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February 1991

1 Feb
DOD announces that over 34,000 sorties have been flown (2,500 today), with 19 tactical air strikes and 5 B-52 strikes totalling 600 sorties on Republican Guard fortifications along the Saudi Arabian-Kuwaiti border. 300 sorties targeted Iraqi armor and infantry postions along the border. Also, 278 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles launched to-date.

DOD reports the destruction of another SCUD missile site. 31 January launch toward Israel was observed by 2 U.S. aircraft, and attacked site, destroying launcher, 2 trailers and 7 support vehicles.

Naval air strike operations resumed at the Uum Qasr Naval Base. At the Min al Bakir oil terminal, an A-6 attacked a patrol boat, leaving it burning.

Helos picked up an additional 15 enemy prisoners of war from the Cor al Amiya oil terminal who were apparently survivors from Iraqi naval vessels engaged over the past 48 hours.

Navy helos involved in EPW operation reported no oil coming from or in vicinity of oil terminal or Min al Bakir platform. Oil slick appears to be broken up, 4 miles long and 1 mile wide.

Iraqi troop and armor border movements are being observed, but not considered a "massive troop buildup" or major offensive. Iraqi tanks have fired on an observation post along the border. Five tanks fled under fire from U.S. artillery.

DOD reports over 500 enemy prisoners of war have been captured after the siege at Ras al Khafji.

SECNAV activates 504 additional Naval Reservists from 51 units.

2 Feb
DOD announces 37,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today), focused on targeting Republican Guard positions, strategic targets and targets of opportunity.

A USN A-6 with two crewmembers, LCDR Barry Cooke, LT Patrick Connor, from the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT's Attack Squadron 36 and a USAF A-10 with 1 crewman has been shot down by anti aircraft fire. The three crewmembers are listed as missing.

U.S. naval operations continue with an attack on the A1 Kalia naval facility. One Iraqi Exocet-capable patrol boat was directly hit with two laser guided bombs, while a second aircraft launched a string of 12 500 pound bombs across a second patrol boat which also went into a building on the pier generating several secondary explosions.

Helos from the USS NICHOLAS engaged four Iraqi patrol boats near the Myerdam Island, destroying one, damaging two. Also, A-6s scored a direct hit with two laser-guided bombs on a patrol boat in the Kuwait City harbor. 35 Iragi naval craft have been sunk or damaged to date.

Senior commanders now conclude that with the destruction of all Iraqi patrol craft capable of delivering missiles. Iraqi naval forces are considered to be combat ineffective.

USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-5) diverts 2 freighters in North Red Sea, USS HALYBURTON (FFG-40) assists with one diversion. USS BIDDLE (CG-34) diverts one freighter in the North Red Sea. 2 SCUD missiles are fired at Tel Aviv, Israel. One landed in Jordan, the other in the West Bank. No injuries, minimal damage. One SCUD was intercepted over Riyadh, S.A. by a U.S. Patriot missile. Falling debris injured 29 people.

DOD announces that one Marine has been killed and two wounded when their convoy which was returning from an artillery operation was hit by cluster bomb munitions apparently by "friendly fire."

3 Feb
DOD announces that over 41,000 sorties have been flown (2,500 today), 480 solely against Republican Guard fortifications, in addition to airfields and hardened aircraft shelters. The latter targeting has resulted in the destruction of 68 additional Iraqi aircraft. Also, 25-35 major bridges have been destroyed or damaged resulting in continuing resupply interdiction.

The Navy's battleship USS MISSOURI (BB-63) fired eight 1.25-ton shells from its 16-inch guns at prefabricated concrete command and control bunkers Iraq was moving into Kuwait, destroying the bunkers. The barrage, totalling 18,000 pounds of high explosives, marked the first combat firing of the MISSOURI's 16-inch guns since the Korean War, and was in support of Marines and coalition ground forces. This also marked the first use of a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) for gun fire spotting in a hostile environment.

Using its mine-avoidance sonar, USS CURTS, then, USS NICHOLAS escorted the battleship through unlighted navigational hazards steadily north in the Arabian Gulf to gain maximum tactical advantage. Mine explodes near USS NICHOLAS, shrapnel causes light damage.

DOD announces that evidence concludes that a U.S. aircraft accidently hit a Light Armored Vehicle killing 7 Marines during the January 29 battle at Khafji. This "friendly fire" accident is ascribed to the misidentifica tion of the USMC vehicle and its close proximity to comparably configured Iraqi armored vehicles during "very intense, very close" combat. The four other Marine KIAs, in another LAV, are believed to have been hit by Iraqi fire.

U.S. has lost three additional aircraft in non-combat operations, a USMC AH-1J Cobra, a USMC UH-1 Huey hero, and a USAF B-52. The two crewmen of the AH-1J, Major Eugene McCarthy and Captain Jonathan Edwards, which crashed in Saudi Arabia while returning from an armed combat escort mission on 2 February, are listed as killed in action. The 4 crewmembers of the Huey, Captain David Herr, Captain James Thorp, Corporal Albert Haddad, and Corporal Kurt Benz, are listed as killed in action. Three crewmen of the B-52, which crashed in the Indian Ocean while returning from a combat mission, have been recovered by Naval Reservists of Helicopter Squadron 75, while three other crewmen are missing.

No hostile naval activity, reconfirming Iraqi naval capability has been neutralized.

4 Feb
DOD announces that over 44,000 sorties have been flown -- "that's approximately one bombing sortie for every minute of the DESERT STORM operation" -- (2,700 today), including 250 sorties and six B-52 strikes on Republican Guard troop positions. U.S. aircraft also hit targets of opportunity, including a USMC AV-8B attack with Rockeye anti-tank bombs that destroyed or damaged 25 Iraqi tanks, and a strike on a truck convoy detected moving at about 0400. There has been no hostile activity by Iraq's naval forces.

5 Feb
DOD announces that to-date, over 47,000 sorties have been flown (2,800 today) and 284 TOMAHAWK cruise missiles launched with targeting focused on Republican Guard emplacement (400 sorties, six B-52 strikes) and logistics interdiction.

USS MISSOURI destroys Iraqi artillery emplacement. Navy A-6s attacked Silkworm anti-ship missile sites at Uum Qasabah. Hits on two launchers and several control and support vehicles were con firmed.

USMC AV-8Bs bombed and strafed a 25-truck convoy, causing multiple secondary explosions. Strikes have also hit resupply convoys backed up attempting to cross bombed-out bridges between Baghdad and Basra.

A Navy F/A-18 is downed. The pilot, LT Robert Dwyer of the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT's Carrier Airwing 8, is missing.

There has been no hostile activity by Iraq's air or naval forces. Iraqi ground troops continue limited probing/reconnaissance actions with some small arms fire and sporadic artillery fire. Enemy prisoners of war to-date total about 817.

Voluntary/involuntary recall to active duty of retired Marines announced. To-date, 211,146 National Guard and Reservists have been recalled to active duty (15,376 Navy, 22,634 USMC).

6 Feb
At D + 21, DOD announces that over 49,000 sorties have been flown (2,500 today), with A-6s, F-15s. F-16s and B-52s targeting Republican Guard fortfications every three hours around the clock. 650 sorties have also hit convoys and assembly areas to isolate Iraqi troops and shape the Kuwait Theater of Operations for any future engagements. Bridges, roads and railroads are being targeted and retargeted to interdict troop resupply. 42 bridges have been destroyed or exten sively damaged, 70% of Iraqi supply lines have been cut.

USS MISSOURI has destroyed 4 artillery emplacements and a command bunker with another 16-inch gun barrage in support of Marines. In a second salvo, the MISSOURI fired 28 16-inch rounds against a radar control site complex, completely destroying it. 5-inch batteries also engaged. MISSOURI has fired a total of 112 16-inch shells and 12 five-inch rounds in 8 fire support missions over 48 hours.

Within two hours of relieving its sister battleship, USS WISCONSIN (BB 64) conducted its first naval gunffre support mission since the Korean War, firing an 11-round salvo with its 16-inch guns and destroying an Iraqi artillery battery in southern Kuwait. Secondary explo sions reported. USS NICHOLAS escorted the battleship. USMC OV-10 called in the fire mission.

Two patrolling F-15s intercepted 4 Iraqi fighters transiting to Iran 100 feet above-ground, and shot down 2 SU-25s and 2 MIG-21s. Three other Iraqi fighters crossed into Iranian airspace before furhter engagement. 134 Iraqi prances (109 fighters, 25 transports) have flown to Iran.

Navy and Marine Corps aircraft have flown over 11,000 combat during OPERATION DESERT STORM. USS GERMANTOWN (LSD-42) and 30 other amphibious ships arrive in the Arabian Gulf with 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade embarked.

USS GERMANTOWN also embarked four air cushion landing craft (LCAC) for combat operations ashore, a first in Navy history. Naval maritime intercept operations continue with over 7,100 merchants challenged, over 860 ships boarded, and 40 diverted.

Marines and other troops continue ground maneuvers, and there have been numerous Iraqi reconnaissance probes. Contact has been minimal.

To-date, there have been 35 U.S. fatalities: 12 KIA, 23 Non-Combat Fatali ties; 11 WIA; 24 MIA (6 Navy, 1 USMC); 2 Missing; 8 POW (2 Navy, 2 USMC). U.S. troop strength is approximately 503,000, other coalition forces exceed 205,000.

32 nations have forces in place supporting OPERATION DESERT STORM (Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United King dom, United States).

The U.S. has lost 23 aircraft (15 fixed-wing in combat, 3 fixed-wing in non combat mishaps, 5 helicopters lost in non-combat). Coalition has lost 9 aircraft. 33 Iraqi aircraft and 3 helos have been shot down in air- to air engagements with no U.S. losses. 

7 Feb 
DOD announces that 52,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today). Objective continues to be interdiction of Iraqi resupply, with over 600 sorties targeting bridges, highways, and railroad lines. Other air-to ground targets are hit including Republican Guard and other Iraqi forces, command and control facilities and communication lines.

Two USN F-14s of USS RANGER's Fighter Squadron One downed a MI- 8 helo with an AIM-9M Sidewinder missile, a combat first.

USN A-6s attacked and heavily damaged 2 Iraqi patrol boats in the northern gulf near the A1 Faw peninsula. Using Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) for spotting,

USS WISCONSIN pounded Iraqi artillery, electronic warfare and naval sites with its 16 inch guns. 50 rounds sunk or severely damaged 15 boats, destroyed piers at Khawr al-Mufattah Marina. 19 rounds also fired at artillery and missile sites.

USS BIDDLE (CG-34) diverts freighter in North Red Sea.

Two F-15s intercepted 3 Iraqi SU-22s transiting to Iran, all were shot down. An A-10 downed a BO-15 helo. Iraq fires a SCUD missile at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Intercepted and destroyed by U.S. Patriot missile. No injuries or damage.

SECDEF Dick Cheney and CJCS General Colin Powell depart to Saudi Arabia for military assessment of OPERATION DESERT STORM.

SECNAV activates 528 additional Naval Reservists from 57 units.

8 Feb
DOD announces that over 55,000 sorties have been flown (2,500+ today) continuing to interdict and isolate the Kuwaiti Theater of Operations by targeting and retargeting 42 major bridges (9 attacked overnight) and SCUD launch sites. 600 sorties on planned targets and targets of opportunity (small convoys, armored vehicles). 600 tanks destroyed to-date. 150 sorties targeted around-the-clock on Republican Guard positions ("they're in their bunkers hiding").

USS WISCONSIN attacked a dozen Iraqi artillery emplacements with 36 rounds of its 16-inch guns in support of a Marine reconnaissance probe into occupied Kuwait. Using its remotely pilot vehicle to visually relay pictures and gun-firing coordinates of targets, the battleships's harassment and interdiction mission was designed to pin down and confuse Iraqi gunners during the Marine attack.

Off Khafji, Saudi Arabia, WISCONSIN also blasted bunkers, troops and artillery sites.

A-6s attacked and neutralized an Iraqi training frigate collocated with a TMC-45 class patrol boar (Exocet-capable craft) at Cor A1 Zubayr.

One SCUD missile is fired at Tel Aviv, Israel. Intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile. Debris caused several injuries.

13 additional Iraqi aircraft transit to Iran. Total to-date, 147 (121 fighters). Sporadic artillery fire from counter-batteries along border continues. Enemy prisoners of war total climbs to 943 (50 + officers) with surrender of 7 Iraqi soldiers.

To-date, 214,979 National Guard and Reservists have been recalled to active duty (15,667 Navy, 22,634 USMC).

9 Feb
DOD announces that 57,000 sorties have been flown (2,400+ today) interdicting communication lines and striking planned and on-call tactical targets throughout the KTO.

An A-6 attacked a Zouk patrol boat near Faylaka Island with a Rockeye missile, inflicting substantial damage. Naval aircraft also attacked a Silkworm site destroying three launchers and a control van with a direct hit.

A Marine AV-8B is downed. The pilot, Captain Russell Sanborn, is missing.

Bomb damage assessment confirms that 750+ tanks, 650+ artillery and 600 armored personnel carriers have been destroyed.

USS WISCONSIN continues its naval gunfire missions, responding to calls for fire from U.S. and coalition forces.

USS MISSOURI is simultaneously on patrol in the Arabian Gulf supporting Marines and coalition forces.

USS THOMAS C. HART (FF-1092) diverts a freighter in the North Red Sea.

Iraqi troops continue border probes and exchanging sporadic artillery fire with Marines and coalition ground forces.

South Korea is the 33rd coalition partner with forces in place supporting OPERATION DESERT STORM.

10 Feb
SECDEF Dick Cheney and CJCS General Colin Powell arrive back in Washington after conferring with U.S. and coalition commanders.

DOD announces that 59,000 sorties have been flown (2,800 today) with continued focus on the Republican Guards, battlefield preparation, resupply interdiction and strategic strikes in the KTO.

Naval operations, including mine countermeasures and maritime interceptions, continue.

A-6s attacked two unidentified patrol boats in the northern Arabian Gulf, destroying both. Also, restrikes were made on the Uum Qasr Naval Base. 42 additional enemy prisoners of war surrendered to U.S. forces.

11 Feb
DOD announces that 62,000 sorties have been flown (2,900 today) continuing to focus on the Republican Guards (200+ sorties), battlefield preparation, strategic targets and interdicting troop resupply.

Naval operations, including mine countermeasures and maritime intercep tions, continue. One mine is located and destroyed. A B-52 strike along the border caused significant secondary explosions.

No major ground activity, only scattered border skirmishes. U.S. forces continue training exercises, redeployments. Iraq fires SCUD missile at Saudi Arabia. Intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile.

Two SCUDs are fired at Israel. One fell harmlessly in an unpopulated area after being intercepted by U.S. Patriot missile. The second fell into a residential area, injuring 30 people and destroying several homes.

Enemy prisoners of war count rises to 1,000+ with surrender of 75 Iraqi troops.

A 300-member contigent of Afghan Mujahedeen fighters becomes the 34th coalition partner supporting OPERATION DESERT STORM.

12 Feb
DOD announces that 65,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today). The continuing air campaign is focusing on Republican Guard suppression (225 sorties, 6 B-52 strikes), supply interdiction and battlefield prepa ration (675 sorties).

USS MISSOURI, USMC aircraft/artillery, and Saudi artillery mounted a combined arms attack on multiple fixed-position targets (Iraqi troops, artillery, a hardened command bunker and tanks) in southern Kuwait. The battleship expended 60 rounds in 9 naval gunfire support mis sions. 6 additional Iraqis surrendered.

DOD confirms for the first time that Iraqi personnel are executing would-be Iraqi deserters.

13 Feb
At D + 28, DOD announces that the 24-hour air campaign continues with 67,000 sorties flown (2,800 today) focusing on battlefield preparation (700+ sorties), the Republican Guards (200 sorties), counter- SCUD strikes (170 sorties), and restrikes on selected strategic targets (missile propellant plants, storage facitlities, air fields, and command and control facilities).

Navy and Marine Corps aircraft have flown over 15,000 combat sorties during OPERATION DESERT STORM.

USS AMERICA (CV-66) Carrier Battle Group transits Strait of Hormuz enroute Arabian Gulf redeployment.

U.S. aircraft fire 2 laser-guided bombs on a Baghdad target in the residential al-Amerieh district, labeled a camouflaged fortified command and control bunker ("a legitimate military target") by DOD. Iraq claims site was a bomb shelter inhabited by civilians, claims hundreds were killed during the 0400 (local time) strike.

Naval aircraft destroyed an Exocet missile-capable Frelon helicopter on the ground.

U.S. aircraft destroy 4 Iraqi transport aircraft on the ground.

Navy aircraft are assisting in the Arabian Gulf oil clean-up by providing information on the extent and movement of the spill.

Air campaign in Kuwait is complicated by smoke from over 50 oil field fires, mainly in Al-Wafra area. DOD suspects Iraq is placing charges on many wells to cloud battlefield and mask troop movements.

Marines again exchange sporadic border fire, continue patrols and counter reconnaissance deployments.

To-date, there have been 40 U.S. fatalities: 12 KIA, 28 Non-Combat Fatalities; 10 WIA; 26 MIA (7 Navy, 2 USMC); 2 Missing; 8 POW. U.S. troop strength is over 510,000 (80,000+ Navy, 90,000+ USMC), other coalition forces exceed 205,000. U.S. has lost 28 aircraft (18 fixed-wing in combat, 3 fixed-wing in non-combat mishaps, 7 helicopters lost in non-combat). Coalition has lost 10 aircraft. 40 Iraqi aircraft and 4 helos have been shot down in air-to air engagements with no U.S. losses. 136 Iraqi aircraft f lown to Iran.

DOD announces 1,300 Iraqi tanks, 800 armored vehicles and 1,100 artillery pieces have been destroyed in verified bomb dfamage assessments (approximately one-third of the initial Iraqi inventory of 4,280 tanks, 1,870 APCs and 3,110 artillery pieces). Also, 25 Iraqi naval craft have been sunk or damaged, and 66 mines destroyed. 

14 Feb 
DOD announces that 70,000 sorties have been flown (2,800 today). Air campaign objectives remain unchanged with 24-hour focus on Repub lican Guards (200 sorties) and strikes in the KTO (800 sorties). USN A-6s attacked and sank an Iraqi Osa patrol boat in Kuwait City Bay.

Naval forces continue mine countermeasures and maritime intercep tion operations. U.S. aircraft destroy 2 SCUDs/equipment. USS AMERICA Carrier Battle Group arrives in Arabian Gulf. DOD states Iraq's "military situation is precarious."

A USAF EF-lllA crashed in Saudi Arabia. Both crewmembers were killed. This is the 19th U.S. aircraft lost in combat.

2 SCUD missiles broke up in flight over Hafr al-Basin, Saudi Arabia, showering debris on buildings, causing damage and several injuries.

15 Feb
Baghdad Radio broadcasts Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council statement that Iraq is ready for negotiations "based on U.N. Security Council resolution 660 of 1990 to achieve a solution to the Gulf crisis, including its withdrawal from Kuwait. The willingness on the part of the RCC should be regarded as a guarantee from Iraq and coupled with an immediate and comprehensive cessation of all land, air and sea military operations." President Bush announces that after initial happiness at the Iraq offer, "regrettably, the Iraq statement now appears to be a cruel hoax. Not only was the Iraq statement full of unacceptable old conditions, but Saddam Hussein has added several new conditions." The President reiterated, "They must withdraw without condition, there must be full implementation of all the Security Council resolutions, and there will be no linkage to the other problems in the area, and the legitimate rulers of Kuwait must be returned to Kuwait." President Bush stated the coalition will not end its military campaign, "until a massive withdrawal begins, with those Iraqi troops visibly leaving Kuwait."

DOD announces that 73,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today). Objectives remain destruction of the Republican Guards (100 sorties), strategic targets in the KTO (800 sorties), restrikes, and counter-SCUD strikes (150 sorties). DOD also announces military operations will continue until notified by higher authority of a cease fire.

Naval forces continue to support the air campaign with mine countermea sures and maritime interception operations. The Navy has lost an additional aircraft.

An A-6 sustained major damage while returning from a combat mission. The crew was recovered. An F-15 on a counter-SCUD mission shot down a hovering Iraqi helo with a laser-guided bomb. This is the 41st Iraqi aircraft downed in air-to- air engagements. USMC and coalition ground forces continue patrols and deployments.

DOD assesses Iraqi troops in the KTO as "immobile", "hunkering down", and "confused" as a result of air campaign. Eight additional Iraqis surrendered to U.S. forces. DOD reports 60% of EPWs have surrendered willingly. Would-be defectors may be hindered by such obstacles as minefields, execution squads and retaliations against families in Iraq. SCUD missile fired at Saudi Arabia, breaks up in flight, impacts with no injuries.

65th SCUD fired.

SECNAV activates 993 additional Naval Reservists from 87 units.

16 Feb
DOD announces that 76,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today) as air campaign continues battlefield preparation in the KTO (700 sorties), destruction of Republican Guards, and strikes and restrikes. Naval forces continue to support air campaign with mine countermeasures and maritime interception operations.

USMC and coalition ground forces continue to reposition to confuse Iraqi reconnaissance and exchange artillery and counter-artillery fire. The U.S. has lost three additional aircraft.

Two A-10s crashed during combat missions, both pilots are missing. An F-16 crashed in a non combat mishap. The pilot was killed.

Two SCUD missiles were fired at Israel, both landed harmlessly.

17 Feb
DOD announces that 78,000 sorties have been flown (2,600 today) with air campaign objectives continuing to focus on battlefield preparation in the KTO (800 sorties), destruction of the Republican Guards (100 sorties), and resupply interdiction.

Naval forces continue supporting the air campaign conducting air strikes, fighter cover, on-call combat search and rescue, mine countermea sures and maritime interception operations.

There have been seven significant engagements along the Kuwait and Iraq border involving USMC and coalition ground forces. In one incident, a U.S. Apache AH-64 mistakenly hit a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and an M-113 armored personnel carrier with a Hellfire missile causing 2 U.S. deaths and 6 injuries.

18 Feb
DOD announces that 80,000 sorties have been flown (2,400 today) with the focus remaining on battlefield preparation in the KTO (870), 100 sorties against the Republican Guards, and strikes and restrikes on strategic targets.

Within three hours and ten nautical miles, USS TRIPOLI (LPH-10) and USS PRINCETON (CG-59) struck mines while conducting operations in the northern Arabian Gulf. USS TRIPOLI, the flagship in one of the most extensive mine-sweeping operations since the Korean War, sustained a 16 x 20 foot hole in forward starboard side below the waterline. Explosion caused minor flooding to six auxiliary spaces, minimized by damage control procedures. Four crewmembers were injured, and the amphibious assault ship remained fully mission capable. USS PRINCETON, underway on half power, sustained damage including a crack in her superstructure. Three crewmen were injured, one seriously, and an EOD team is enroute to assess the mission capability of the Aegis cruiser. Naval forces continue maritime interception and mine countermeasures operations.

EOD team from USS MISSOURI destroys tenth mine.

USMC Cobra helos teamed up with Saudi, Kuwaiti, and USMC observers and engaged six Iraqi armored personnel carriers. Two were destroyed, the other four returned north.

19 Feb 
DOD announces that 83,000 sorties have been flown (2,800 today) continuing the execution of air campaign objectives. 870 sorties have been flown in the KTO, 100 sorties against the Republican Glard, and 130 sorties against SCUD sites.

A Navy A-6 attacked and destroyed five aircraft hidden in revetments in western Iraq. Other naval forces continued to support the air campaign and conduct maritime interceptions and mine countermeasures.

A minefield containing an estimated 22 mines was discovered and cordoned off in the northern Arabian Gulf. To-date, 153 mines discovered. USS BEAUFORT (ATS-2), and Naval Reserve minesweeper escort USS ADROIT (MSO 509) maneuvered through an uncharted mine field to reach USS PRINCETON.

USS TRIPOLI is operating fully mission-capable in the northern Arabian Gulf with damage control efforts stemming minor flooding. USS PRINCETON has a cracked superstructure, a jammed port rudder and leaking port shaft seal. With USS ADROIT at the point marking mines, ship is proceeding to port, towed by USS BEAUFORT, for detailed inspection. DOD says USS TRIPOLI hit a moored or floating mine, USS PRINCETON hit 2 influence mines.

USMC and coalition ground forces engage Iraqis in border skirmishes, probes and reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance deployments. Marines exchange artillery fire with Iraqis, no casualties.

DOD states for the first time that U.S. ground forces "are now ready to go to combat if the leadership decides that's what they want to do"; asserts that ground troops will face a seriously-attrited although still- capable Iraqi force which "will be defeated in short order if we initiate a ground campaign."

DOD announces that 578 Iraqis have surrendered and are in Turkey's custody. Combined with 1,493 in Saudi Arabian custody, enemy prisoners of war to-date total 2,071.

Citing photographs and imagery evidence, DOD accuses Iraq of faking damage at the Al Basrah Mosque to make it appear that U.S. bombs damaged the religious site. Iraqi SCUD missile is fired at Israel, impacts with no injuries. 68th SCUD launched to-date. 

20 Feb 
At D + 35, DOD announces that 86,000 sorties have been flown (2,900 today), striking and restriking strategic targets, interdicting resupply, battlefield preparation (900 sorties in the KTO), destruction of Republican Guards (100 sorties), and counter-SCUD strikes (100 sorties). Naval forces conduct air strikes and continue mine counter measures, maritime intercepts, and naval gunfire assignments.

USS AMERICA's Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 32 becomes first S-3 squadron ever to engage and destroy a hostile vessel, an Iraqi gunboat hit by three 500-pound bombs. USS VALLEY FORGE (CG-50) vectored S-3 to target.

Significant increase in contacts between U.S. forces including Marines and Iraqi troops. A U.S. combined arms team engaged Iraqi infantry, tanks and artillery along the border. One U.S. servicemember was killed, seven wounded. In one day-long engagement 10 kilometers above the border, U.S. artillery and tactical aircraft attacked 300 vehicles in revested positions, destroying 28 tanks and 28 vehicles.

Three additional U.S. aircraft have been lost. An Army helo crashed during combat, killing both pilots. A USMC CH-46 helo and an F-16 were non-combat losses. No Iragi aircraft have flown in ten days.

To-date, there have been 55 U.S. fatalities: 17 KLA, 38 Non-Combat Fatalities; 25 WIA; 27 MLA (7 Navy, 2 USMC); 2 Missing; 9 POW (2 Navy, 2 USMC). U.S. troop strength is over 527,000 (82,000+ Navy, 94,000 USMC), other coalition forces exceed 205,000.

To-date, 219,858 National Guard and Reservists have been called to active duty (17,198 Navy, 28,359 USMC). U.S. has lost 36 aircraft (28 fixed wing in combat, 5 fixed wing in non- combat mishaps, 8 helicopters lost in non-combat). Coalition has lost 11 aircraft. 42 Iraqi aircraft and 6 helos have been shot down in air-toair engagements with no U.S. losses. 137 Iraqi aircraft flown to Iran. 

21 Feb 
Iraq accepts Soviet-brokered eight-point peace proposal. U.S. expresses "serious" reservations.

DOD announces that 88,000 sorties have been flown (2,400 today) with air campaign focus on battlefield preparation in the KTO (800+ sorties), destruction of the Republican Guards (100 sorties3, interdiction of communication lines, and strikes and restrikes on strategic targets. Naval forces conduct air strikes and combat operations including mine countermeasures and maritime intercepts.

USS SPRUANCE (DD963) diverts a freighter in the North Red Sea.

Marine Attack Squadron-331 AV-8Bs conducted first of 243 sorties off the night deck of the USS NASSAU (LHA-4). This is the first time in history that USMC AV-8Bs have conducted combat missions from a Landing Helicopter Assault ship. 256 tons of ordnance on targets. Two Navy aircraft have been lost in non-combat mishaps. A SH-60 hero's engine failed taking off from USS HALYBURTON (FFG-40), made emergency water landing. 3 crewmen rescued, helo lost. CH-46 helo from USS SEA'l l'LE (AOE-3) crashed in the North Red Sea. 3 crewmen rescued, another is missing.

Firing 50 rounds from off Khafji, USS WISCONSIN destroys command complex. RPVs spotted targets and provided coastline reconnaissance.

Throughout the border region, a continued increase in engagements, reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance probes between U.S. forces, including Marines, and Iraqi troops involving artillery, attack helos, and tactical air strikes.

A USMC unit exchanged small arms and stagger missile fire with Iraqi troops.

4 SCUD missiles impacted harmlessly in King Khalid Military City, and coastal Saudi Arabia. 72 SCUDs fired to-date.

DOD has authorized awarding of National Defense Service Medal to all U.S. service personnel on active duty after 2 August 1990 in special recognition of "outstanding performance during OPERATIONs DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM."

22 Feb 
After consultations with coalition partners, President Bush rejects Iraqi peace plan, declares ground campaign will not be initiated if, before 1200 (EST) on 23 February, Iraq publicly agrees to: begin large-scale immediate withdrawal; complete withdrawal within one week; within 48 hours, leave Kuwait City and allow prompt return of the legitimate government of Kuwait; withdraw from all prepared defenses along the Saudi-Kuwait and Saudi-Iraq borders, from Bublyan and Warbah Islands, and from Kuwait's Rumaila oil fields; return troops to Iraqi positions of 1 August 1990; cooperate with International Red Cross and release all POWs and 3rd country civilian prisoners and remains of servicemen within 48 hours; remove all explosives or booby traps and provide data on location and nature of any land or sea mines; cease all combat air fire, aircraft tlights over Iraq and Kuwait except for transport aircraft carrying troops out of Kuwait; cease all destructive action against Kuwaiti citizens and properb, and release all Kuwaiti detainees. U.S. and coalition agrees not to attack retreating Iraqi forces and will exercise restraint as long as withdrawal proceeds within these guidelines.- Any breach of these terms will bring an instant and sharp response from coalition in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 678.

DOD announces that 91,000+ sorties have been flown (2,700+ today) refocusing on battlefield preparation in the KTO (1,000 sorties), destruction of the Republican Guards (100 sorties), strike and restrike of selected strategic targets, and counter-SCUD (100 sorties).

To-date, USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) has launched nearly 80 direct bombing/missile strike missions with over 800 sorties in direct attacks. Naval forces are conducting strike operations, surface surveillance, combat air patrols, mine countermeasures and maritime intercept operations.

One Marine has been killed and seven wounded by Iraqi artillery fire during three separate border engagements. Marines destroyed 18 Iraqi tanks, 15 vehicles, and captured 87 enemy prisoners of war. 1st Marine Division task forces secretly move 10 miles into Kuwait.

Ground forces are continuing an aggressive and active recon patrolling along and throughout the border area. Marines are also dropping napalm in oil-filled Iraqi trenches to ignite oil, clear a path for assault forces.

An estimated one hundred oil wells have been destroyed in Kuwait. along with oil tanks, export terminals and other installations. President Bush states Iraq has "launched a scorched-earth policy destroying the entire oil production system of Kuwait." DOD states oil wells were rigged with explosives and "systematically and deliberately destroyed". A-37 

23 Feb 
DOD announces that 94,000 sorties have been flown (2,900 today) re-focusing on battlefield preparation in the KTO (1,200 sorties), destruction of the Republican Guard (100 sorties), attacks and re-attacks on selected strategic targets, counter-SCUD (300 sorties), and interdiction of communications.

Naval forces are conducting combat air patrols, naval gunf~re support, mine countermeasures and maritime intercept operations.

USS MISSOURI destroyed targets on Favlaka Island. off the coast of Kuwait City. Ground forces continue to engage Iraqi forces with artillery, attack helos and tactical aircraft throughout the border area.

A Marine patrol engaged 12 Iraqi tanks, destroying four with TOW missile fire. Other tanks fled, were engaged by air and artillery fire. Marines captured 143 enemy prisoners of war. 2100+ EPWs captured to-date.

DOD announces that 1,685 Iraqi tanks (39% of known inventory), 925 armored vehicles (32% of known inventory) and 1,450 artillery pieces (48% of known inventory) have been destroyed to-date. 200 of Kuwait's 950 oilwells are burning creating thick smoke, and wellheads, oil facilities and shipping terminals are being destroyed by Iraq.

DOD reports as many as 10,000 Kuwaitis are being rounded up and summarily executed. Other atrocities are reported including systematic murders of previously-tortured Kuwaitis.

1 SCUD missile is fired at Saudi Arabia, broke up in flight. A second SCUD was intercepted by U.S. Patriot missiles over Israel. Iraq does not comply with deadline (1200 EST) to meet coalition demands. Iraq announced "We will never surrender. A lot of Americans will die."

At 2000 (EST), President Bush announced he's directed General Norman Schwarzkopf, in conjunction with coalition forces, "to use all forces available, including ground forces, to eject the Iraqi army from Kuwait.... The liberation of Kuwait has entered a final phase."

Following President Bush's statement, SECDEF Dick Cheney announced commencement of "large ground offensive." Cheney reports "units are on the move". 

24 Feb 
CINCCENTCOM announces that forces of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, UK, France, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Syria and Kuwait are proceeding in a major ground, naval and air offensive.

At 0400 (Desert Time), assault elements of 1st Marine Division (1st Battalion, 5th & 7th Marines, supported by 3rd Tank Battalion) and 2nd Marine Division (6th Marines and armor) launched attack, easily breeching Iraq's vaunted defense lines of minefields, barbed wire, bunkers and berms. Marines spearheaded attack, with USA paratroopers, air assault forces, special forces, and ground forces of the UK, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt and Syria. Within 9 hours, Marines destroyed numerous Iraqi tanks and bunkers, seized the Burgan oil field and Al Jabbir Airfield, and captured thousands of Iraqi troops. Amphibious feint attacks under naval gunfire are launched in Arabian Gulf.

At 10 + hours into ground offensive, U.S. casualties have been "remarkably light", offensive is "progressing with dramatic success", no reported use of chemical weapons by Iraq, and more than 5,500 enemy prisoners of war have been captured.

With the exception of one engagement between Marine task force and an Iraqi armor unit, resulting in Iraqi tanks and troops retreating, only light contact with Iraqi forces. Iraqi troops are reported to be retreating, not engaging and surrendering. Some contact with Republican Guard troops.

U.S. Navy, along with UK, Saudi and Kuwaiti naval forces are conducting carrier air, minesweeping, and amphibious missions along the east coast of Kuwait. USS MISSOURI and USS WISCONSIN fired at targets in occupied Kuwait in support of ground offensive.

USMC AV-8B is downed. Pilot, Captain James N. Wilbourn, is missing.

Maritime intercept operations also continue with USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS recording 100th interception.

Two Iraqi aircraft flew to Iran.

25 Feb 
At G+2, DOD announces ground offensive continues, is achieving success, operation is running ahead of schedule, and U.S./coalition forces are encountering only light-to-moderate resistance from Iraqi forces. U.S. forces have engaged the Republican Guards with reported success.

Over eighteen thousand enemy prisoners of war have been captured.

In several engagements, Marines attacked an Iraqi force, destroying 50-60 tanks. Reserve Company "B", 4th Tank Battalion alone destroyed/ stopped 34 tanks. In joint operations with USA, Marines captured 20 T-62 tanks, 40 armored personnel carriers and 400+ EPWs, and also engaged a 150 armored vehicle formation.

Marines fight their way to outskirts of Kuwait City. Coalition forces have destroyed 270+ Iraqi tanks since commencement of ground offensive.

U.S. ground casualties remain extrememly light: 4 KIA.21 WIA.

Over 97,000 sorties have been flown. Today, Navy, Marine and other aircraft have flown 3,000 sorties. 1,300 sorties have been directed at the KTO, 700 on close air support of ground forces. USS JOHN F. KENNEDY records 10,000th arrested landing during this deployment, and aircraft of Carrier Airwing Three (embarked) have delivered 3 million+ pounds of ordnance.

A USMC AV-8B and USMC OV-10 are downed. Harrier pilot is rescued. Major Joseph J. Small and Captain David Spellacy are missing.

Naval forces, including USS WISCONSIN and USS MISSOURI, are continuing naval gunfire support and other operations. MISSOURI alone fires 133 rounds or 125 tons of ordnance on targets. Minesweepers cleared additional fire support areas for the battleships. HMS GLOUCESTER, escorting USS MISSOURI in Arabian Gulf, destroys an incoming Iraqi Silkworm missile aimed at MISSOURI with two Sea Dart missiles. A second Silkworm missile was fired but fell in the gulf. USN aircraft destroyed the missile launch site.

Iraqi SCUD missile is fired at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, breaks up in flight scattering debris over a U.S. housing compound in suburban Al Khobar, killing 27 U.S. Army Reserve personnel, wounding 100 others. A SCUD missile fired at Qatar impacts harmlessly.

DOD reports 600 fires are now burning in the KTO, including 517 oil wellheads.

At 1735 (EST), Baghdad Radio announced that Iraq's "Foreign Minister informed the Soviet ambassador....which constitutes a practical compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 660n," and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had ordered his troops to make a fighting withdrawal from occupied Kuwait and return to the positions they occupied before the 2 August 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The White House responds, stating there is "no evidence to suggest the Iraqi army is withdrawing. In fact, Iraqi units are continuing to fight.... We continue to prosecute the war. We have heard no reason to change that.... And because the announcement from Baghdad referred to the Soviet initiative, Saddam Hussein must personally and publicly accept explicitly all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions."

Navy implements third "stop loss" action, applying to Navy (Regular and Reserve) cryptologic technician interpreters who are Arabic linguists, and whose effective dates of retirement or separation fall on or after 2 March 1991.

26 Feb 
On Baghdad Radio, President Saddam Hussein announced Iraqi troops have begun withdrawing from Kuwait and will be completed today. In the 25-minute speech, Hussein maintained that Kuwait is a part of Iraq which was separated from it in the past, and current circumstances are such that armed forces are forcing us to withdraw.... It should be borne in mind that Constantinople was not conquered in the first battle; the result was achieved in other battles."

President Bush reacted calling Hussein's speech "an outrage. He is not withdrawing. His defeated forces are retreating. He is trying to claim victory in the midst of a rout, and he is not voluntarily giving up Kuwait. He is trying to save the remnants of power and control in the Middle East by every means possible and here, too, Saddam Hussein will fail. Saddam is not interested in peace, but only to regroup and fght another day, and he does not renounce Iraq's claim to Kuwait. To the contrary -- he makes clear that Iraq continues to claim Kuwait.... He still does not accept UN Security Council resolutions or the coalition terms of 22 February, including the release of our POWs, all POWs, third country detainees, and an end to the pathological destruction of Kuwait. The coalition will continue to prosecute the war with undiminished intensity.... It is time for all Iraqi forces to lay down their arms. And that will stop the bloodshed.... The liberation of Kuwait is close at hand."

At G+3, DOD announces that U.S. and coalition forces are engaging, outflanking, out-maneuvering and destroying armed and fully retreating Iraqi troops throughout the KTO as ground offensive continues; 21 Iraqi divisions have been destroyed or rendered combat-ineffective; Marine recon unit is the first U.S. force to enter Kuwait City, retakes control of U.S. Embassy. Marines comb neighborhoods for Iraqis. Pockets of resistance remain, including Republican Guard units and at Kuwait International Airport, where Marines engaged Iraqi tanks.

30,000+ enemy prisoners of war have been captured. 400+ tanks destroyed.

Naval forces and Marine amphibious forces operated all along the Kuwaiti coast executing feints to make Iraqis think an amphibious landing was occurring.

Marine Light Attack Squadron-269 helos conducted a "wake-up call" on Faylaka Island defenders, while simultaneously, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons-263 and 365 and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-461 simulated a heliborne landing on Bubiyan Island. 13th MEU pulled a feint attack south of Kuwait City.

Using Remotely Piloted Vehicles and Marine spotters ashore to zero-in on targets, including artillery, mortar and missile positions, ammunition storage facilities and a Silkworm missile site, battleships USS WISCONSIN and USS MISSOURI have fired more than 1.000 rounds of 16" ammunition in support of ground operations. USS MISSOURI alone fired more than one million pounds of ordnance. USS WISCONSIN's RPVs provided on-site reconnaissance support from 11 nautical miles out for advancing Marines.

DOD announces over 100,000 sorties have been flown. Coalition forces, including the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, flew 3,000 sorties today. 1,400 sorties have been directed at the KTO, 700 on close air support.

Navy A-6Es of USS RANGER's VA-155 and Marine aircraft bombed Iraqi troops fleeing Kuwait City to Basra in "bumper to bumper" convoys along two multi-lane highways. Numerous tanks, armored vehicles, jeeps, cars, ambulances, and tractor-trailers were destroyed.

U.S. ground casualties are 4 KIA. 21 WIA. 2 MIA. Overall total: 55 KIA, 155 WIA, 30 MIA, 9 POW.

USS BIDDLE, assisted by Spanish vessel, diverts freighter in North Red Sea.

27 Feb 
At D+42/G+4, CINCCENTCOM announces U.S. and coalition forces engaged in a climatic "classic tank battle", supported by attack aircraft, with approximately 3 divisions of Republican Guard forces in Iraq near Euphrates Valley. These remnants of Iraq's forces were "boxed in" by a "solid wall" of U.S. forces on their eastern flank, and U.S. and coalition forces, including U.S. Marines, on their southernn flank. Battle ended with loss of 200 Iraqi tanks, 50 armored vehicles and 20 artillery pieces. 29 Iraqi divisions have been destroyed or rendered combat-ineffective.

Over fifty thousand enemy prisoners of war have been captured. (48,000+ between 24 - 27 February)

U.S. casualties are 28 KIA. 89 WIA. 5 MIA since start of ground offensive. Overall total: 79 KIA, 213 WIA, 35 MIA, 9 POW. To-date, 3,008 Iraqi tanks (42% of initial inventory), 1,856 armored vehicles (28% of initial inventory), and 2,140 artillery pieces (31% of initial inventory) have been destroyed. General Norman Schwarzkopf details battle plan of OPERATION DESERT STORM. Outnumbered 2-1, with fewer tanks/artillery, facing a heavily-dug in force, preliminary tactics were devised consisting of:

  • Initial alignment of ground forces - Deliberately deployed forces near King Khalid Military City directly aligned on Iraqi positions to present frontal defensive line.
  • Naval threat - Continual naval and Marine amphibious force presence in Arabian Gulf served as a major deterrent by forcing Iraq to keep thousands of troops deployed along the coastline to defend against a possible large-scale amphibious landing. Conducted a number of amphibious rehearsals, including Operation Imminent Thunder, forcing Iraq to concentrate forces to defend against landing or raids.
  • Air campaign - Utilized U.S. Navy (carrier-based), U.S. Marine and U.S. and coalition ground air forces to isolate KTO, destroyed bridges and supply lines running north or south in Iraq, in erdicted reinforcement and resupply, bombed troops to weaken and attrite number (front line Iraqi troops attritted to 50 percent or below, second level attrit ted to 50-75 percent), destroyed Iraqi Air Force, and neutralized Iraqi reconnaissance capability. Once blinded, allowed U.S./coalition forces to shift to the west ("the Hail Mary play") without opposition or counter-attack.
  • Logistics - Troops flanking westward were equipped with fuel, ammo, spare parts, water and food to be self-sustained for 60 days.
  • Special operations - Special forces were inserted into Iraq providing strategic reconnaissance/targeting.

After G-Day, the next two days, simultaneous sea and ground operations ensued: special forces conducted mine countermeasures in Arabian Gulf, threatened coastal flanks with amphibious operations; carrier and ground-based air strikes and restrikes prevented bridge rebuilding; U.S. and coalition forces deployed to block a Republican Guard avenue of egress out of Kuwait; set up a flanking guard position preventing attack from any force; with naval gunfire support, began attacks to the east to engage remnants of Republican Guard tank units; 1st Marine Division engaged and seized Kuwaiti International Airport; 2nd Marine Division encircled and cut off avenue of egress out of Kuwait City.

General Schwarzkopf declares massive destruction of Iraqi army: states Iraq is no longer a regional military threat. "unless someone chooses to rearm them in the future."

At 2100 (EST), President Bush addresses the nation, declares "Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated." The President announces that at 2400 (EST), "exactly 100 hours since ground operations commenced and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm, all U.S. and coalition forces will suspend further offensive combat operations." Terms of the cease fire are:

  • Immediate release of all coalition POWs, third-country nationals and the remains of all who have fallen.
  • Iraq must release all Kuwaiti detainees.
  • Iraq must inform Kuwait of the location and nature of all land/sea mines.
  • Iraq must comply fully with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

After United Nations formally requests compliance, Iraq delivers letter to U.N. stating intention to comply with cease-fire terms.

U.S. and coalition air strikes and sporadic ground attacks continued until 2400 (EST) deadline. 103,000 sorties have been flown (3,000 today) focusing on battlefield air interdiction and close air support.

Navy and Marine Corps pilots have flown over 26,000 combat sorties to-date.

USMC AV-8B is downed. Pilot, Captain Reginald Underwood, is killed.

While off Kuwaiti coast, to assist ground forces to secure and enter Kuwait City, USS WISCONSIN's Remotely Piloted Vehicle detects 2 small boats fleeing Faylaka Island. Navy A-6s were called in and destroyed the boats, believed to be carrying Iraqi secret police.

USS AVENGER (MCM-1) with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 6, Det. 12 finds, identifies and neutralizes a live bottom influence mine in combat. Considered invisible to sonar, this is a naval first.

Maritime intercept operations continue with over 7,500 merchants challenged, over 940 ships boarded, and 47 diverted.

SECNAV activates 1,959 additional Naval Reservists from 87 units.

28 Feb 
DOD announces temporary cease fire is holding with U.S. and coalition forces in defensive position, conducting combat air patrols and reconnaissance operations. However, there have been several incidents of Iraqi troops firing on U.S./coalition forces, attributed to isolated Iraqis cut off from communications unaware of ceasefire.

Over 110,000 sorties have been flown by U.S. and coalition forces. DOD reports 42 Iragi divisions have been destroyed or rendered combatineffective.

An additional division of Iraqi troops has been able to avoid capture or destruction, and flee to safety.

USS NIMITZ (CV-68) and USS FORRESTAL (CV-59) Carrier Battle Groups will depart on 5 and 7 March 1991 for overseas deployment. The battle groups will provide operational and maintenance flexibility for carrier battle groups in support of OPERATION DESERT STORM and ensure maximum readiness and deployment stability of naval forces in that area.

Iraq agrees to meeting to work out cease-fire issues.

Return to Desert Storm introduction

Published: Mon Mar 02 11:26:32 EST 2015