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Appendix H: Surface Warfare

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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.



27 JAN 91 (D+10)

  • Navy intentions: Seek out and destroy Iraqi naval units.
  • Conducted amphibious assault rehearsal landing in Oman as part of Sea Soldier IV. Maneuvers ashore continue through 2 FEB.

30 JAN 91 (D+13)

  • Navy and Marine forces engaged approx. 20 Iraqi small boats west of Maradin Island. Several boats reported destroyed.

4 FEB 91 (D+ 18)

  • Missouri with Curts, Nicholas and two RSNF escorts are operating near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border.
  • Missouri destroyed a communications bunker with seven16-inch rounds.

5 FEB 91 (D+19)

  • TF-156 completed Sea Soldier IV backload, hot wash up and lessons learned being applied to Desert Saber amphibious assault planning.
  • Missouri will continue NGFS to MARCENT. NAVCENT may rotate Wisconsin into area after Missouri departs.

6 FEB 91 (D+20)

  • Missouri continued NGFS for MARCENT, attacking gun emplacements, a radar control site and a SIGINT site. NAVCENT will rotate Wisconsin into area today.
  • NAVCENT intends to reposition America and seven supporting ships to Gulf of Oman/North Arabian Sea NLT 13 FEB.

7 FEB 91 (D+21)

  • TF-156 is scheduled to commence amphibious training today (through 14 FEB) at Al Hamra, UAE.
  • Missouri (joined by Wisconsin) continued NGFS for MARCENT, hitting targets north of Khafji.

8 FEB 91 (D+22)

  • TF-156 is conducting resupply, maintenance and practice amphibious training today (through 14 FEB) at Al Hamra, UAE.
  • Wisconsin relieved Missouri and continued NGFS for MARCENT, hitting an artillery emplacement north of Khafji.
  • TF-151 will continue full-time NGFS off Kuwait until 9 FEB.
  • Spruance (48 TLAM) transits Suez Canal today enroute NRS replacing Philippine Sea (15 TLAM.)

9 FEB 91 (D+23)

  • An OPORD has been issued by CINCCENT to NAVCENT to prepare for amphibious operations. Establishment of an Amphibious Objective Area (AOA), pre-assault planning, mine countermeasures (MCM), naval gunfire support (NGFS) ordered. AOA recommendations due to CINCCENT by 8 FEB.
  • U.S. Navy SEALS conducted underwater recon of area west of Maradin Island and will recon to confirm SCUD decoys.
  • USS Wisconsin fired NGF in support of USMC near Khafji and fired 24 16-inch rounds on patrol boats in Mina Saud harbor. Boats sunk- (8),


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.

27 FEB 91 (D+41) (G+3)

  • TF-156 executed deceptive amphibious helo operations toward Bubiyan beach.
  • TF-151 continued combined AMCM operations with Royal Navy.

28 FEB 91 (D+42) (G+4)

  • President Bush directed a cessation of offensive operations for USCENTCOM forces effective 280800 in the KTO.
  • NAVCENT tasking as of 280500Z includes: protect the fleet, support CENTCOM tasking, continue mineclearing ops, prepare for logistics over the shore, assess capability of, and time to prepare Ash Shuaybah, Kuwait as operational logistics port.
  • Princeton arriving Jebel Ali for mine damage assessment.
  • Completion of lF-158 offload of 5th MEB elements at Ras Al Mishab now projected for 1 MAR.
  • Avenger discovered Italian Manta bottom influence mine in vicinity of Princeton/Tripoli mine explosions. Mine destroyed. Estimate Iraq had approx.  150 Manta's.

1 MAR 91 (D+43)

  • La. Salle has temporarily replaced Tripoli as AMCM support and C2 platform until arrival of New Orleans.

2 MAR 91 (D+44)

  • TF-156 4th MEB prepared to continue amphib ops and began backload of • 5th MEB units 1 MAR.
  • TF-151 with RN and RSNF continues combined AMCM and ship MCM. Top priority is to sweep a lane into Ash Shaybah.
  • Naval missions: maintain naval superiority, blockade Kuwait coast to prevent small vessels from escaping, continue MCM ops, plan for Faylaka EPW evacuation.

3 MAR 91 (D+45)

  • Naval missions: ops include NAG mine searches, and surface surveillance.
  • TF-156 and lF-158 (afloat MAGTAF) will conduct evacuation of EPW's from Faylaka Island on 3 MAR and reconnaissance of other islands to determine presence of Iraqi forces.

4 MAR 91 (D+46)

  • TF-156 conducted evacuation of 1405 EPW's (one BG, three COL, 86 officers) from Faylaka Island. No resistance.
  • DESERT STORM total 16-inch ordnance fired by Wisconsin and Missouri was 1083, equal to 4322 Mk-82 bombs or 542 A-6 missions.  BDA for 41 missions were classified as "heavy, neutralized, or destroyed" for 68% of targets.
  • MCM ops to clear route to Ash Shuaybah will be completed by 5 MAR.

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.

Published: Tue Dec 13 11:27:19 EST 2016