt.
 
Over the years, changes occurred in the mission.  Boundaries were adjusted, the range of the squadron responsibility sometimes grew or contracted.  Command decisions brought different units into the mix.  New equipment, updated border observation facilities and improvements at the border camp enhanced both intelligence gathering and quality of life for the troopers.  The single constant was the resolute determination of the squadron members to professionally accomplish the mission.