Operation Desert Storm
|Allied Air Order of Battle|
|Helicopters (all types)||806||802||801||849|
|Civil Aviation Transports||280||256||256||256|
US Air Force Order of Battle
In November, 1990 the decision was made to form provisional Air Divisions to prevent too many units having to report directly to U.S. Air Force, Central Command (CENTAF). The U.S. Air Force (USAF) units that were part of that command were organized in four provisional air divisions: 14th, 15th, 1610th, and 17th.
The 14th Air Division commanded wings with the mission of destroying enemy air, missile, and ground forces, as well as enemy infrastructure targets. To accomplish this mission, the 14th controlled U.S. Air Force (USAF) fighters, attack aircraft, as well as light and medium bombers. This division also provided electronic warfare, reconnaissance, and refueling support. The 15th Air Division commanded wings focused on defeating enemy ground base air defenses and increasing the effectiveness of friendly formations. The 1610th Air Division controlled theater airlift forces. The 17th commanded wings created from units of the Strategic Air COmmand's 15th Air Force.
The 7440th Provisional Wing was something new in the organization of the U.S. Air Force. Previously, most of the flying wings in the Air Force were composed of just one type of aricraft, to maximize efficiency and minimize operations amd maintenance costs. However from the operational point of view it appeared more effective to have a wing configured to meet a broad range of major mission needs. The 7440th, the air component of Proven Force, was designed to be a self-contained wing with its own strike, fighter, electronic warfare, reconnaissance, and refueling assets. In addition, it had its own base maintenance, planning and logistics.
The following table shows the composition of the Provisional Air Divisions and other independent units.
|Organization of US Air Force Units in the Gulf War|
|Air Division||Unit||Subunits||Type of Aircraft||Number of Aircraft||Desert Shield Location|
|14th ADP (TAF)||1st TFW(P)||27 TFS||F-15C/D||24||Dhaharan|
|4th TFW(P)||336 TFS||C-12||6||Al Kharj|
|335 TFS||F-15E||24||Al Kharj|
|157 TFS||F-15E||24||Al Kharj|
|138 TFS||F-16A||24||Al Kharj|
|4401 MMS(P)||F-16A||18||Al Kharj|
|1670 TAS(P)||Al Kharj|
|33 TFW(P)||58 TFS||F-15C/D||24||Tabuk|
|37th TFW(P)||415 TFS||18||[DELETED]|
|48th TFW(P)||492 TFS||F-111F||22||Taif|
|354th TFW(P)||353 TFS||A-10||24||King Fahd|
|355 TFS||A-10||24||King Fahd|
|74 TFS||A-10||24||King Fahd|
|76 TFS||A-10||24||King Fahd|
|23 TFS||A-10||12||King Fahd|
|511 TFS||24||King Fahd|
|706 TFS||24||King Fahd|
|1682 ALCS(P)||King Fahd|
|363rd TFW||17 TFS||F-16C/D||24||Al Dhafra|
|33 TFS||24||Al Dhafra|
|10 TFS||24||Al Dhafra|
|1705 AREFS(P)||KC-135R||7||Al Dhafra|
|388th TFW(P)||69 TFS||F-16C/D||72||AL Minhad|
|4 TFS||AL Minhad|
|421 TFS||AL Minhad|
|125 TFS||AL Minhad||122 TFS||AL Minhad|
|401th TFW(P)||614 TFS||F-16C/D||24||Doha|
|15 ADP (TAF)||35th TFW(P)||561 TFS||F-4G||24||Shaikh Isa|
|81 TFS||F-4G||24||Shaikh Isa|
|194 TRS||RF-4C||6||Shaikh Isa|
|12 TRS||RF-4C||6||Shaikh Isa|
|106 TRG||RF-4C||6||Shaikh Isa|
|41st ECS(P)||41 ECS(CC)||EC-130H||6||Bateen|
|1610 ALDP (MAC)||TAW(P)||314 TAW||C-130E||16||Bateen|
|TAW(P)||435 TFW||EC-130H||40||Al Ain|
|1670th TAG(P)||1670 TAS(P)||EC-130H||16||Al Kharj|
|1671 TAS(P) (763 TAS)|
|1683rd ALCS(P)||Al Jubail|
|1640th TAW(P)||1640 TAS(P) (317 TAW)||C-130E||16||Masirah|
|1650th TAW(P)||1650 TAS(P)||C-130||16||Sharjah|
|1611 Aero Evac SQ(P)||Sharjah|
|1675 TAS(P)||King Fahd|
|AFSOC||719 SOS||AC-130A||5||King Fahd|
|AFSOC||16 SOS||AC-130H||3||King Fahd|
|AFSOC||850 SOS||MC-130||4||King Fahd|
|1700th STRATW(P)||1700 SRS(P)||RC-135V/w||7||Riyadh|
|17 ADP (SAC)||1701st STRATW(P)||1708 BMW(P)||B-52||16||[DELETED]|
|ARW(P)||1703 AREFWP||KC-135A/Q||20||K. Khalid IAP|
|KC-135R||26||K. Khalid IAP|
|EC-135L||2||K. Khalid IAP|
|ARW(P)||1706 ARS(P)||KC-135E||15||Cairo West|
|ARW(P)||1712 ARS(P)||KC-135E||12||Abu Dhabi|
|ARW(P)||1713 ARS(P)||KC-135E||12||Dubai Intl|
|4300 ARS(P)||KC-10A||7||Diego Garcia|
|801st BW(P)||801 BS(P)||B-52G||22||Moron|
|7 AD(SAC) Out of AOR||802nd ARW(P)||802 ARS(P)||KC-135||Lajes Field, Azores|
|803rd ARS(P)||803 ARW(P)||KC-135||-||Hellinikon AB, Greece|
|804th ARW(P)||804 ARS(P)||KC-135||-||Incirlik, Turkey|
|808th ARS(P)||808 ARS(P)||KC-135||-||Malpensa, Italy|
|809th ARS(P)||809 ARS(P)||KC-135||-||Andravida, Greece|
|805th ARS(P)||805 ARS(P), 805 CAMS(P)||KC-135||RAF Mildenhall, UK|
|806th BW(P)||806 BW(P), 806 ARS(P)||B-52G||8||RAF Fairford, UK|
|KC-135||Unknown||RAF Fairford, UK|
|525 TFS||F-15C||24||Incirlik, Turkey|
|Proven Force||7440th Composite Wing(P)||3 TFS||F-4E||6|
|Sources: HQ TAC/XPM "USCENTAF Provisional Divisions" (U) 15 January 1991;
OSD, Final Report to Congress, "Conduct of the Persian Gulf War," April 1992.
Allied Air Contributions
A key factor in the coalition victory were the infastructure and forces provided by the Arab allies. From the outset of Desert Shield, they provided the foundation for the sustained buildup of out-of-theater coalition forces. During Desert Storm, the air forces of the Arab allies (Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and United Araba Emirates) conducted a range of combat operations and were full participants in the air campaign.
Long before the opening of Desert Storm, the U.K.'s Royal Air Force (RAF) integrated their command structure in such a way that while they retained national command of their forces, tactical planning, tasking, and execution were accomplished through CENTAF's Tactical Air Control Center (TACC). The British would add capabilities that just did not exist in other coalition air forces. Particular emphasis was placed on buildup of the force of Tornado GR.1/1A strike/inderdiction aircraft. When the war came, the RAF contribution was second only to that of the U.S. in variety and scale.
In addition, the RAF supplied a number of other units that fulfilled a variety of tasks, including airborne ranking, transport, or maritime reconnaissance. An unknown number of Royal Navy Lynx helicopters were assigned to ships. Also some RAF Volunteer Reserve units served in the Gulf.
The French deployed the third largest air contingent into the Gulf. While their forces deployed early to the Persian Gulf, the French Government did not decide to commit forces to the Desert Storm counteroffensive against Iraq until just prior to the attack. After the commitment, the French air units were fully integrated into coalition planning and execution.
In addition to the shooters, French C-135R airborne tankers supported both French and other coalition aircraft, and Gabrial electronic warfare aircraft and Puma electronic jamming helicopters provided electronic support. The French also deployed a squadron of C-160 transport aircraft to the region.
Canada first deployed ships with embarked helicopters to enforce the economic blockade of Iraq. The aircraft that arrived later were engaged primarily in maritime combat air patrol missions and towards the end of Jauniary they shifted to flying escort missions for air strikes into Kuwait and Iraq.
Italy sent eight Tornado GR.1 bombers to the Persian Gulf in 1990. Later, at the requets of Turkey, Italy sent a detachment of RF-104G Starfighters to eastern Turkey.
The Dutch Air Force was no involved in any combat action during the war, but three major Royal Dutch Air Force units took part in Desert Shield/Storm: 5th and 3rd Missile Groups, and the 334th Transport Squadron.
New Zealand sent its No. 40 Squadron to the Gulf where they joined an RAF C-130 unit flying regular routes throughout the theater.
Argentina sent one Boeing 707-320 and two C-130 Hercules transports; Korea contributed three C-130s.
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