War Chronology: August 1990
Iraq invades Kuwait-Six U.S. Navy Middle East Force ships in Persian Gulf (continuous Middle East Force presence since 1949). USS INDEPENDENCE Carrier Battle Group is in Indian Ocean and USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Battle Group is in the Mediterranean.
USS INDEPENDENCE Carrier Battle Group en route North Arabian Sea.
Operation SHARP EDGE, noncombatant evacuation operation, authorized by State Department to remove U.S. citizens caught in civil war in Liberia. USS SAIPAN (LHA-2), USS PONCE (LPD-15), USS SUMTER (LST-1188), USS PETERSON (DD-969), off Liberia inserts USMC reinforced rifle company into U.S. Embassy compound in Monrovia for increased security.
SECDEF travels to Saudi Arabia to discuss request for assistance and deployment of U.S. forces in country. SECDEF then travels to Egypt and gets permission to send U.S. warships through Suez Canal.
USS INDEPENDENCE Carrier Battle Group arrives in the Gulf of Oman. USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER Carrier Battle Group transits Suez Canal enroute Red Sea. USS SARATOGA Carrier Battle Group and battleship USS WISCONSIN depart East coast ports on scheduled deployment.
The President of the United States orders U.S. Armed Forces to Saudi Arabia. The first elements of the 82nd Airborne Division arrive in Saudi Arabia.
F-16's from Shaw AFB and C-130's from Pope AFB begin arriving in Saudi Arabia. Hospital ships USNS MERCY and USNS COMFORT activated and prepare to deploy.
F-15E's deploy to area. Army's 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade arrives in Middle East. Department of Defense deploys the DoD National media pool and regional pools of reporters currently in the Persian Gulf to cover deployment of U.S. forces.
USS WISCONSIN transits Strait of Gibraltar en route Persian Gulf 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), embarked on 13 amphibious ships, departs East Coast ports. USS BLUE RIDGE, command ship for Commander, SEVENTH Fleet, en route Persian Gulf.
Advanced elements of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) and the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) arrive Saudi Arabia. Elements of 1st MEF, which includes units from the 1st Marine Division, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, depart for region. Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT deploys for Middle East.
USS SARATOGA Carrier Battle Group transits Strait of Gibraltar enroute to Mediterranean Sea. USS JOHN F, KENNEDY Carrier Battle Group departs East coast ports enroute to Mediterranean Sea. 1st MEB departs Hawaii. Ships from Maritime Prepositioned Squadron 2 (Diego Garcia) begin unloading in Saudi Arabia. Hospital Ship USNS MERCY deploys for Middle East.
Multi-national maritime intercept operation began intercepting ships going to or from Iraq and Kuwait, consistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 661. Thirteen amphibious ships announced to be deploying with the 4th MEB embarked.
USS WISCONSIN transits Suez Canal en route Persian Gulf. MSC Fast Sealift Cargo Ships (T-AKRs) ALTAIR and CAPELLA depart Savannah, GA carrying the 24th (Mechanized) Infantry Division. Stage one of the Civil Air Reserve Fleet plan is activated to meet mounting airlift requirements.
In separate incidents, USS REID and USS BRADLEY fire warning shots across the bows of two Iraqi oil tankers leaving the Persian Gulf. Also, USS ENGLAND and USS SCOTT divert freighters in the Arabian Gulf and N. Red Sea, the first diversions by Navy ships.
Secretary of Defense Cheney announced that VADM Henry H. Mauz, Jr., USN, Commander U.S. SEVENTH Fleet assumed new duties as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT). He will control all U.S. naval forces assigned to the U.S. Central Command, to include the maritime intercept force.
Command of Operation SHARP EDGE shifted from COMSIXTHFLT to CO USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD-41), joined by USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY (LST-1197), off Liberia.
The President of the United States authorized the "call up" of members of the Selected Reserve to active duty in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD, or by filling critical military support vacancies in the United States or else where. USS SARATOGA Carrier Battle Group transits Suez Canal en route Red Sea.
USS WISCONSIN transits Strait of Hormuz into Persian Gulf.
F-111 aircraft announced to be deploying to Saudi Arabia.
United Nations Security Council votes, without dissension, to allow use of military force to uphold trade embargo on Iraq. Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, establishes his command headquarters in Saudi Arabia. Department of Defense national media pool is officially disbanded due to decision by the government of Saudi Arabia to allow reporters from the U.S. and other countries to cover the military operation in the gulf region.
The first two Fast Sealift Cargo Ships, ALTAR and CAPELLA, arrive in Saudi Arabia carrying components of the 24th (Mechanued) Infantry Division.
Department of Defense announces that there have been about 170 intercepts since maritime intercept operations began. USS SAMPSON (DDG 10) diverts freighter in the N. Arabian Sea.
Three minesweepers and Mine Counter Measures Ship USS AVENGER, loaded on board Super Servant III, depart Norfolk en route the Persian Gulf area. Two of the ships are Naval Reserve ships - USS ADROIT and USS IMPERVIOUS. Operation SHARP EDGE, the noncombat evacuation operation being conducted off the coast of Liberia by the USS WHIDBEY ISLAND and the USS BARNSTABLE COUNTY, continues as 76 more people, including 6 Americans, are evacuated from Liberia.
Department of Defense announces that there have been about 250 intercepts and about 4 boardings since maritime intercept operations began. Hospital Ship USNS COMFORT transits Suez Canal. USS JOHN F. KENNEDY Carrier Battle Group transits Strait of Gibraltar enroute Mediterranean Sea Operation SHARP EDGE continues as 15 more people are evacuated from Liberia.
USS BIDDLE (CG -34) intercepted and boarded the Iraqi merchant vessel Al Karamah. The tanker was the first Iraqi ship to be boarded since the intercept operations began on 16 August. The tanker was empty and allowed to continue to Aqaba, Jordan. MARG 3-90, consisting of USS INCHON, USS NASHVILLE, USS FAIRFAX COUNTY and USS NEWPORT, with the 26th MEU embarked, arrive Rota en route Mediterranean Sea. Navy's Fleet Hospital Five announced to be deploying to the Middle East.
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