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Operation Desert Falcon

In the late summer of 1991, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requested immediate assistance from the United States to provide protection from ballistic missile threats to their country. The US Army quickly responded by deploying two PATRIOT Air Defense Artillery Battalions from Europe with a brigade headquarters in October 1991.

Operation Desert Falcon consists of the deployment of Patriot and Army air-defense units to Southwest Asia. Task forces 1-1 ADA and 3-43 ADA, the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command and the 3rd Infantry Division's short-range Air Defense unit deployed to the Middle Eastern nations of Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Army ADA soldiers, along with allied air defense units, are deployed to positions where they can protect strategic sites from both Iraqi aircraft and missiles in case an air attack is forthcoming. Patriot units in Kuwait and Bahrain are primarily concerned with combating the tactical ballistic missile threat. The units deployed at four sites in Saudi Arabia, however, are deployed to destroy both air-breathing threats [aircraft] as well as tactical ballistic missiles

In 1994, USCENTCOM continued its commitment to regional stability in the Arabian Peninsula by maintaining a theater missile defense umbrella with the Patriot Air Defense System in Saudi Arabia. Four on-line and two off-line batteries (ready reserve storage) were deployed to Saudi Arabia throughout the year. Air defense units from the U.S. routinely conduct no-notice deployments to bring off-line batteries to operational status and to demonstrate the ability to respond to heightened tensions in the area. The Patriot deployments provide opportunities for interoperability training and promotes initiatives in collective air defense among regional security partners. In October 1994, during VIGILANT WARRIOR, the ability to react quickly to a crisis in the AOR was demonstrated by the rapid deployment of air defense personnel from CONUS to activate the off-line batteries. These two batteries were fully operational in a matter of days and one of these batteries was repositioned to Kuwait during Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR.

The ADA Task Force maintains and services prepositioned sets of equipment stored for contingency operations at Camp Doha in Kuwait. Then the units deploy to join the equipment for defense of critical assets in Kuwait against theater ballistic missile threats using the PATRIOT missile systems.

During the Desert Thunder relocation ARCENT-SA maintained a their 24-hour PATRIOT missile shield in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Since 1990 to the present, the PATRIOT Missile Defense remaine a constant shield against SCUD and other missile or aircraft attacks directed against our Allied Forces.

On 31 October 1998 the 2-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion (PATRIOT) assumed air defense coverage for Central Command. The soldiers of the battalion completed their deployment from Fort Bliss earlier in the month and completed a certification process before assuming the mission. They relieved the soldiers from 6-52 Air Defense Artillery, who returned to their home station in Germany after completing their tour of duty which began in June.

In February 1999 paratroopers from 3-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division assumed the security force mission in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to protect the Patriot missile locations. The paratroopers from Charlie Company, 3-505, airlanded at Prince Sultan Air Base and quickly relieved the previous security force from the 10th Mountain Division who redeployed back to Fort Drum, New York. The site security mission involves 24-hour protection of the scattered Patriot missile batteries across the area of operations providing antiballistic missile protection to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.



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