The Eaglehorse Border Surveillance Mission
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
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.