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Newcastle Herald (Australia) March 21, 2003

US Forces in the Gulf

There are about 215,000 military personnel in the US "Centcom" area of operations, excluding forces deployed in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Centcom stretches from Kazakhstan in the north to Kenya in the south and Sudan in the west to Pakistan in the east.

ARMY

* About 65,000 soldiers, including almost the whole 3rd Infantry Division in Kuwait.

* M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, heavy and light artillery and support units from the 1st Cavalry Division have been deployed.

* Ground and support forces stationed in Kuwait, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and onboard amphibious vessels in the Persian Gulf.

AIR FORCE

* At least 500 aircraft in total, including more than 350 attack/fighter aircraft based throughout the Gulf and on board aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.

* F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters, B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, B-1B Lancer bombers and B-52 Stratofortress bombers stationed throughout the Gulf and on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

* As many as 23,000 Air Force personnel may be stationed for operations against Iraq, although figures are unreliable because pilot numbers are small compared to Air Force support personnel.

NAVY

* About 130,000 Navy personnel, including six full carrier battle groups, two amphibious groups and two amphibious task forces either in the area or enroute.

* The naval contribution includes more than 500 helicopters and aircraft and at least 1000 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Source: Globalsecurity.org (Washington-based non-profit defence analysts).


Copyright 2003, Newcastle Newspapers Pty Ltd