The Atlanta Journal and Constitution March 18, 2003
Locating U.S. Troops
By Wayne Snow
GRAPHIC: Graphic: LOCATING U.S.TROOPS
By conservative estimates, the United States now has about 211,000 military personnel and about 1,100 aircraft of all types in position for a possible war with Iraq. About 89,500 personnel are either on the way or have been put on alert. In addition, Britain has about 25,000 troops in the area.
The United States normally has about 3,700 ground forces in the region. The Army now has about 64,000 troops on the ground, including the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). An additional 72,000 soldiers have either been ordered to deploy or have been put on alert.
The United States possibly has as many as 23,000 Air Force personnel stationed in areas responsible for operations against Iraq, including about 1,700 at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. About 500 aircraft are in the area.
Five aircraft carrier battle groups, two amphibious task forces and two amphibious groups are in the region. Total naval forces, including Marines, are estimated at 125,000 personnel, 504 helicopters and aircraft and 1,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles. About 3,000 Marines, 14,500 sailors and aviators, 100 aircraft, 28 naval vessels, 41 sealift or cargo vessels and 300 more cruise missiles are on the way.
Map of the Middle East shows placement of U.S. aircraft carriers:
Harry S. Truman
Map shows location of Special Operations (Regionally based)
Note: HQ of Special Operations reported to be in Qatar.
Map also includes:
The United States patrols Iraq's northern no-fly zone from a base at Incirlik. The Turks have denied the U.S. permission to base 62,000 soldiers there, although the Turkish government may push its parliament for another vote.
U.S. and British special forces are conducting, or are preparing to conduct, operations from Jordan.
Kuwait is the main staging area for American and British ground forces. About 130,000 allied troops are there now.
3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) More than 18,000
101st Airborne Division More than 16,000
Marine Expeditionary Force About 60,000
British forces About 25,000
Bahrain is headquarters of the top Marine and Navy commanders in the area.
U.S. Central Command's Gen. Tommy Franks would direct any war from here. Al Udeid Air Base is the largest forward-positioning U.S. base outside the United States.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
The United States uses bases in the U.A.E. to support the southern no-fly zone in Iraq.
The United States has a major aerospace operations center at Prince Sultan Air Base. The base also is home to F-15 and F-16 squadrons.
U.S. forces fly out of Al-Seeb, Thumrait and Masirah air bases and store large amounts of supplies at the three bases.
The United States uses the British territory as a forward staging area for ships and planes.
Inset map (globe) shows location of Diego Garcia in relation to Iraq.
Graphic includes this photo: Three U.S. Marines stand near an American flag in the Kuwait desert, near the Iraqi border Monday.
When it's 6 p.m. in Atlanta, it's 2 a.m. in Iraq.
Sources: U.S. Navy, Center for Defense Information, Associated Press, GlobalSecurity.org
Text by WAYNE SNOW / Staff
/ CHUCK BLEVINS / Staff
Copyright © 2003, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution