War Chronology: January 1991
16 Jan (1991)
At 1900 (EST), White House announced that "the liberation of Kuwait has begun!" The offensive action against Iraq, codenamed OPERATION DESERT STORM, is being carried out under provisions of twelve U.N. Security Council resolutions and resolutions of both houses of the U.S. Congress. Following President Bush's address to the nation, SECDEF Dick Cheney and CJCS General Colin Powell announce at Pentagon briefing hundreds of U.S./coalition airstrikes on missile and anti-aircraft targets in Iraq and Kuwait to "destroy Saddam Hussein's offensive military capabilities;" Cheney reports initial attack appears to have gone very, very well; no casualty reports provided.
DOD announces that over 100 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles were launched at pre-programmed targets by 9 U.S. Navy ships in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea. USS SAN JACINTO (CG 56) fired the first TOMAHAWK missile from the Red Sea between 0100-0200 Gulf Time; moments later, USS BUNKER HILL (CG-52) fired the first TOMAHAWK missile from the Arabian Gulf.
Then, over 1,000 aircraft sorties (E2- Cs/AWACs-controlled) were flown by A-6s, A-7s, AV-8s, A-10s, B-52s, EA-6Bs, EF111s, F-4s, F-14s, F-15s, F-16s, F/A-18s, F-111s, F-117As, AH- 64s, Saudi/British Tornados, French Jaguars, Kuwaiti A-4s. The Navy launched 228 combat sorties on the first day of OPERATIQN DESERT STORM from six aircraft carriers in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. CJCS GENERAL Colin Powell reports TOMAHAWK cruise missiles "were extremely effective" (against precision targets where Iraqi air defenses threatened manned aircraft); of all sorties, 80% were effective, 20% ineffective due to mechanical/weather problems; Iraqi SCUD missile fixed-sites destroyed, targeting SCUD launchers; Iraqi planes destroyed, but "Iraqi Air Force is still intact"; U.S. engaged in air-to-air battles with Iraqi aircraft; Iraq fired multiple SAMs and anti-aircraft artillery, little or no effect; Iraqi elite Republican Guard units attacked in Iraq and Kuwait; did not target President Hussein, focused on disrupting/destroying command/control network.
An F/A-18 is shot down, the first Navy aircraft loss in combat. The F/A-18 crewman, LCDR Michael Speicher of USS SARATOGA's Strike Fighter Squadron 81, is listed as missing.
3 USMC/1 USN injured in bunkers in Saudi Arabia by Iraqi artillery fire near Kuwaiti border.
Eight Iraqi SCUD missiles impact in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel. Seven civilian injuries. U.S. Patriot missile intercepts one SCUD over Dhahran, S.A.
SECNAV activates 421 additional Naval Reservists from 36 units.
DOD announces 196 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles have been launched. Additionally, 2,107 attack sorties have been flown by USN, USMC, USAF, USA and coalition forces; assessed as 80% effective.
In air-to-air engagements, eight Iraqi MIG-29s and Mirage F-1s are destroyed; two by 2 USN F/A-18s of USS SARATOGA-based Strike Fighter Squadron-81 (directed by E-2Cs from Carrier Air Wing-17).
First Navy combat "kills". F/A-18s then transitioned, and bombed targets. Navy has lost two additional aircraft, both A-6s. The crewmen, LT Jeffrey Zaun and LT Robert Wetzel of the USS SARATOGA's Attack Squadron 35, and LT Charles Turner and LT William Costen of USS RANGER's Attack Squadron 155 are missing.
A USMC OV-10 is downed, the first Marine combat aircraft loss. The two aircrewmen, LtCol Clifford Acree and CWO Guy Hunter are missing.
USS NICHOLAS (FFG-47), operating with embarked Helicopter Anti- Submarine Squadron (Light) 44, Det. 8/USA helos and a Kuwaiti patrol boat, engaged and neutralized Iraqi forces firing on coalition aircraft with antiaircraft artillery and shoulder-fired SAMs from eleven Kuwaiti oil platforms in northern Arabian Gulf In the first combined helicopter missile and surface ship gun engagement, five Iraqis are killed, 3 wounded and 23 Iraqis, the first enemy prisoners of war, were taken board USS NICHOLAS for transfer to USMC holding facility and Saudi Arabian EPW camp.
USS MOOSBRUGGER (DD-980) SEALs board Sudanese vessel EL OBEID, the first boarding by a Navy ship since commencement of hostilities. Iraqi SCUD missiles impact in Israel, 10-12 civilian injuries.
SECDEF declares an airlift emergency, activates Stage II of Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) plan, authorizing government to contract with civil air carriers to use up to 181 aircraft to move supplies and equipment in support of OPERATION DESERT STORM. SECNAV activates 498 additional Naval Reservists from 37 units
DOD announces that U.S. troop strength is 460,000 (75,000 USN, 85,000 USMC) and over 100 ships in AOR. 216 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles have been launched and over 4,000 sorties (bombing, combat, attack suppression, refueling) have been flown.
Air campaign is satisfactory, causing Iraq to move aircraft north. USN A-6s and A-7s from USS JOHN F. KENNEDY and USS SARATOGA successfully launch a StandoffLand Attack Missile (SLAM) against an Iraqi target for the f rst time. USS LOUISVILLE (SSN-724) fires the first submarine- launched TOMAHAVVK cruise missile in combat history while submerged in the Red Sea.
Missile was directed against an unidentified Iraqi target. USS SYLVANIA (AFS-2) achieves historic quadruple underway replenishment in the Red Sea. 4 ships were resupplied at once.
DOD announces the deployment of European-based U.S. Patriot surface-to-air defensive missiles, with American crews, to Israel to assist defenses against SCUD missiles. DOD also announces loss of USAF F-4G with the crew later rescued in Saudi Arabian desert. U.S. has lost 6 aircraft and has 7 personnel listed as missing.
State Department announces transfer of diplomatic notes with Iraq reaffirming U.S intention to abide by its legal obligations under the 1940 Geneva Convention relative to the protection of POWs, and expects Iraq (a signatory) to reciprocate; second note affirms legal protection from attack on U.S. military hospital ships in regional waters.
Ten Iraqi aircraft (6 MIG-29s, 3 Mirage F-1s, 1 MIG-23) have been destroyed in air-to-air engagements.
President Bush signs authorization to extend call-up of up to one million National Guard/Reserves for up to two years; DOD will implement incrementally raising ceiling on 161,887 National Guard/Reserves currently called up to 360,000. The Navy's authorization ceiling was raised from 30,000 to 44,000, USMC from 23,000 to 44,000.
DOD announces that over 7,000 sorties have been flown. Iraq launches nine SCUD missiles against Saudi Arabia. Two SCUDs aimed at Dharhan and six aimed at Riyadh are intercepted by U.S. Patriot missiles. One SCUD lands in Gulf waters off Dhahran.
Five additional Iraqi aircraft have been destroyed in air-to-air engagements for a total of fifteen (10 MIG-29s, 4 Mirage F-1s, 1 MIG-23). DOD reports the loss of a USAF F-15 and two USAF F-16s. DOD reports 4 additional personnel listed as missing. U.S. has lost 8 aircraft and has 11 personnel listed as missing.
DOD announces that, to-date, 19 anti-ship mines have been discovered and destroyed in the northern Arabian Gulf. DOD also announces that there have been 6,968 intercepts and 830 boardings.
DOD announces that Iraqi artillery battery was destroyed by USN A-6 and USAF A-10 aircraft. USMC and USA troops continue in defensive mode in forward positions and there has been no direct ground confrontations. SECNAV activates 498 additional Naval reservists from 26 units.
DOD announces over 8,000 sorties have been flown; air operations focus continues on neutralizing fixed/mobile SCUD launch sites and troop concentrations. A USN F-14 is downed by surface-to-air missile over Iraq. Pilot, LT Devon Jones and Radar Intercept Officer, LT Lawrence Slade of USS SARATOGA's Fighter Squadron 103 are missing. U.S. has lost 10 aircraft and has 13 personnel listed as missing.
U.S. ships have conducted nearly 7,000 maritime interceptions operations in regional waters. No direct ground confrontation.
U.S. warns Iraq will be held accountable for mistreatment of U.S. prisoners of war after Iraq announces captured Americans will be placed at strategic target sites as "human shields."
6 Iraqi SCUD missiles fired into Saudi Arabia in three attacks over 12 hours. U.S. Patriot missiles intercept two SCUDs, one landed in the sea northwest of Al Jubayl, two others fell into the desert. No injuries.
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) Carrier Battle Group arrives on station in the Persian Gulf region.
DOD announces that over 10,000 sorties have been flown, no U.S. aircraft lost in air-to-air engagements. Oil storage tank fires started by Iraqis in Wafra, Shuaiba and Mina Abdullah, Kuwait having little effect on air operations.
USAF special operations forces recovered one crewmember of F-14 downed on 21 January, LT Devon Jones. Second aircrewmember is missing.
4 USN A-6s attacked and disabled an Iraqi T-43 class ship--capable of laying 20 mines--in the northern Arabian Gulf. Vessel was seen sinking. U.S. ships attacked 3 Iraqi patrol boats, disabling one, and chasing off two others. 3 additional mines were found and destroyed.
Iraqi launches SCUD missile against Israel. U.S. Patriot missile crew had a generator problem, Israeli Defense Forces fired a Patriot missile. SCUD impacted in Tel Aviv killing 3 and wounding nearly 100. U.S. troop strength has increased to 474,000 (Iraqi - 545,000) and there are 165,797 Reserves/National Guard recalled (13,303 Navy, 22,048 USMC).
At D + 7 days, 12,000 sorties have been flown (6,000 attack, 6,000 support). USAF F-16 downed by artillery fire over Kuwait; pilot ejected over Persian Gulf, rescued by Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light)44, Detachment Eight, embarked on USS NICHOLAS, first over-water combat search and rescue.
DOD reports 2 noncombat-related aircraft losses: USMC AV-8 in training accident, pilot killed, and USA AH- 64 in ground mishap, no injuries. 14 total U.S. aircraft lost: 11 fixed wing (9 from hostile ground- fire), 3 helos (non-combat).
USN A-6s disable an Al Qaddisiyah-class Iraqi tanker that had been collecting and reporting intelligence data, setting off three explosions, and killing three. A-6s also attacked and sank a Winchester-class hovercraft being re-fueled by the tanker, and a Zhuk patrol boat.
SECDEF Dick Cheney and CJCS General Colin Powell assess first week of Operation DESERT STORM: Objectives are being achieved and campaign has achieved air superiority over Kuwait and Iraq; have destroyed Iraq's two operating nuclear reactors and is neutralizing Iraqi ground radar/air defenses. Air-to-air engagements are no match. Warns Iraq still has significant military capability, may be "hunkering down", expecting range of responses including air strikes, more SCUDs, ground attacks or terrorism. Will continue air campaign as part of overall land, air and sea campaign, with goal to "cut off the Iraqi army and kill it."
5 Iraqi SCUD missiles fired at Saudi Arabia (2 Riyadh, 2 Dhahran, 1 at King Khalid Military Center). U.S. Patriot missiles successfully intercepted four, one fell into gulf waters. No injuries. In second attack, 1 SCUD is intercepted over Israel by U.S./Israeli Patriot missiles. No injuries.
DOD announces 15,000 sorties (8,000 combat, 7,000 support) have been flown and more than 220 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles have been launched at Iraqi targets. Air strikes are directed at SCUD missile launchers, lines of transportation and communication, control sites and airfields.
At Al Quara West airfield, 3 Soviet-built TU-16 Badger heavy bombers were caught on the ground, ready to take off, and destroyed. Coalition has been joined by forces from Qatar and Bahrain. The UK has lost a Tornado. Two crewmembers are missing.
USN A-6s attacked and destroyed an Iraqi Spasilac rninelayer. An A-6 sank an Iraqi Zhuk-class patrolboat and another Iraqi minesweeper hit an Iraqi mine while attempting to evade the A-6 fire. Twenty-two survivors were taken from the sea by a helo from USS CURTS (FFG-38), near the island of Jazirat Qurah. During rescue, helo comes under attack, returned fire from Iraqi forces on the island, killing 3. 29 additional Iraqis subsequently surrendered. 51 enemy prisoners of war were taken into custody by SEAL Platoon from Naval Special Warfare Group One on Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 12 and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 9 helos from USS LEFTWICH (DD-984) and USS NICHOLAS, and the island is reclaimed, the first liberated Kuwaiti territory. Also, A-6s and F/A-18s attacked the Umm Qasr Naval Base, hitting four Iraqi ships. In first air-to-air engagement between Saudi Arabian and Iraqi aircraft, a Royal Saudi F-15 downed 2 Iraqi F-1s (armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles and bombs). USS WORDEN (CG-18) vectored aircraft for shootdown. To-date, 19 Iraqi aircraft have been destroyed in air to-air engagements, with no U.S. or coalition losses.
U.S. ships continue multiple operations including locating and destroying 25 mines to-date in the northern Arabian Gulf. Using Harpoon anti-ship missile, Royal Saudi vessel sinks an Iraqi minelayer in northern Persian Gulf. No survivors reported.
U.S. ground forces continue to be attacked by sporadic Iraqi artillery fire, but no injuries or damage. No direct ground confrontations. Troops continue maneuvering for any possible engagement at Saudi-Kuwaiti border. DOD announces U.S. troop strength has increased to 475,000 (75,000 Navy, 90,000 USMC). Elements of IV and V Marine Expeditionary Brigades, and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked on ships from Amphibious Task Groups Two and Three, are conducting amphibious exercise Operation Sea Soldier IV, the largest amphibious force assembed since the 1950 landing at Inchon, Republic of South Korea.
DOD announces 17,500 sorties have been flown (a record 2,700 today) and 236 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles have been launched. Iraq has lost 43 aircraft, 19 in air-to-air engagements, 24 on the ground.
The U.S. has lost 10 aircraft to ground fire and the coalition has lost 7 aircraft, including 5 UK Tornados hit by anti-aircraft fire flying low-level missions to crater airfields. The total of 17 aircraft losses represents two-tenths of 1 percent of all combat missions flown to-date.
U.S. ships engage an Iraqi vessel laying mines near Sea Island Terminal, setting part of terminal and surrounding water afire. Iraq has dumped several million barrels of oil into the Arabian Gulf from the Sea Island crude oil tanker loading terminal, off the coast of Kuwait. 5 pre-positioned Iraqi tankers in the occupied Kuwaiti port of Mina al Ahmadi have been drained of oil, and oil is being pumped from storage tanks ashore through an underwater pipeline into the gulf. Described by DOD as "an act of environmental terrorism", the spill is approximately 20 miles long, 3 miles wide, and three feet deep, and threatens to foul the intakes of Saudi Arabia's desalinization plants as well as the gulf.
U.S. troop strength in the region has increased to 482,000. To-date, 192,965 National Guard and Reservists have been recalled to active duty (14,702 Navy, 22,142 USMC). Fifteen percent of U.S. servicemembers in the DESERT STORM field of operation are Guard and Reserve.
Iraq fires 3 SCUD missiles at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. U.S. Patriot missiles successfully intercept, but warhead debris kills at least one person, 23 injured. In a second attack, 7 SCUDs impact in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel, killing one person, injuring dozens.
SECNAV activates 298 additional Naval Reservists from 41 units.
DOD announces 20,000 sorties have been flown as the air campaign's focus shifts from strategic interdiction to battlefield preparation, with targeting on military storage facilities, military production facilities, Republican Guard troop fortifications and SCUD launchers.
Bomb damage assessments confirm significant destruction of Iraqi biological/chemical production capability. The Navy has lost an F/A-18 in non-combat operations. The aircrewman ejected over the Persian Gulf and was recovered safely. Total of Iraqi aircraft destroyed in air-to-air engagements climbs to 22 as USAF F-15s down 3 Iraqi MIG-23s.
USN aircraft attack an Iraqi patrol boat in Kuwait harbor. Boat last seen burning. A-6s have engaged and left a TNC-45 patrol boat burning. DOD announces that at least a dozen Iraqi MIG-29s/F-1s and a dozen transport aircraft have landed in an undisclosed location in Iran, a declared neutral country. DOD ascertaining whether Iraqi planes are seeking a safe haven from bombing attacks, whether this is a mass defection or a husbanding of resources for future combat operations.
An estimated 120 million gallons of oil continues to spew into the Persian Gulf from the Sea Island Terminal, and the oil slick -- partly afire from January 25 engagement between USN and Iraqi patrol boat -- is now 31 miles long and 8 miles wide. ASD (PA) Pete Williams denounces deliberate spill as "indiscriminate environmental war" causing catastrophic environmental damage to entire Persian Gulf region, and refutes Iraqi allegation that U.S. or coalition sabotaged facility and caused spill. U.S. is sending a team of U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA and EPA oil pollution and environmental experts to scene to assist Saudi Arabian efforts to contain the spill.
U.S. Marines stage biggest artillery attack of the war, firing a battery of 155mm howitzers at Iraqi troops six miles inside Kuwait.
Three U.S. Marines, members of the First Marine Division, were killed and seven injured when two LAY-25 Light Armored vehicles accidentally collided as the Marines were returning from a raid mission along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. To-date, U.S. non-hostile deaths are 10, 14 are missing, and 3 have been wounded. Hostile deaths remain at 0.
Iraq fires a SCUD missile at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile. In a second attack, three SCUDs are launched at Haifa and one SCUD at Tel Aviv, Israel. All were intercepted by U.S. Patriot missiles. This latest salvo brings to 45 total SCUD launches.
U.S. troop strength has increased to 483,000 in the region.
Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW) to-date: 110, in U.S. facilities awaiting processing to Saudia Arabian EPW camp.
DOD announces that USAF F-111s attacked pipelines feeding the Sea Island Terminal with GBU-15 laser-guided bombs to stem the flow of oil, now 35 miles long and 10 miles wide, into the Persian Gulf, and to ignite oil and burn off pollutants. The attack specifically targeted system of pipes that regulate oil flow from storage tanks to the terminal called manifolds. Oil flow has apparently drastically slowed, and fire should burn out in about 24 hours.
Over 22,000 sorties have been flown, including attacks on 3 SCUD missile launch sites, Republican Guard troop emplacements, bridges, lines of communications and shelters. There have been no U.S. aircraft lost in the past 48 hours.
Four Iraqi MIG-23 aircraft have been destroyed in air-to-air engagements with 2 USAF F-15s near Baghdad. Iraqi aircraft losses in air-to air engagements to-date total 26.
USN A-6s attack and destroy an Iraqi ship, and coalition naval forces con tinue to hunt Iraqi patrol and mine-laying boats in the northern Arabian Gulf and near Bubiyan Island. To-date, 8 Iraqi vessels (1 oil platform service ship, 2 patrol boats, 1 tanker, and 4 unknown) are presumed destroyed, and 10 (4 mining vessels, 1 hovercraft, 3 patrol boats, and 2 unknown) have been sunk. 2 additional mines have been located and destroyed in the northern Arabian Gulf. 39 Iraqi aircraft, including 23 in the past 24 hours, have landed in Iran. Iran announces that to protect its neutrality, any warplanes landing within its borders would be confiscated and held until end of hostilities.
U.S. Patriot missiles intercept 6 Iraqi SCUD missiles aimed at Saudi Arabia and Israel. 51 SCUDs have been launched to-date.
DOD announces more than 24,000 sorties (about 5,000 attack strikes) have been flown as air campaign focuses on Iraqi command and control, counter-air ops, interdiction, airfields, SCUD sites, Republican Guard fortifications, and battlefield preparation.
A Marine AV-8B is downed. The crewman, Captain Michael Berryman, is missing, the 15th U.S. crewman. The status of seven U.S. aircrewmen has been redesignated from Missing to Prisoner of War. The seven include Lieutenant Jeffrey N. Zaun, USN, Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Acree, and Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter, USMC.
DOD announces that a total of 80 Iraqi aircraft have relocated to Iran. Aircraft ferrying is being characterized as "possible defections" as a consequence of air campaign that has achieved air superiority and neutralized Iraqi counterattack. Flight operations have been conducted from only 3 of Iraq's 66 airfields, numbering 30 sorties, 25 to Iran. DOD appraisal is that "Iraq is unable to offer any organized air resistance." Aircraft will be monitored to assure non-return to conflict. Iraqi aircraft relocate from central and northern Iraq, out of range of U.S. and coalition aircraft to intercept, however four were engaged on January 27 and destroyed by U.S. F-15s.
USN A-6s have attacked Iraqi ships at Bubiyan Channel, at the Umm Qasr Naval Base, and in Kuwait harbor.
USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58) diverts the RED SEA ENERGY in the North Red Sea after an inspection team found 160 railroad cars which were inaccessible. The German-flagged freighter, enroute from Greece to Aqaba, Jordan, was diverted to another port. To-date, coalition diversions total 37, 7,020 intercepts and 837 boardings. The U.S. has conducted 490 of these boardings.
USMC and coalition aircraft attack an Iraqi convoy inside Kuwait and destroyed 24 tanks, armored personnel carriers and trucks.
U.S. ground forces continue to receive sporadic artillery fire along the Kuwaiti border, and have engaged in counter-battery artillery missions.
DOD announces oil, estimated to have totalled 460 million gallons, appears to have stopped flowing from the Sea Island Terminal, however, still monitoring.
Iraq launches one SCUD missile at Saudia Arabia. Intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile, south of Riyadh. A second SCUD fired at Tel Aviv, Israel, fell in a West Bank open field without causing injuries.
Over 27,000 sorties have been flown and 256 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles launched as air campaign targeting priorities continue to be command and control, airfields, SCUD locations, lines of communication, Republican Guard areas, and battlefield preparation.
Naval forces are conducting strike operations, surface surveillance, and combat air patrols. A-6s have attacked and destroyed two Iraqi Silkworm missile launchers. Naval aircraft again attacked Iraqi ships and port facilities at Um Qasr Naval Base. F/A-18s destroyed control centers at an oil refinery at Basra. In the first major ground confrontation, Iraq mounts a four- pronged raid across Kuwaiti border.
Near Al Wafra, U.S. and coalition forces engage a mechanized battalion with Cobra gunships and fixed wing aircraft, and repulse the attack, destroying 10 tanks, losing 3 light armored vehicles. North of Ras Al Khafji, at just before midnight, another Iraqi battalion crossed the border, with turned turrets--the international sign of surrender--then, attacked. U.S. AC-130s and Cobra helicopters destroyed 4 tanks, 13 vehicles.
Fighting continued for control of Khafji through the night. Forty more Iraqi tanks crossed the border, and engage U.S. Marine light armored infantry. Attack was repelled, but eleven Marines were killed in action, the first ground combat casualties of the operation. Two Marines were wounded. A total of 33 enemy tanks and 28 APCs were destroyed.
U.S. ground forces continue to receive sporadic artillery fire, engage in small skirmishes with Iraqi troops along the Kuwaiti border, and conducting artillery and counter-battery missions, firing hundreds of rounds and anti-tank missiles on Iraqi outposts in Kuwait.
U.S. Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, deployed from USS OKINAWA (LPH-3), assault and capture Umm al Maradim Island, 12 miles off the coast of Kuwait. Marines plant the Kuwaiti flag, and destroyed anti-aircraft weapons and artillery stored on the 400 meter by-300 meter island. This is the second island reclaimed for the Kuwaiti government by the coalition. Navy helos search Maradim Island investigating reports of Iraqis offering to surrender, and were fired upon by approximately 20 Iraqi small craft with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. Returned fire, sinking 4 boats, damaging 12. A-6s engaged fleeing boats.
80-90 Iraqi aircraft (35% civilian, 65% fighters/bombers) have now flown into Iran.
DOD announces that the fire has been extinguished at the Sea Island Termi nal, and the oil flow from the terminal has stopped. Additionally, the oil slick is breaking up.
DOD announces that over 700,000 coalition air, ground, and naval personnel are present in the theater of operation, and over 110 coalition combatant ships are participating. U.S. troops number over 490,000.
USCENTCOM officially begins first transfer of 36 Iraqi Enemy Prisoners of War to Saudi Arabian control.
To-date, 200,948 National Guard and Reservists have been recalled to active duty (15,093 Navy, 22,141 USMC).
At D + 14, DOD categorically summarizes operational status:
- Targets - 26 leadership targets have been struck with 60 percent severely damaged or destroyed. One third of Iraq's command, control and communications facilities are destroyed or inoperative. Power plants and telecommunications sites have been hit. One fourth of Iraq's electrical generating facilities are inoperative, 50 percent adversely affected. Twenty-nine air defense systems have been hit with more than 800 sorties.
- Air-to-air combat - 29 Iraqi aircraft destroyed with no coalition losses.
- Airfields - Thirty eight of 44 targeted airfields have been bombed in over 1,300 sorties (some multiple strikes). At least nine airfields are inoperative. Over 70 hardened aircraft shelters have been destroyed. Forced Iraqi aircraft to hide in residential areas, moved to roads or flown to Iran. "Everytime an Iraqi airplane takes off the ground, it's running away."
- Bridges - Thirty-three of 36 targeted bridges have been bombed in over 790 sorties. Kuwaiti theater of operations has been isolated by strikes on rail road and highway bridges. Iraq's resupply efforts have been degraded from 20,000 to 2,000 tons daily. Highway traffic severely diminished.
- Strategic Locations - A11 31 targeted nuclear, chemical and biological facilities have been attacked with over 535 sorties (primarily TOMAHAWK cruise missiles and precision-guided missiles). All nuclear fa cilities have been destroyed, including the Baghdad Nuclear Research Center. Over half of biological and chemical facilities have been heavily damaged or destroyed.
- Republican Guards - Elite forces have been target of about 300 air sorties daily. 28 B-52s dropped 470 tons. On 29 January, 21 B-52s dropped 315 tons. 178 trucks confirmed destroyed, and 55 artillery and 52 tanks have been destroyed or damaged in past 36 hours. Also, A-6s, F-16s, and F-15E air strikes are resulting in multiple secondary explo sions in ammo storage revettments. 125 revettments are confirmed destroyed in northern Kuwait, along with armored personnel carriers, missiles and self-propelled artillery tubes.
- Naval operations - Navy has flown over 3,500 sorties from six carriers and have launched over 260 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles. 46 Iraqi naval vessels have been sunk or disabled and 74 enemy prisoners of war have been captured in two engagements. Iraqi naval forces operations severely degraded. Also, maritime interception operations are continuing with over 7,000 intercepts to-date.
- SCUDs - Over 1500 sorties have been flown, destroying all 30 fixed sites and all major Iraqi missile production facilities. Patriot missiles have engaged 33 SCUDs, 33 destroyed.
Saudi Arabian National Guardsmen and Qatari tanks engage a column of Iraqi infantry and tanks in Ras al Khafji. After a protracted battle, Iraqis are forced out of the town with help of U.S. Marine AH-1 Cobra gunships and artillery.
Navy A-6s attack three Iraqi landing craft in the vicinity of Shatt al Arab Channel, leaving 2 ships dead in the water. The other ship fled. A-6 re-attacks a patrol boat in the northern Arabian Gulf. The boat was set ablaze and left burning. A-6s attack patrol boats at a pier at Umm Qasr Naval Base, sinking one, damaging the other. In the vicinity of Bubiyan Island, Navy aircraft engage 4 military vessels, sinking 3 patrol boats and damaging a landing craft. To- date, approximately 60 enemy vessels have either been sunk or damaged.
All 18 F/A-18s aboard USS SARATOGA deliver 100,000 pounds of MK-83 one thousand pound bombs on Iraqi positions in Kuwait, the largest amount of bomb tonnage carried in a single mission.
USS CURTS and USS LEFTWICH rescues 20 enemy prisoners of war from an Iraqi Polnochny amphibious landing craft sunk by USN A-6 and UK Lynx helos in the northern Arabian Gulf. LEFTWICH is also primary CSAR platform in Gulf, locating and recovering downed pilots. LEFTWICH participated in 16 CSAR cases.
DOD announces that over 32,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today) with no losses of U.S. aircraft. Coalition air, ground and naval personnel now exceed 705,000. U.S. troop strength now exceeds one half million. Republican Guard positions have been hit with over 350 tactical fighter strikes and over 10 B-52 strikes. U.S. and coalition tactical aircraft continue to engage tactical armor and infantry positions north of the Ras al Khafji area and along the Kuwaiti Coastal Highway.
Sporadic skirmishes in Ras al Khafji between U.S., Saudi and hold-out Iraqi troops until secured at 1400. Two 6-man U.S. Marine reconnaissance teams who had been trapped in the town directing artillery strikes were recovered. Two U.S. soldiers, one male, one female, were reported missing in Saudi Arabia.
Not related to Khafji battle. Naval combat air patrols, surface surveillance, strike and mine search operations continue.
To-date, 37 mines have been located and destroyed. USS LEFTWICH captures 15 EPWs from Khawar al Amaya oil platform. Iraqi SCUD missile is fired at Israel, falls harmlessly in the West Bank.
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