DESERT STORM U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Operations
This timeline includes selected items of U.S. Navy surface warfare force operations or participation as they appeared in the daily CNO SITREPS from 17 JAN 90 to 4 MAR 91. It is not all-inclusive and generally does not include Maritime Interception Force (MIF) operations or aircraft operations conducted from carriers. It’s [sic] purpose is to portray "what the U.S. Navy surface warfare forces were doing" during the air and ground campaigns. Since it is comprised of initial daily information, inaccuracies may appear that do not reflect the real story after further review of events, correlation of sources and later battle damage assessment (BDA.) Information is as of 0600 local on the listed date. A summary of significant operations conducted by the surface warfare forces is also presented.
17 JAN 91 (D-DAY)
- Operation DESERT STORM commenced at 170000Z with cruise missile launches. USS San Jacinto launched first TLAM.
- Initial assessment has 51 of 52 TLAM's successfully launched.
- USS Spruance and USS Virginia have been placed under CINCCENT OPCON.
18 JAN 91 (D+1)
- Current assessment has 100 of 106 TLAM's successfully launched.
- Combat forces Yankee (TF-155) and Zulu (TF-154) conducted 1LAM strikes on Iraqi targets.
19 JAN 91 (D+2)
- Combat forces Yankee (TF-155) (Red Sea) and Zulu (TF-154) (Persian Gulf) conducted TLAM strikes on Iraqi targets.
- VQ-2 EP-3 tasked to provide I&W to USS Virginia and USS Spruance during evacuation of US Embassy in Beirut. All embassy personnel departed safely, without incident.
20 JAN 91 (D+3)
- Combat forces Yankee (TF-155) and Zulu (TF-154) continued to conduct 1LAM strikes (34) on Iraqi targets.
- Nicholas with AHIPS (Army helo) and Kuwait gunboat attacked enemy personnel on Dorra oil field platforms. Total of 9 platforms neutralized. Up to 23 POW's captured.
- Leyte Gulf entered Arabian Gulf late 19 JAN.
23 JAN 91 (D+6)
- Exercise Sea Soldier IV continues. An amphibious demonstration is scheduled 23 JAN using LCAC and helo's.
24 JAN 91 (D+7)
- Exercise Sea Soldier IV preparation continues. Landings scheduled 22-24 JAN with practice D-Day landings 26 JAN.
- Navy priorities: Seek out/destroy Iraqi naval units. Monitor oil platforms and attack when Iraqi military presence detected.
26 JAN 91 (D+9)
- Navy intentions: Seek out and destroy Iraqi naval units.
- Amphibious rehearsal (Sea Solder IV) continues. D-Day rehearsal landing scheduled for a.m. 26 JAN.
damaged- (5), one pier destroyed. Expended 24 rounds against artillery, command post and infantry.
11 FEB 91 (D+25)
- America BG chopped from TF-155 to TF-154, ETR Hormuz 14 FEB.
12 FEB 91 (D+26)
- Iraq's one remaining OSA PTG is located at Umm Qasr Naval Base. All five TNC-45 and FPB57 Exocet-capable PB's are assessed as destroyed. Missouri returns to fire support area near Al Khafji to support MARCENT ops 12 FEB.
13 FEB 91 (D+27)
- In support of MARCENT, Missouri destroyed command bunker and antenna complex.
- TF-156 and TF-158: Conducted ashore training in UAE including live firing. Making final prep for amphibious landing, if ordered.
- JCS has modified CONUS CV readiness posture, rescinding requirement for 3 additional CV's to be in increased readiness posture.
14 FEB 91 (D+28)
- No enemy naval activity.
- America BG enroute Arabian Gulf, transiting strait [sic] of Hormuz.
- TF-156/158 (amphibs) commenced backload from UAE training area. Wisconsin assumed NGFS in support of MARCENT. Missouri on seven hour tether.
- USN elements conducted recon of Kuwaiti coast using rubber duck insertion. Assisted by MH-53's.
15 FEB 91 (D+29)
- No enemy air or naval activity. Enemy coastal radars have been more active in past two days, suggesting fear of amphibious attack.
- TF-156/158 (amphibs): Faylaka Island raid planning/rehearsal to commence 15 FEB.
- TF-151: Tripoli and mine warfare ships enroute Northern Arabian Gulf for MCM ops in support of possible amphibious ops. NGFS BB's on seven hour tether.
16 FEB 91 (D+30)
- Enemy naval activity further reduced following heavy patrol craft attrition vicinity of Faylaka Island on 13 FEB.
- TF-156 departed training area for ATF Box, preparing for amphibious raid on Faylaka Island, if ordered.
- TF- 151 to commence MCM ops in Faylaka FSA.
17 FEB 91 (D+31)
- TF-156 standing by to execute Faylaka Island raid if ordered.
18 FEB 91 (D+32)
- USS Princeton struck a suspected moored mine in NAG at 180417Z. Three personnel with injuries transferred to HMS Argus. Nodanger [sic] of sinking.
- Survey teams from salvage ship USS Beaufort aboard.
- USS Tripoli struck a mine in NAG at 180135Z. No personnel injuries. Some flooding forward (contained.) No damage above water line. Ship
reports no stability problems and is underway on own power. Survey teams from USS Beaufort aboard.
19 FEB 91 (D+33)
- Damage sustained by USS Princeton indicates detonation of influence type mine as opposed to direct contact mine.
- USS Princeton enroute Jebel Ali, UAE under tow of USS Beaufort.
- USS Tripoli reports fully mission capable with several flooded compartments. She has resumed duty as MCMJNGFS Commander.
20 FEB 91 (D+34)
- Large minefield located on sonar by Adroit. Estimate lane clear for BB to enter Faylaka FSA in two to three days.
- Wisconsin remains within seven hours of MARCENT NGFS area.
21 FEB 91 (D+35)
- More than 40 mines reported detected in NAG by MCM forces in the past 36 hours.
- USS Princeton diverted to Bahrain due to increasing sea state.
22 FEB 91 (D+36)
- Marines flew 20 sorties against targets in the KTO, marking the first time that AV-8 combat air sorties have ever been launched from the deck of an LHA (Nassau.)
- Tripoli damage appears to be more severe than originally estimated. Hole size revised to 20 by 30 feet.
23 FEB 91 (D+37)
- TF-154 (Midway, Ranger, Roosevelt, America) attacked Faylaka Island destroying communication facility, AAA site and bunkers. Attacks included seven AV-8 sorties from Nassau.
24 FEB 91 (D+38) (G-DAY)
- Commenced the ground offensive "G" day 24 FEB, "H'' hour OlOOZ.
- TF-154 (Midway, Ranger, Roosevelt, America) continued attacks on Faylaka Island in preparation for ground offensive.
- Tripoli scheduled to remain on station until 241400Z to crossdeck AMCM helo's and equipment to New Orleans.
25 FEB 91 (D+39) (G+1)
- Missouri sighted missile inbound, while 12 miles off Kuwait City. Possible Silkworm, but no ESM detected. Target engaged and destroyed by two Sea Darts from HMS Gloucester.
- Anticipate Princeton ready for tow to Jebel Ali, UAE today.
- Tripoli enroute Jubayl ETA today, to cross deck AMCM helo's and equipment to New Orleans. Estimate resumption of AMCM ops 4 MAR.
26 FEB 91 (D+40) (G+2)
- Wisconsin and Missouri will conduct dual BB NGFS in NAG today.
- La Salle replaced Tripoli as AMCM support and C2 platform until arrival of New Orleans. Until that time Tripoli's AMCM helo's will stage and sortie from Jubayl.
- CTG 156.2 (CPG3) still offloading 5th MEB at Al Mishab far chop to MARCENT.
A summary of significant surface warfare operations or participation:
1. TLAM strikes on Iraqi targets in the first moments of the war.
2. Successful evacuation of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, no casualties.
3. Nine oil platforms at Dorra neutralized, 23 EPW's taken.
4. Exercise Sea Soldier IV amphibious assault exercise.
5. Approx. 20 Iraqi small boats west of Maradin Island engaged, several sunk.
6. Missouri NGFS destroyed Iraqi communications bunker with seven 16-inch rounds.
7. TF-156 practiced amphibious assault training.
8. Wisconsin joined Missouri provided NGFS north of Khafji.
9. Preparation for amphibious assault operation.
10. SEALs conducted underwater recon in area west of Maradin Island.
11. Wisconsin conducted NGFS for Marines near Khafji, sunk small boats, damaged a pier, and hit bunkers and communication facilities.
12. Missouri returned to provide NGFS near Khafji, hit command bunker and antenna complex.
13. U.S. Navy elements conducted recon of Kuwaiti coast using rubber duck insertion.
14. TF-156/158 practiced assault of Faylaka Island.
15. TF-151 mine warfare ships in northern Arabian Gulf for MCM operations.
16. Princeton and Tripoli struck mines.
17. Adroit located large minefield, cleared path for battleships to attack Faylaka Is.
18. First ever combat AV-8 sorties launched from an LPH (Nassau.)
19. Faylaka Island attacked.
20. CTG 156.2 offloaded 5th MEB at Al Mishab for chop to MARCENT.
21. TF-156 conducted deceptive amphibious helo assault toward Bubiyan Beach.
22. TF-151 conducted combined MCM operations with the Royal Navy.
23. Avenger discovered Italian-made bottom influence mine.
24. Blockaded Kuwaiti coast to prevent escape of Iraqi small boats.
25. Conducted massive MCM operation to clear a path into Ash Shaybah.
26. Evacuated over 1400 EPW's from Faylaka Island.
27. Conducted reconnaissance of other islands searching for Iraqi troops.