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Operation Desert Storm

Air Forces

Allied Air Order of Battle
Allies 1-Aug-90 1-Oct-90 1-Nov-90 1-Dec-90
Personnel 105,100 105,100 105,100 105,100
Fighter/Ftr-Bombers 1,234 1,326 1,371 1,386
Combat-Cap. Trainers 546 514 514 514
Transports 260 257 257 257
Helicopters (all types) 806 802 801 849
(attack) 229 220 220 220
(transport/utility) 523 528 527 527
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
    71 TFS   24 Dhaharan
    682 ASOCS     Dhaharan
    726 TCS     Dhaharan
    1681 ALCS(P)     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]
    416 TFS   18 [DELETED]
    417 TFS F-117 6 [DELETED]
  48th TFW(P) 492 TFS F-111F 22 Taif
    493 TFS   22 Taif
    494 TFS   22 Taif
    42 ECS EC-130(CC) 5 Taif
    390 ECS EF-111   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
    185 TFS?      
    182 TFS?      
  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
  JSTARS 4411 JSS E-8 2 Riyadh
  552AWACW(P)   E-3B 11 Riyadh
  7 ACCS ABCCC EC-130   Riyadh
  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
  1612th MAS(P)   C-21 8 Riyadh
      C-12 7 Riyadh
      RU-21 7 Riyadh
  1615th AVS(P)       Riyadh
  1670th TAG(P) 1670 TAS(P) EC-130H 16 Al Kharj
    1671 TAS(P) (763 TAS)      
  ALCS(P)       Riyadh
  ALCS(P)       Dhahran
  1683rd ALCS(P)       Al Jubail
  1690th WXGP(P)       Riyadh
  1640th TAW(P) 1640 TAS(P) (317 TAW) C-130E 16 Masirah
    1707 AREFS(P)     Masirah
  1650th TAW(P) 1650 TAS(P) C-130 16 Sharjah
    1611 Aero Evac SQ(P)     Sharjah
  TAW(P) 317 TAW C-130E 34 Thumrait
    1661 TAS(P) C-130E 16 Thumrait
    1662 TAS(P)     Thumrait
  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
  AFSOC MH-60 MH-47 4 KKMC
  1700th STRATW(P) 1700 SRS(P) RC-135V/w 7 Riyadh
    1704 SRS(P) U-2/TR-1   Riyadh
    1700 ARS(P) KC-135R 10 Riyadh
17 ADP (SAC) 1701st STRATW(P) 1708 BMW(P) B-52 16 [DELETED]
    807th ARS(P) KC-135R 10 [DELETED]
    1709 ARS(P) KC-135E/A 62 [DELETED]
    1710 ARS(P) KC-10 13 [DELETED]
    1711 ARS(P)     [DELETED]
  ARW(P) 1702 ARS(P) KC-10 10 Seeb
    1702 ARS(P) KC-135R 15 Seeb
    1707 ARS(P) KC-135R 10 Masirah
  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
  BMW(P) 4300 BMS(P) B-52G 20 [DELETED]
    4300 ARS(P) KC-10A 7 Diego Garcia
      KC-135R 5 Diego Garcia
  801st BW(P) 801 BS(P) B-52G 22 Moron
    801 ARS(P) KC-135 15 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
    612 TFS F-16C 37  
Proven Force 7440th Composite Wing(P) 3 TFS F-4E 6  
    20 TFW F-111E 22  
    52 TFW F-4G 12  
    38 TRS RF-4C 6  
    552 AWCW E-3B 3  
    42 ECS EF-111A 6  
    43 ECS EC-130H 3  
    37 TAS C-130H 11  
    61 TAS C-130E 8  
    7 SOS MC/HC-130 7  
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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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:22:56 Zulu