15 May 1991
From: Chief of Naval Operations
Subj: THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN "DESERT SHIELD" / "DESERT STORM"
Encl: (l) Summary Report
1. This summary of the role of the United States Navy in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was compiled from the reports of operational commanders and supporting commands, and information gathered at headquarters. It provides a ready reference of Navy participation in DESERT SHIELD/STORM with the objective of making accurate, useful information available as quickly as possible.
2. The significance of the Navy's role in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM is clear. Forward deployed naval forces provided protection for early introduction of land-based ground and air assets, and may well have deterred further aggression by Iraq. Maritime superiority and unchallenged control of the sea enabled the safe and timely delivery of equipment, supplies and spare parts necessary to support the allied campaign. Interdiction of Iraqi seaborne trade, an ongoing operation, cut enemy resupply, dampened their will to fight and significantly impacted Iraq's economic health. More than 90% of material to support the campaign was delivered by sealift, and the majority of medical assets in the early months were provided by Navy. The presence of Middle East Force ships deterred Iraqi mine laying in the southern Persian Gulf. Naval aviation complemented allied air operations, added flexibility to the air campaign and deterred reintroduction of Iraqi aircraft from Iran into the conflict. Tomahawk cruise missiles took out heavily defended targets in Iraq and significantly degraded enemy air defenses.
3. The most significant contributor to our decisive victory was our motivated, dedicated, well-trained volunteers. Our people performed superbly, and validated the investments made in them over the past decades. Their courage, commitment and professionalism inspired unprecedented and well-deserved support from the American public and national leadership. Their compassion and generosity in the war's aftermath inspired the world. The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces gave us victory, and America's sailors were a crucial part of that victory. This report documents the contributions of the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States Navy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Role of the Navy
A Short History of the United States Navy in the Persian Gulf
The Role of the Navy in Joint Operations
Flexible Response: The Navy-Marine Team in Action
II. "THE GATHERING STORM"
The Buildup of U.S. Navy Forces
The Buildup of Airpower
The Buildup of Ground Forces
Navy Medical Buildup and Follow-Through
Naval Reserve Support
III. "A COMMON GOAL"
Joint Operations During DESERT SHIELD/STORM
The Maritime Interception Campaign
IV. "BULLETS, BANDAGES AND BEANS"
Sealift Investments of the 1980s
Sealift During DESERT SHIELD/STORM
Maintaining Combat Readiness
Navy Combat Logistics
Navy SEABEES--"Can Do" in Action
V. "THUNDER AND LIGHTNING"
The Air War
The War at Sea
Support for the Troops: The Ground War
The Weapons of War
The Post-War Period
VI. LESSONS LEARNED AND SUMMARY
Areas Not Tested
Old Lessons Revalidated
The Lessons of DESERT SHIELD/STORM
APPENDIX A: CHRONOLOGY
APPENDIX B: PARTICIPATING NAVAL UNITS
APPENDIX C: ALLIED PARTICIPATION AND CONTRIBUTIONS
APPENDIX D: AIRCRAFT SORTIE COUNT
APPENDIX E: AIRCRAFT READINESS RATES
APPENDIX F: AIRCRAFT AND PERSONNEL LOSSES
APPENDIX G: NAVAL GUNFIRE SUPPORT
APPENDIX H: SURFACE WARFARE
APPENDIX I: UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
APPENDIX J: MARITIME INTERCEPTION OPERATIONS
APPENDIX K: SEALIFT
APPENDIX L: AIRLIFT
APPENDIX M: MISCELLANEOUS PERSONNEL DATA
APPENDIX N: NAVAL RESERVE
APPENDIX O: MEDICAL SUPPORT
APPENDIX P: MEDIA POOLS