- Soldiers of C/1/327th kill 44 Iraqi loyalists during an attack on a military training compound in southern Najaf. None of the 327th soldiers are wounded or killed.
- Meanwhile, 20 miles north of Najaf, 2nd Brigade is involved with members of the Republican Guard Medina Division.
- Spc. Brandon Rowe is killed by enemy fire near Najaf, becoming the first war casualty of the 101st during IRAQI FREEDOM.
- Apache and Kiowa helicopters of the 101st Aviation Brigade attack and destroy several ammunition dumps, vehicles and air defense systems in the vicinity of Najaf.
- 1st and 2nd Brigades isolate the town of Najaf and begin clearing paramilitary forces from the city block-by-block.
- Apache helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) supported the campaign with deep attack operations against the Republican Guard Medina Division in the vicinity of Karbala, the first shots during IRAQI FREEDOM by units of the 101st.
- The commander of the lead element of the 101st says that his brigade is "one tank of fuel from Baghdad" and all he wanted is some clear weather so he could attack.
26 March 2003
- Units of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) were moving north into Iraq by road to reinforce the advance of other Army and Marine forces. Attack helicopters of the same division, already deployed in central Iraq, were grounded due to the poor weather conditions.
- As the attack into Baghdad kicks off, 3rd Brigade secures and sets up a Forward Operating Base (FOB) near An Najaf. Over the next two days they will be joined by 1st Brigade.
- One officer is killed and 15 other soldiers wounded in a grenade attack carried out by another member of the 101st at Camp Pennsylvania. In the days to come a second officer will die as a result of this attack.
- Operation IRAQI FREEDOM commences.
3 March 2003
- 101st Airborne Division arrives at Camps Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York, somewhere in Kuwait. The three camps are named for the states where the terrorists of 9/11 carried out their attacks.
6 February 2003
- 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) receives orders to deploy to the Central Command AOR to support possible future operations against global terrorism. The specifics of such operations are not known at this time.