The 116th Field Artillery is a regiment of the Florida National Guard. Currently there are two battalions; 2-116th FA is fires battalion for the 53rd Brigade Combat Team, and 3-116th (HIMARS) is part of the 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade; both of the Florida Army National Guard
History of the 116th Field Artillery:
"The 116th Field Artillery has had a singular history in the period covered since the date of its organization in Florida. Perhaps no regiment of the Florida National Guard within the United States has had such dramatic calls upon its services. Woven into the pattern of everyday life, the work of the peacetime soldier calls forth little notice from the general public. However, when disaster threatens the structure of the commonwealth, either man-made, or by the hand of Providence, the National Guard steps promptly into the breach, and, with a steady hand firmly applied, brings aid and comfort to the stricken and punishment to the law breaker." (From the official regimental history, compiled by Lieutenant Colonel George E. Grace, Florida National Guard)
This regiment was originally organized during the First World War at Camp Wheeler, Georgia from 1 October 1917 through 1 November 1917, as part of the 31st (Dixie) Division. Although transported overseas it saw no combat action and was mustered from federal service on January 16, 1919. On December 5, 1921 Sumter L. Lowry Jr. of Tampa, Florida, upon commission issued by the Adjutant General, State of Florida presented for federal recognition three batteries to constitute units of a regiment to be known as the 116th Field Artillery. Thus on December 5, 1921, three firing batteries, A, B, and C formed the basis of the First Battalion 116th Field Artillery. Major Sumter L. Lowry Jr. commanding. The battalion was inspected and mustered into service by then Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Collins present Adjutant General of Florida.
Completion of the First Battalion was effected February 15, 1922, with the establishment of Headquarters Battery and Combat Train First Battalion. In 1922 the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County furnished land and funds for the construction of stables, gunsheds, and armory buildings.
An expansive movement was made for the establishment of a full regiment by the founding of the Second Battalion. Firing batteries D, E, and F were located at Lakeland, Plant City, and Arcadia with Headquarters Battery and Combat Train Second Battalion in Bartow. The Second Battalion participated in summer encampment in 1923 and was federally recognized as a unit in August 23, 1923, with Major Fred Hampton commanding. The regiment received official recognition at Tampa January 20, 1924.