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Desert Storm

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Day 1: Wednesday 16 January 1991 4:30 PM EST

The first fighter aircraft were launched from Saudi Arabia and from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf

dad117.jpg

Multiple_F-15E_parked_during_Operation_Desert_Shield.jpg

Day 1: Wednesday 16 January 1991 6:38 PM EST

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tom Drew launched Operation Desert Storm by speaking into his radio microphone: “Party in ten.” The pilot of an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Drew was part of a joint Army-Air Force strike team (Task Force Normandy) making a secret, nocturnal attack on Iraqi radar stations. Drew’s radio call told others in the force that AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles unleashed by Apaches would detonate on their targets in ten seconds.

The strike team consisted of a dozen helicopters – eight missile-firing Apaches with a ninth as a backup, a UH-60A Black Hawk for combat rescue if needed, and two Air Force MH-53J Enhanced Pave Low IIIs. The Pave Lows were equipped with a terrain-following and global positioning navigation system to bring the attacking Apaches to their destination.

The target was a pair of Iraqi air defense radar installations. On the first night of a conflict, destroying these stations would open the door into Iraq for coalition warplanes. The timing of Task Force Normandy’s attack was determined by the projected time when Iraqi radar would detect Air Force EF-111A Raven aircraft preceding attack aircraft.

The radar installations were close to the border but were separated by 70 miles. About 30 miles south of the target, the MH-53Js delivered their last position update and then peeled off to loiter nearby. The two Apache teams approached their respective radar sites. Each team split into two two-ship groups positioned half a mile apart.

The Hellfire warheads must have created a horrendous mess of concrete and metal churning inside the orange fireball associated with the missile. But the American helicopter crews never witnessed this. They turned home seconds before blowing up the radar sites and opening a 20-mile wide strip for coalition warplanes to travel into Iraq with impunity. Cody transmitted a radio signal indicating the strike had succeeded and led his helicopters back to safety.

MH-53-Pave-Low.jpg

Day 1: Wednesday 16 Janurary 1991 6:43 PM EST

Two EF-111 Ravens with terrain following radar led 22 F-15E Strike Eagles against assaults on airfields in Western Iraq.

Captain James Denton and Captain Brent Brandon were flying their EF-111 "Spark Vark" on an electronic warfare mission ahead of a group of jets on a bombing run. Several IRAF Dassault Mirage F1s came in and engaged the flight and one of them went after the unarmed EF-111. Captain Brandon executed a tight turn and launched chaff to avoid the missiles being fired by the Mirage. An F-15 on the same flight, piloted by Robert Graeter, went after the Mirage trying to protect the EF-111. The Mirage launched a missile which the Raven avoided by launching chaff. Captain Brandon decided to head for the deck to try to evade his pursuer. As he went down he pulled up to avoid the ground, the Mirage followed him through, but did not pull up in time and crashed. An unarmed EF-111 had thus scored an air-air victory against a Dassault Mirage F1, although Graeter was credited with a kill. The EF-111A pilots were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Day 1: Wednesday 16 Janurary 1991 6:51 PM EST

Maj. Greg Feest dropped the first bombs of DESERT STORM. Although he was actually behind the stealth force flying into Baghdad (Khamas Mushait was 650 miles due South of Baghdad), he was the first to bomb Iraq when he destroyed his first target-the center that controlled all of the air defense radars in the Baghdad area.

Day 1: Wednesday 16 Janurary 1991 7:00 PM EST

10 F-117A Nighthawks bomb targets in Baghdad



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As Maj. Joe Salata skimmed over the desert of Iraq, flying his F-117A Nighthawk in the initial wave of stealth fighters to bomb Baghdad the first night of Desert Storm, one thought nagged at him.

Did he leave the lights on?

No, not the lights in his dorm room back at Khamis Mushait Air Base, secluded high in the mountains of Saudi Arabia, but the exterior lamps on his black, bat-winged jet. When properly primed, the F-117A's stealth technology aids the jet in foiling enemy radar, but if its outside lights are on, the Nighthawk becomes about as covert as a used car salesman wearing a white suit.

"Some fighters have a pinkie switch for selecting missiles to guns, but on the F-117, it controls the lights, showing you just how important it is," said Salata, now a lieutenant colonel at the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. "During the war, the switch's three positions were up for bright, down for dim, and in the middle for off. I'd turn it off when I was 'stealthing up' by pushing up first, then down and finally to the middle. But then I'd second guess myself. 'Did I push it up too high? I better check again.' I must've checked it 20 times before each combat mission." After Desert Storm, the Air Force fixed this design glitch, modifying the switch so that "off" was down instead of in the middle.

Salata bombed Baghdad's sector operations headquarters, which directed all of the Iraqi air defense fighter aircraft, at H-hour-3 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1991-and a few minutes later he razed a radio relay station on his way out of the city. The first raid, carried out by 10 Nighthawks, was so unexpected the city's lights were still on when Salata released his first bomb.

"Those early attacks along with the next few waves, knocked the eyes and ears out of the Iraqis, so they were blind and deaf," said Salata, 38, who flew 21 combat missions by war's end. "Saddam's forces were quickly into a backup mode in their air defense system, meaning the normal chain of command was totally disrupted. They had many bases and a lot of air defense sites that were working autonomously for a while. That really paralyzed them. Those initial attacks were crucial to the war's outcome in the next few weeks."

Salata described that first mission into Baghdad as surrealistic. "None of us, except the DO (deputy commander for operations), had ever been in combat before, so we didn't know what to expect," Salata said. "The first time I saw triple-A [anti-aircraft artillery], I wasn't quite sure what it was. I thought something in the city was on fire. The flak was still fairly light, but after we dropped the first bombs, the city lit up like a Christmas tree.

"Triple-A was coming from all directions, some of it in streams and some of it heavy stuff going up over the cockpit and exploding," he said. "It was an amazing sight. I nearly forgot about my second target because I was watching the display outside the window.”

"There were times when the Iraqis were firing triple-A from one end of the city to the other, and it would be dropping on their own residential areas ... it was that thick," Salata said. "It wasn't just on the outskirts, it was everywhere. It looked so dense I thought it would be impossible to fly through without at least getting a couple of hits. But we didn't.

"I guess it always looks worse than it really it is. That's, at least, what I always tell the guys. You get through it anyway," said Salata, who is now the 49th FW chief of weapons and training. "You try to block the triple-A out of your mind for a moment and hit the target. You don't want to get hit by anti-aircraft flak or by a SAM, but at the same time, you don't want to go back to the squadron with a miss because you were looking out the window. It's actually not as tough as you think to pull yourself back into the cockpit to do what you have to do. Right after you hit [the target], you can look out and get scared again."

According to Salata, squadron scuttlebutt said only half the pilots in the first wave of 10 would survived the Baghdad raid. "When I saw the triple-A, I also didn't think we'd all make it through," he said. "And after I hit my targets and was on my way back, I listened to the check-in frequency with AWACs [Airborne Warning and Control aircraft] to see who would report in. Initially, I heard only five of the 10 guys check in. So when I landed back at Khamis Mushait, I thought we'd lost five guys. It was a real relief when I went around the squadron and saw everybody there. Fortunately, we didn't lose anybody the whole time."

"I can remember one target in Baghdad [later in the war]-it was a bridge. My objective was to drop the bridge into the water. It wasn't to kill everybody on the bridge," Salata said. "But I saw a car starting to drive across the bridge, and I actually aimed behind him, so he could pass over the bridge. If I had hit the left side of the bridge, he would've driven right into the explosion. Instead I hit the right side. You can pick and choose a little bit in the F-117. In any other type of aircraft, I would've never had the opportunity to move my spot. I would've missed everything, and then I wouldn't have been able to see what happened anyway. Stealth allows us to look longer at the targets before release, as well as after release.

"I think the guy made it safely across the bridge, but you can't really think about that when you're at war. You could drive yourself crazy, thinking of those kind of things. If you have a target to hit, you hit it," the colonel said.”

Day 1: Wednesday 16 January 1991 8:00 PM EST

The second wave of F-117A's reached Baghdad. Following shortly was a third wave of eight Black Jets. Of the 60 LGBs carried by the F-117As that night, 11 were not released because the pilots were not able to get a positive identification of the target or were not confident that their weapons would guide properly. Of the 49 LGBs dropped, only 28 actually hit their aim point. Most of the misses were at outlying targets, away from densely populated areas. However, the F-117As had taken out the most heavily defended strategic sites and cleared the way for unstealthy Coalition aircraft to operate with some degree of safety.

Day 1: Wednesday 16 January 1991

  • A P-3 Orion called Outlaw Hunter developed by the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which was testing a highly specialised over-the-horizon radar, detected a large number of Iraqi patrol boats and naval vessels attempting to make a run from Basra and Umm Qasr to Iranian waters. Outlaw Hunter vectored in strike elements, which attacked the Iraqi naval flotilla near Bubiyan Island destroying 11 vessels and damaging scores more.
  • Two USAF F-15Cs shot down two Iraqi MiG-29s. Capt. Rhory “Hoser” Draeger in F-15C 85-119 and Capt. Chuck "Sly" Magill in F-15C 85-125, each used an AIM-7M Sparrow to take down a MiG-29 Fulcrum south of al-Taqaddum. Magill was a Marine exchange pilot serving with the 58th TFS at the time.
  • Rob "Cheese" Graeter, flying the F-15C, scored a double-kill against two Mirages, one withan AIM-7 missiles and the second was a maneuvering killl. Greater stated, “(the) guy went into a hard right turn to the west to get away from us, got spatial disorientation, and flew into the ground”. His wingman, Steve "Tater" Tate, scored another kill on a third Mirage F1, for a total of three kills in the dogfight.
  • Two F/A-18s from the carrier USS Saratoga were flying outside of Baghdad when two Iraqi MiG-25PDs interceptors from the 96th Squadron engaged them. In the beyond-visual-range (BVR) , one of the Iraqi MiGs, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Zuhair Dawood, fired an R-40 missile, shooting down one of the F/A-18's as it was travelling Mach 0.92. The pilot, Lieutenant Commander Scott Speicher, was killed.
  • Two F/A-18s from VFA-81 shot down two Iraqi F-7B Fishbeds, one with an AIM-7 Sparrow (fired by Nick "Mongo" Mongillo in 163502) missile and one with an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile (fired by Mark "MRT" Fox in 163508), in a brief dogfight with their bombs still latched on.
  • Two Iraqi MiG-29s attempted to engage a flight of USAF F-15Es. One of the MiGs crashed while flying at low altitude but the other MiG pressed on. One of the F-15Es fired an AIM-9 Sidewinder when the MiG locked him up but missed. Several other F-15Es simultaneously tried to engage the lone MiG-29 but were unable to get the kill. One F-15E was actually flying past the Iraqi jet and maneuvered in for the kill but the pilot hesitated to take the shot because he was unsure of his wingmen's location and because he did not get a good tone with the Sidewinder missile.
  • Two IRAF MiG-25s fired missiles at a group of F-15Cs escorting a bombing run in Iraq (which were evaded by the F-15s). The F-15Cs gave chase, but were forced to give up when the MiGs outran them. A total of 10 missiles were fired at the MiGs.
  • An Iraqi MiG-23 fired a R-24T missile at a F-111 on a bombing run and scored a hit, although the bomber made it safely back to base. Another similar incident occurred with the same Iraqi interceptor several minutes later, this F-111 also made it back to base despite the severe damage to the aircraft. This is Iraq's only success of the Persian Gulf War using MiG-23s.
  • B-52G was struck by a missile and damaged, while it was suspected to have been struck by a HARM fired from an F-4G (source), Iraqis claim it was hit by a missile fired from a MiG-29.
  • US Navy BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck targets in Baghdad, and other coalition aircraft struck targets throughout Iraq. Government buildings, TV stations, airfields, presidential palaces, military installations, communication lines, supply bases, oil refineries, a Baghdad airport, electric powerplants and factories making Iraqi war machine equipment were all destroyed due to extensive massive aerial and missile attacks by the coalition forces.

The first priority for Coalition forces was the destruction of Iraqi command and control bunkers, Scud missile launch pads and storage areas, telecommunications and radio facilities, and airfields. The attack began with a wave of deep-penetrating aircraft — F-111s, F-15Es, Tornado GR1s, F-16s, A-6s, A-7Es, and F-117s, complemented by F-15C, F-14s and Air Defense Tornados. EA-6Bs, EF-111 radar jammers, and F-117A stealth planes were heavily used in this phase to elude Iraq's extensive SAM systems and anti-aircraft weapons. The sorties were launched mostly from Saudi Arabia and the six Coalition aircraft carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

During the initial 24 hours 2,775 sorties were flown, including seven B-52s which flew a 34-hour nonstop 14,000-mile round-trip from Barksdale Air Force Base and launched 13 AGM-86 CALCM cruise missiles against Iraqi targets

Five hours after the first attacks, Iraq's state radio broadcast a voice identified as Saddam Hussein declaring that "The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun. The dawn of victory nears as this great showdown begins.”

desert-storm_250_192.jpg

Edited by Trigger

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i seriously doubt the claim of a F-111 and B-52 being hit by Iraqi MiGs, there's no Coaltion account of it.

There was a F-111 damaged by a mid-air collision with a tanker, and two more F-111Fs received minor small arms damage

B-52G 58-0248 had 6-8 ft of it's tail blown off. popular belief is that a HARM homed in on the tail gun radar.

Iraq made a lot of claims, I remember one news broadcast where they where i think selling off parts of a shot down plane to people, except, it was really part of an olive drab cluster bomb casing.

To commemorate the occasion, here's a DS build I did, well, technically Locusta

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Edited by Benner

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Desert Storm was a very interesting conflict in what was an early post 'Cold War' era. No politics here but as a military aviation buff it was cool in as such with all the aircraft from many nations involved in the conflict. I saved two Vancouver Sun news papers, Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 1991 for my memories box. I like saving pertinent news papers to mark historic dates that I live through.

The only other thing I will say was I recall during the lead up to the conflict where many SO CALLED EXPERTS were blabbering on all the networks saying it was going to be a long and bloody fight for the US led Coalition. I remember just smirking and having a chuckle as I told my then wife that NO! It was going to be an A$$ KICKING in the air and on the ground and that the Coalition will only suffer minimal losses. I WAS RIGHT! The IMO mostly idiot mouth piece experts again all blathering on all the networks at the time were WRONG!

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The number one movie in the US that week:

Home-Alone-1-v3.png

The number one single in the UK that week was Enigma's Sadness, Part 1

The number one single in the US that week was Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do Without You"

The US acknowledged that the CIA & US Army paid Noriega $320,000 over his career

Celebrating birthdays on 16 January - Director John Carpenter, Country singer Ronnie Milsap, Tog Gear host James May and R&B singer Sade

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Desert Storm was a very interesting conflict in what was an early post 'Cold War' era. No politics here but as a military aviation buff it was cool in as such with all the aircraft from many nations involved in the conflict. I saved two Vancouver Sun news papers, Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 1991 for my memories box. I like saving pertinent news papers to mark historic dates that I live through.

The only other thing I will say was I recall during the lead up to the conflict where many SO CALLED EXPERTS were blabbering on all the networks saying it was going to be a long and bloody fight for the US led Coalition. I remember just smirking and having a chuckle as I told my then wife that NO! It was going to be an A$$ KICKING in the air and on the ground and that the Coalition will only suffer minimal losses. I WAS RIGHT! The IMO mostly idiot mouth piece experts again all blathering on all the networks at the time were WRONG!

The Gulf War put CNN on the map. However, we didn't have cable, so my family first heard about it on the evening news. Up until then, my only frame of reference for such military action was Grenada and the attacks on Libya and Panama. I knew the buildup was big (a massive convoy had passed through town on their way to port, finally putting Eisenhower's interstate system to military use) but I hadn't lived during a time of war, so in my young mind, I thought it was a raid not unlike that of Libya, with F-15Es dropping bombs to encourage Saddam to withdraw. I couldn't watch enough news. It wasn't until the next day that it sunk in, "This is the real deal. We are at war."

One of the things that I recall from the buildup between August 1990 and January 1991 was the "experts" talking about how US equipment - Apaches, M1s, F-15s, etc - wouldn't handle the conditions. The F-117 was unproven, people said that it wouldn't work.

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The only other thing I will say was I recall during the lead up to the conflict where many SO CALLED EXPERTS were blabbering on all the networks saying it was going to be a long and bloody fight for the US led Coalition. I remember just smirking and having a chuckle as I told my then wife that NO! It was going to be an A$$ KICKING in the air and on the ground and that the Coalition will only suffer minimal losses. I WAS RIGHT! The IMO mostly idiot mouth piece experts again all blathering on all the networks at the time were WRONG!

Good observation. We only suffered minimal losses in DS (unless, of course, your kid was one of those KIA). So I guess it was an A$$ KICKING.

In 2003 I heard that we were going to kick A$$ just like DS. How'd that work out?

Sorry to sound cynical bro but I lost friends in both conflicts. Maybe your experience was different then mine.

Or maybe you are just an internet commando.

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Sorry to sound cynical bro but I lost friends in both conflicts. Maybe your experience was different then mine.

I'm really sorry to hear that.

Good observation. We only suffered minimal losses in DS (unless, of course, your kid was one of those KIA). So I guess it was an A$$ KICKING.

That sort of mirrors of Secretary of Defense Cheney told the press:

"Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families – it wasn’t a cheap war. "

Edited by Exhausted

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Coalition Losses on 17 January

F-15E

4 TFW

16nm SW Basra

AAA

GR.1

617 Sqn (RAF)

8nm NWW Tallil

AAA

A-4

KAF

25nm S. Kuw. City

R-SAM

F/A-18C

VFA-81

29nm SE Baghdad

MiG-25PD

GR.1

15 Sqn (RAF)

1nm W Basra

R-SAM

A-6E

VA-35

10nm SW H-3

R-SAM

Coalition Aircraft Damaged on 17 January

Jaguar

FAF

AAA

Jaguar

FAF

?

A-6E

VA-35

Over H-3

AAA

Jaguar

FAF

AAA

A-10A

10 TFW

SE Iraq

AAA

F-111F

48 TFW

15nm E Salman Pak

AAA

Jaguar

FAF

SA-14/16?

A-10A

354 TFW

AAA

B-52G

42 BW

Unknown missile strike

F-111F

48 TFW

1nm S Balad airfield

AAA (Iraq claimed this was an air-to-air hit)

F-111F

48 TFW

AAA (Iraq claimed this was an air-to-air hit)

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This started on the evening of my 20th birthday, so it was all the more memorable. I was also in flight training at the time, and within a few days we already had a notice posted in flight ops warning against any "hot-dogging".

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25 years ago, I was sitting in our HH-60H (HCS-5) helo on the tarmac as Desert Storm commenced at the forward deployed air base at Al Jouf Saudi Arabia. As the A-10's had already taken off for where ever they were going. Overheard a comment that it was just as if it was from the Bible, the locusts over Babylon, The Apaches and Blackhawks over Baghdad. What an opening night. Also my birthday, I turned 31.

Chuck

Fly Navy

DSCF2523.JPG

A-10 of the 354th TFW based at Al Jouf

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25 years ago, I was sitting in our HH-60H (HCS-5) helo on the tarmac as Desert Storm commenced at the forward deployed air base at Al Jouf Saudi Arabia. As the A-10's had already taken off for where ever they were going. Overheard a comment that it was just as if it was from the Bible, the locusts over Babylon, The Apaches and Blackhawks over Baghdad. What an opening night. Also my birthday, I turned 31.

Chuck

Fly Navy

A-10 of the 354th TFW based at Al Jouf

\

I've contemplated building that plane but I'm not sure about the crew names, or 664 which Capt. Paul Johnson flew when his plane hit by a SAM. . Theer's a Discovery Channel Wings episode where Capt. P Johnson talks about how they didn't have as much of a cost as other wars, but it was a very personal cost with one of his squadron killed when his plane was shot down.

Being I was interested in planes as a kid back then, and seeing all the news footage of them, got my interest in modeling this subject. My goal was to model each combat aircraft type, some I did duplicates. My earlier ones look terrible so need to be replaced. So my built models at the moment include:

United States

2 F-14s, 3 A-7Es, S-3B, E-2C, KA-6D, from the USS Kennedy

3 A-10s, F-16A, F-15E, F-15C, F-111E, EF-111A, F-111F (nearly complete), RF-4C, F-117A

F/A-18A, F/A-18C, F/A-18D, AV-8B, OV-10D

Canada

CF-188A

France

Jaguar A, Mirage F1CR, Mirage 2000C

UAE

Mirage 2000C

Qatar

Mirage F1EDA

Kuwait

Mirage F1CK, A-4KU (needs a refit)

United Kingdom

Tornado GR1, Tornado FMk3, Jaguar GrMk1, Buccaneer S2B

Italy

Tornado

Saudi Arabia

Tornado

Bahrain

F-5E

to do: F-4G, A-6E, Saudi F-5E, F-16C

Edited by Benner

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Anyone remember this?

Edited by Stephen

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Wow...25 years. You Tube has all of the CNN news casts from the build up to the night it kicked off. Very interesting watching the way they covered it. Perter Arnett and Bernard Shaw transmitting from their hotel rooms, very memorable.

I was stationed at NAS Norfolk at the time, in my first squadron VAW-127 (E-2Cs). Beginning in August with the build up, the place was a virtual ghost town within a few weeks. I lived in the flight path to Langley AFB and remember sitting in my apartment at the kitchen table working on a Hasegawa F-14A. I heard a jet approaching and of course no matter what I would always look out the window to see what it was, even if I already knew it was an F-15. Not this time, over the tree comes an F-117A! They were still not very well known to the public then but here they were, one after another in line landing over at Langley. Pretty cool.

Our squadron no longer had a carrier or an Airwing (USS Coral Sea and Airwing 13 decommed shortly after our return from the Med in Sep '89) so we were unsure if we'd play any roll in the big show coming up, there was talk of us being land based out of Saudi. We were scheduled to go to Panama for anti drug ops and that's what we did. So, we pretty much watched the whole thing go down while poolside at Howard AFB. We were fortunate but felt like we were missing out and wasting our time too.

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One of the things that I recall from the buildup between August 1990 and January 1991 was the "experts" talking about how US equipment - Apaches, M1s, F-15s, etc - wouldn't handle the conditions. The F-117 was unproven, people said that it wouldn't work.

Wow...25 years. You Tube has all of the CNN news casts from the build up to the night it kicked off. Very interesting watching the way they covered it. Perter Arnett and Bernard Shaw transmitting from their hotel rooms, very memorable.

I was stationed at NAS Norfolk at the time, in my first squadron VAW-127 (E-2Cs). Beginning in August with the build up, the place was a virtual ghost town within a few weeks. I lived in the flight path to Langley AFB and remember sitting in my apartment at the kitchen table working on a Hasegawa F-14A. I heard a jet approaching and of course no matter what I would always look out the window to see what it was, even if I already knew it was an F-15. Not this time, over the tree comes an F-117A! They were still not very well known to the public then but here they were, one after another in line landing over at Langley. Pretty cool.

Our squadron no longer had a carrier or an Airwing (USS Coral Sea and Airwing 13 decommed shortly after our return from the Med in Sep '89) so we were unsure if we'd play any roll in the big show coming up, there was talk of us being land based out of Saudi. We were scheduled to go to Panama for anti drug ops and that's what we did. So, we pretty much watched the whole thing go down while poolside at Howard AFB. We were fortunate but felt like we were missing out and wasting our time too.

My uncle was on Coral Sea. He ended up on the America in 1991 as an Ordie, and my parents were statione at Howard for 3 years (early 80's though) thats where I was born.

2/3 of the USMC went to the persian gulf in 1991. Meaning 1/3 felt exactly how you did :bandhead2:

Best book on the War I have read is Crusade by Rick Atkinson.

Best TV:

Edited by TaiidanTomcat

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Day 2: Thursday 17 January 1991

The allied bombing campaign that started late the day before continues overnight and into the first full day of the war.

  • In a brief dogfight, two F-15Cs engaged and shot down two Iraqi MiG-25s attempting to engage them, both using AIM-7 missiles. One was destroyed by Captain Rick Tuleni and the second by Captain Larry Pitts.
  • Two F-15Cs, piloted by Captains Craig Underhill and Cesar Rodriguez gave chase to a pair of MiG-29s detected by AWACS. The Iraqi aircraft, one piloted by Captain Jameel Sayhood, promptly turned and engaged the two American fighters, and one of the most dramatic dogfights of the Persian Gulf War ensued. The two MiGs and F-15s flew straight at each other, each attempting to visually identify the other. Underhill was facing Sayhood's wingman, while Sayhood himself was facing Rodriguez. Underhill fired an AIM-7 at Sayhood's wingman, scoring a head-on hit and killing the opposing pilot instantly. Simultaneously, Sayhood gained a lock on Rodriguez, throwing him onto the defensive. Rodriguez dove to low altitude in order to clutter Sayhood's radar and break the lock-on, and dropped flares to counter his adversary's infra-red search-and-track. However, after seeing his wingman shot down, Sayhood disengaged and fled to the north. Considering the engagement over, Rodriguez and Underhill turned south to rendezvous with a KC-135 tanker in order to refuel, but Sayhood reversed course and set off after them, prompting them to reengage. With the now lone MiG-29 closing head-on with the pair of F-15s, Underhill gained radar lock-on, but did not fire due to a glitch in his IFF interrogator system keeping him from being certain he wasn't about to shoot down a Coalition aircraft. Underhill initially thought he shot down an allied aircraft. Sayhood sliced into the American formation, causing a classic merge. Underhill kept Sayhood locked-on and climbed, while Rodriguez committed to the merge in order to visually identify the opposing aircraft as hostile. As they passed head-on, Rodriguez identified it as an Iraqi, and each pilot turned left to engage the other. Sayhood was relying on his MiG's better turning radius to get into a firing position on Rodriguez' tail but Rodriguez was very close to firing position on him. Both aircraft lost altitude through the sustained hard turning, bringing them perilously close to the ground. Fearing that Rodriguez would obtain infra-red lock-on and shoot him down with an AIM-9, Sayhood attempted to disengage using a split-s. Rodriguez didn't match Sayhood's maneuver, and observed him eject just prior to his MiG impacting the ground - he'd commenced his escape maneuver too low. It was reported years later by Iraqi sources that the Captain was rescued by some farmers after he broke his leg and evacuated to a local hospital.

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In an attempt to destabilize the coalition against him, Saddam Hussein fires Scud missiles at Israel. Hussein wants to provoke a military response from Israel, which he believes will break up the coalition, as many Arab states would refuse to fight alongside Israel against another Arab state. Following the first attacks, Israeli Air Force jets were deployed to patrol the northern airspace with Iraq, and prepared to retaliate. However, President Bush pressured Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir not to retaliate and withdraw Israeli jets, fearing that if Israel attacked Iraq, the other Arab nations would either desert the Coalition or join Iraq. It was also feared that if Israel used Syrian or Jordanian airspace to attack Iraq, they would intervene in the war on Iraq's side or attack Israel. The Scud missiles targeting Israel were militarily ineffective, as firing at extreme range resulted in a dramatic reduction in accuracy and payload. But they are psychologically effective, and the citizens of Israel live in constant fear of Scud attacks. The Coalition promises to deploy Patriot missiles to defend Israel if it refrained from responding to the Scud attacks.

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The U.S. rapidly sent a Patriot missile air defense artillery battalion to Israel along with two batteries of MIM-104 Patriot missiles for the protection of civilians. The Royal Netherlands Air Force also deployed a Patriot missile squadron to Israel and Turkey. The Dutch Defense Ministry later stated that the military use of the Patriot missile system was largely ineffective, but its psychological value for the affected populations was high. The US also informed Israel of imminent Scud attacks whenever it's satellites picked up Iraqi launches.

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  • A Scud missile fired at Saudi Arabia is downed by U.S. Patriot missile – first anti- missile missile fired in combat.
  • A-6E 161668 was shot down by a SAM. The pilot (Lieutenant Robert Wetzel) and navigator/bombardier (Lieutenant Jeffrey Norton Zaun) were captured. They were released on March 3.
  • F-15E 88-1689 was shot down by AAA. The pilot (Major Thomas F. Koritz) and WSO (Lieutenant Colonel Donnie R. Holland) were killed

Republican Guard

From the beginning of the crisis, the Republican Guard raised great concern among American military leaders. Gen. Powell stressed that he did not want Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait with his elite infantry and tanks intact. No American officer was more convinced of the threat posed by the Republican Guard than General Schwarzkopf himself. Gen Chuck Horner recalled Schwarzkopf identifying the Republican Guard as "the center of the enemy's gravity." He drove the point home to his corps and division commanders in November 1990: "We need to destroy - not attack, not damage, not surround - I want you to destroy the Republican Guard. When you're done with them, I don't want them to be an effective fighting force any more."

CENTAF began its first operations against the Republican Guard on the first afternoon of the war, when 24 F-16s flew against several of their command facilities. It was also this day that B-52s attacked the mechanized Tawakalna Division, the onset of unrelenting series of sorties against the elite Iraqi units, as at least three B-52s were to strike at the Republican Guard every hour, around the clock, until the close of the war (3,169 B-52 sorites).

Thirty-seven percent of all BUFF sorties flown during the war - and 40% of all of their missions - were against Republican Guard units. The first mission was flown from Barksdale AFB, Lousiana, but during the course of the war, B-52s operated out of Diego Garcia, Spain and the UK.

Edited by Trigger

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Good observation. We only suffered minimal losses in DS (unless, of course, your kid was one of those KIA). So I guess it was an A$$ KICKING.

In 2003 I heard that we were going to kick A$$ just like DS. How'd that work out?

Sorry to sound cynical bro but I lost friends in both conflicts. Maybe your experience was different then mine.

Or maybe you are just an internet commando.

I understand the pain felt from the loss of friends. From a purely military standpoint, however, DS 1 was a complete success. If you put the numbers in front of any military planner, they would be incredulous that the victory was that lopsided. In fact, you could make a case that DS 2 was the same. What wasn't successful (as has been shown by the US lately) was AFTER the major military action was completed. As I've heard said before, the US knows how to break things, but doesn't know how to fix them. At the end of DS 2, action should have been taken to quell the insurgency. The Iraqi army should have been utilized, not disassembled. If you had paid those soldiers good momey, most would have stayed put and helped keep the peace. In regards to the insurgency, we didn't have the stomach to do what really should have been done. When Faluja flaired up, they should have encircled the city, told the residents they had 72 hours to leave, had exit checkpoints to vet people as they came out, and then completely leveled the city. The insurgency would have ended right then and there. Does it sound inhumane? Probably, but isn't war inhumane? You go to war as a last resort, and you go to win. That's why I get so frustrated with our leaders at times. War should only be an absolute, last resort, even if you have to live with some unpleasant leaders in power in other countries if you aren't prepared to go all in militarily.

Edited by Darren Roberts

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Wow, 25 years, I am a Desert Storm (Operation Friction) Veteran.

Seems like it was yesterday.

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Desert Storm was a very interesting conflict in what was an early post 'Cold War' era. No politics here but as a military aviation buff it was cool in as such with all the aircraft from many nations involved in the conflict. I saved two Vancouver Sun news papers, Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 1991 for my memories box. I like saving pertinent news papers to mark historic dates that I live through.

The only other thing I will say was I recall during the lead up to the conflict where many SO CALLED EXPERTS were blabbering on all the networks saying it was going to be a long and bloody fight for the US led Coalition. I remember just smirking and having a chuckle as I told my then wife that NO! It was going to be an A$$ KICKING in the air and on the ground and that the Coalition will only suffer minimal losses. I WAS RIGHT! The IMO mostly idiot mouth piece experts again all blathering on all the networks at the time were WRONG!

The Commander in my Squadron told us the HALF of us would not return. We all came back! However, there was good reason to believe that casualties were going to be high. There was the threat of chemical and biological weapons which we weren't sure Saddam would use or not. On paper the Iraqi forces were very formidable and had experienced combat in Iran. We had a lot of new weapon systems that were untried in combat, albeit extensively used in training, but we were not completely sure of their effectiveness in the desert environment. It is a credit to our armed forces training that we did so well in that war. Still as 11Bee mentioned, the cost was low to those of us whom did not lose a friend or family member.But to those individuals the cost was extremely high. I was very glad that the losses were far lower than expected.

Edited by gonzalo

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WOW..A quarter of a century already gone ..where did it go ! :sunrevolves:

Scooby and Gonzalo and all those that were veterans of the DESERT STORM , THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR

SERVICE and glad that to see you are all still here. :salute: :salute: :salute:

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