FORT BLISS, Texas -- A flag raising ceremony was conducted to activate the 1st Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment July 2 at Old Ironsides field on East Fort Bliss.

Lt. Col. Kevin L. Jacobi, squadron commander, spoke to his troopers about the new units Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition mission and the history of the 13th Cavalry Regiment as they build from the ground up at Fort Bliss to train for future deployment in support of ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The unit's history dates back to the early 1900's. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper, March 9, 1916, numerous Mexican bandits crossed the border approximately 90 miles from Fort Bliss and raided the town of Columbus, N.M, killing American civilians and Soldiers.

Stationed at Columbus, N.M., the 13th Cav. Regt., commanded by Col. Herbert H. Slocum, heard of reports about raids occurring more frequently. The 13th Cav. Regt., who was surprised by the attack, took up arms rapidly and set up two machine guns within the town and caused a significant blow to the raiders killing more than 75 of the bandits.

As a result of his attack, ordered by Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing, then commander of the 8th Military District, was ordered in 1917 by President Woodrow Wilson to enter Mexico and lead 10,000 troops on a military mission to chase down Villa, also known as the Mexican Punitive Expedition.

"It's a pretty unique piece of history that happened here, "said Jean Offutt, Fort Bliss Public Affairs Officer.

Among the 13th Cav. Regt. troopers killed were Mark A. Debbs (sergeant machine gun troop), Frank T. Kendall (horse shoer), Paul Simon (corporal), John Nievergelt (band sergeant), Harry Wiswall (corporal Troop G), Fred A. Griffin (private Troop K), Thomas Butler (Troop F). Wounded were Jesse P. Taylor (Troop F), Theo Kalzorke (Troop L), Michael Barmazel (machine gun troop), John Yarbrough (Troop K), James Venner (Troop M), John Xeogh (Troop G), and C. C. Benson (lieutenant Troop G).