Operation Desert Thunder
Order of Battle
As of Wednesday 24 November 1998
This is a reasonably accurate order-of-battle of forces currently deployed in CENTCOM's part of Southwest Asia [that is, excluding Turkey]. It reflects deployments that did and did not take place over the weekend of 14-15 November. The decision to halt the buildup left aircraft scattered between CONUS, Southwest Asia, and locations in Europe. The deployment also encountered coordination problems, and some mechanical failures with certain aircraft. Our estimate of the current order of battle assumes that those aircraft that made it to the theater remain in theater, and all aircraft that did not reach the area of operations have returned to their home bases. These assumptions are consistent with public statements by senior Defense Department officials.
There are currently about 25,000 military personnel in the area, including 2,600 soldiers, 14,300 sailors and Marines, and joint headquarters and other joint units comprised of 1,000 people. The Air Force total, which was some 5,600 last week, may have increased by as many as 2,000 reflecting deployments in mid-November. Forces in the region include land and carrier-based aircraft, surface warships, a Marine expeditionary unit, a Patriot missile battalion, a mechanized battalion task force, and a mix of special operations forces deployed in support of US Central Command operations. To enhance force protection throughout the region, additional military security personnel are also deployed. Currently, there appear to be slighly over 250 aircraft in the area, which total includes air to air, air to ground, dual role, support, and attack helicopters. The cruise missile force is twice the pre-October 1997 level and can be augmented significantly within days.
|4404th Wing (Provisional)||69||~26||~95|
|Saudi Arabia - Prince Sultan Air Base||~55||~26||~81|
|4404th F15 Squadron||F-15||~18|
|4404th F16 Squadron||F-16||~18|
|4405th AACS (P)||E-3 AWACS||3|
4407th Reconnaissance Squadron
4416th Intelligence Squadron
|4408th Air Refueling||KC-135||? 12|
|4410th Airlift||? 10|
|4418th Airlift||? 10|
|4404th MEDEVAC Company||UH-60||~6|
|Saudi Arabia - Taif Air Base||2||2|
|4402d Reconnaissance Squadron (P)||U-2||2|
|United Arab Emirates - Al Dhafra||? 12||? 12|
|4413th Air Refueling||KC-10||? 12|
|Air Expeditionary Force (AEF)||54||14||68|
|Bahrain - Sheik Isa Airfield||4||4|
|2nd Air Expeditionary Group||15||10||25|
|Kuwait - Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base||35||4||39|
|Oman - Al Seeb Air Base||~0||~0|
|Afloat in the Persian Gulf||76||26||102|
|Carrier Air Wing CVW-3 [USS Enterprise]||67||6||73|
|31st Marine Expeditionary Unit [USS Belleau Wood ]||9||20||29|
|CVG||Carrier Battle Group|
|USS Enterprise||CVN 65||5,830||-0-|
|USS Philippine Sea||CG 58||400||122|
|USS Gettysburg||CG 64||400||122|
|USS Stout||DDG 55||346||90|
|USS Nicholson||DD 982||382||61|
|USS Hayler||DD 997||382||61|
|USS Klakring||FFG 42||200||-0-|
|USS Miami||SSN 755||154||12|
|USS Hampton||SSN 767||154||12|
|USS Detroit||AOE 4||600||-0-|
|ARG||Amphibious Ready Group|
|USS Belleau Wood||LHD 2||2,875||-0-|
|USS Dubuque||LPD 8||420||-0-|
|USS Germantown||LSD 42||81||-0-|
|MCM||Mine Countermeasure Squadron||170||0|
|USS Ardent||MCM 12||85||-0-|
|USS Dextrous||MCM 13||85||-0-|
|Tomahawk-capable VLS Cells||480|
|Tomahawks embarked||? 100+|
- 26 November 1998 Belleau Wood Amphibious Ready Group arrives in the Gulf.
- 23 November 1998 CVN-65 Enterprise Carrier Battle Group arrived in the Persian Gulf.
- US Forces in Southwest Asia - 17 November 1998 Snapshot
- 15 November 1998 SECDEF Cohen halts further deployment of Air Expeditionary Force, with some aircraft remaining in CONUS, and others landing at the nearest airfield in Europe, pending further developments.
- US Forces in Southwest Asia - 13 November 1998 Snapshot
- 11 November 1998 An Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) of 12 F-16CJs, 12 F-15C/Ds, 12 F-16s and six B-1s, along with four additional F-16CJs, 12 F-117s, 12 B-52s, two EA-6Bs and 12 Marine Corps F/A-18s have been ordered to the Gulf, for a total of 98 combat aircraft 98 (84 fixed wing and 14 rotary wing aircraft). Some 41 support aircraft, including 37 fixed wing and 4 rotary wing aircraft will also be deploying. Additional Patriot units and personnel, a light infantry battalion and an additional 3,000 Army troops will deploy. Deployment of the entire package of additional forces is expected to take no more than about two weeks.
- 10 November 1998 - The CVN-65 Enterprise, which was previously slated to begin a November deployment to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf, was ordered to proceed immediately to the Gulf, along with USS Belleau Wood amphibious group, as early replacements for warships already on station. When they arrive on 23 November and 26 November, the administration will decide whether to leave the Eisenhower and USS Essex groups in place -- doubling the naval power on hand -- or allow them to return home as previously scheduled.
- CVN-70 Carl Vinson, which departed homeport on 06 November 1998 and is currently underway crossing the Pacific for a six-month WestPac deployment, is likely to replace the Eisenhower if two carriers are retained in the region. Based on prior deployments, the 8,000 mile journey should require a total transit time of about three weeks, placing the Carl Vinson in the Gulf around 01 December 1998. The Air Force is standing by to deploy an Air Expeditionary Force of land-based warplanes to Bahrain or Kuwait --B-52 bombers and F-117A attack aircraft could move quickly into place but have not been ordered to do so.
- The number of Tomahawks deployed in the Gulf is somewhere between 250 and 350. The Anzio, which had been stationed in the Adriatic Sea, will arrive later this week in the Persian Gulf [White House Is Said to Favor Swift Action Against Iraq By STEVEN ERLANGER The New York Times November 10, 1998]
- 08 November 1998 - It is widely reported that the US is moving toward military action against Iraq, with a choice between two basic plans -- one undertaken with US forces now in the region and another that would require increased deployments and some weeks to get US forces there. Following a weekend meeting at Camp David, President Clinton indicated on 08 November 1998 that he will not order an immediate military strike against Iraq.
- 03 November 1998 Dwight D. Eisenhower [CVN-69] deployed from Mediterranean operations to relieve USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Battle Group, which departed on 21 October 1998.
- US Forces in Southwest Asia - 15 October 1998 Snapshot
- 22 July 1998 - The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Battle Group relieved USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as both ships passed by each other in the Arabian Sea.
- US Forces in Southwest Asia - 01 July 1998 Snapshot
- Early June -- Air Expeditionary Force left Bahrain in early June.
- May 27, 1998 -- INDEPENDENCE carrier battle group passed out of the Central Command area of responsibility en route to Japan.
- May 26, 1998 -- President Clinton decided to reduce forces there to the October 1997 pre-crisis level of 18,000 to 19,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, versus the crisis peak force of about 44,000.
- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group deploys to the Mediterranean Sea, where it constitutes a backup force that will be able to move into the Gulf rapidly.
- US Forces in Southwest Asia - 01 May 1998 Snapshot
- 28 April 1998 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Battle Group from Norfolk got underway as scheduled April 27 to participate in the Joint Task Force Exercise off the Virginia coast. Upon completion of the exercise, the ships of the battle group will return to their home ports for a short period, and then conduct an accelerated transit to the Gulf to relieve USS Independence (CV 62).
- 26 February 1998 - USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) departed Norfolk on a regularly-scheduled six month deployment and proceeded directly to the Arabian Gulf, replacing USS George Washington (CVN 73) in mid-March. USS George Washington returned to its home port of Norfolk, Va. on time from its six month deployment.
- 16 February 1998 - The USS Guam (LPH 9) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) arrived on station in the Arabian Gulf. The 12 ship formation in company with the amphibious assault ship were the other four ships of the ARG: USS Shreveport (LPD 12), USS Ashland (LSD 48) and USS Oak Hill (LSD 51). USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) acted as the group's escort ship. Seven military preposition ships made up the remainder of the convoy. The ship's of the Guam ARG carry about 2,000 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). As USS Guam, flagship of the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) 98-1, was underway to a scheduled port visit to Koper, Slovenia, it received the order to divert its transit and drop anchor in Augusta Bay, Italy. As other three MARG ships steamed toward the Guam, Task Force 61 made preparations for all four ships to enter the Suez Canal on 09 February 1998.
- 07 February 1998 Secretary of Defense Cohen orders the deployment of 43 [initially stated as 50] additional aircraft to Southwest Asia, including six F-117s, six F-16CJs, six B-52s, one B-1, and 23 additional aircraft. About 140 troops and six F-117A Nighthawks from Holloman deployed to Southwest Asia. The six additional B-52s deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to Diego Garcia increased the number of bombers stationed there from eight to fourteen by 15 February. The one additional B-1 deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The other aircraft included MC-130s, MH-53J helicopters, MH-47E helicopters; HH-60G Black Hawks helicopters, one JSTARS, two AWACS [bringing the total to four], one RIVET JOINT, and some KC-10 refuelers and also a couple of HC-130 CSAR aircraft.
- 05 February 1998 - USS Independence (CV 62), USS John S. McCain (DDG 56), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and USS Charlotte (SSN 766) arrived in the Arabian Gulf this morning. On 23 January 1998, the aircraft carrier got underway from its forward base homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, for the current Arabian Gulf assignment. On 21 January 1998 Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen officially announced the orders to the crew that the aircraft carrier would relieve USS Nimitz (CVN 68), which departed the Gulf on 09 February and is currently sailing home through the Mediterranean Sea.
- November 1997 - President Clinton deployed two carrier battle groups to the Arabian Gulf in November to counter rising tensions between Iraq and the United Nations. USS Nimitz (CVN 68) deployed to the region ahead of schedule, and USS George Washington (CVN 73) cut short a six-month tour in the Mediterranean and moved to the Gulf to join the Nimitz. In addition, six F-117As and 200 Holloman troops were also deployed to the region in November.
OPSEC NOTES - Loose Lips Sink Ships
- This analysis probably under-states current tanker assets in the theater, since deployment of these forces remains under-reported.
- On 12 November 1998 the Defense Department issued a corrected listing of land-based aircraft ordered to deploy to the Gulf. It added ten aircraft to the total, and reclassified a number of helicopters as "combat" rather than "support." This highlights the outstanding problem of determining the pre-crisis order-of-battle, which retained a rather hazy definition of "combat" aircraft. The attentive user will note that some aircraft migrate from the "support" to the "combat" column as they move in-theater.
- News reports suggest that the total B-52 deployment may consist of up to 17 aircraft, versus the dozen initially reported.
- When last checked, the homepage for 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit currently deployed in the Gulf was non-operative.
- As of this update COMNAVAIRLANT was "Temporarily Shutdown for certification of compliance with NAVAIRLANT MSG 291816Z OCT 98 and SECNAV MSG 211930Z OCT 98" so we relied on MRupprecht's U.S. Navy Database for Ike's squadron. The Navy's nice United States Naval Forces in 5th Fleet - The Arabian Gulf remains offline [probably permanently], though CHINFO continues to provide this information via FAX, and this listing reflects their 02 November 1998 hardcopy SITREP. Compared with our previous Desert Thunder ORBAT listings, this present edition includes all aircraft, reducing somewhat the uncertainty as to the deployment details.
Sources and Methods
- US Forces Scattered About Larry VanHorn [MilCom], 17 Nov 1998 -- The decision to halt the buildup has left U.S. combat and support aircraft spread between Southwest Asia, Europe, and locations in the US. The deployment also didn't go smoothly in terms of coordination.
- U.S. Forces Set to Strike Iraq in Hours if Called On By STEVEN LEE MYERS The New York Times (17 November 1998) Of the 139 additional aircraft that Clinton sent to the region on Wednesday, only 23 completed the trip, including four B-1 bombers and seven B-52's. Another 53 planes, including three squadrons of fighter jets, went as far bases in Spain, Italy and Germany before the attack was called off. The rest never left the United States.
- Deployment Frozen for Gulf-bound Troops By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 16 November 1998 -- Some aircraft have deployed to Spain, Italy and Diego Garcia on their way to the Gulf and will remain where they are. Other aircraft will remain at their home stations. Army personnel from Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Bliss, Texas, will not deploy.
- Reserve airlifters, air refuelers support Gulf deployment : 16 Nov 1998 -- Air Force Reserve Command strategic airlift and air refueling units from around the country are sending aircraft and reservists to stateside and overseas locations.
- TALCE sets up airfield operations in Southwest Asia TALCE Public Affairs : 16 Nov 1998 -- The arrival of the 821st Tanker Airlift Control Element enables the Air Force to offload cargo and personnel and maintain aircraft en-route.
- Mobility unit loads Army equipment for Southwest Asia Air Mobility Command Public Affairs: 16 Nov 1998 -- When the deployment comes to an end, the team expects to launch a total of 20 aircraft loaded with about 1,300 tons of cargo.
- PENTAGON / IRAQ SUNDAY 4TH UPDATE Voice of America 15 November 1998 -- SEVERAL DOZEN FIGHTER PLANES, INCLUDING SOME F-117'S, F-16'S, AND F-15'S STOPPED AT EUROPEAN BASES ON THEIR WAY TO ASSIGNMENTS IN THE GULF. ABOUT HALF THE AIRCRAFT AND MOST OF THE GROUND TROOPS IN THE IRAQ CRISIS FORCE ARE STILL IN THE UNITED STATES.
- PENTAGON/IRAQ-SUNDAY UPDATE Voice of America 15 November 1998 -- A 'KINK' (PROBLEM) DEVELOPED SATURDAY. CLEARANCES FOR OVERFLIGHTS WERE DENIED FOR SOME AIRCRAFT, DISRUPTING AERIAL REFUELING EFFORTS. FEWER STEALTH FIGHTERS THAN PLANNED WERE ABLE TO LEAVE THEIR BASE IN NEW MEXICO, AND SOME CONVENTIONAL FIGHTERS HAD TO LAND IN EUROPE.
- U.S. Says It Was Just Hours Away From Starting Attack Against Iraq By PHILIP SHENON and STEVEN LEE MYERS The New York Times November 15, 1998 -- Six B-52 bombers loaded with air-launched cruise missiles departed for the gulf before dawn Saturday from Barksdale. Six F-117 fighters departed Saturday for Kuwait.
- PENTAGON/IRAQ SATURDAY UPDATE Voice of America 14 November 1998 -- A DOZEN F-15 FIGHTERS LEFT VIRGINIA ON A 15 HOUR FLIGHT TO THE REGION MIDDAY SATURDAY. A SQUADRON OF F-117 STEALTH FIGHTERS WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE OFF SATURDAY EVENING.
- "Clinton Delays Trip to Discuss Iraq" By Susanne M. Schafer, Associated Press, Saturday, November 14, 1998; 4:40 p.m. -- A dozen Air Force F-16CG air-to-ground attack jets left Hill Air Force Base in Utah late Friday. Saturday deployments included a dozen Air Force F-15C/D fighters from Langley Air Force Base and a similar number of F-16C/J attack jets from Shaw Air Force Base. Two RC-135 reconnaissance planes left Offutt, to be followed by F-117 Stealth fighters, B-1 bombers and support planes
- Air Force Scrambles to Send More Warplanes to Gulf By STEVEN LEE MYERS The New York Times November 14, 1998 -- The bulk of the fighters and bombers are now scheduled to leave on Saturday or Sunday. Saudi Arabia has agreed to accept additional aerial refuelers but has refused to allow attack jets. A dozen F-117s are scheduled to leave Holloman on Sunday.
- PENTAGON IRAQ Voice of America 13 November 1998 -- THE U-S MILITARY SAYS IT WILL TAKE PERHAPS 10 MORE DAYS TO GET ALL OF THE REINFORCEMENTS ORDERED TO THE PERSIAN GULF INTO PLACE. MANY OF THE 139 PLANES ORDERED TO THE GULF ARE EXPECTED TO LEAVE FRIDAY OR SATURDAY.
- ACC units head to Southwest Asia November 13, 1998 (AFPN) - Bases sending people and aircraft are: F-15s from Langley AFB; F-16s from Shaw AFB and Hill AFB; B-52s from Minot AFB, and Barksdale AFB; B-1s from Ellsworth AFB and Dyess AFB; E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System from Tinker AFB; E8-C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System from Robins AFB EC-130 Compass Calls from Davis-Monthan AFB and F-117 Nighthawks from Holloman AFB.
- AMC pre-positions troops, aircraft for Persian Gulf buildup November 13, 1998 (AFPN) - KC-135 tanker aircraft from Grand Forks AFB, , MacDill AFB, and Warner-Robins AFB; C-141 cargo aircraft from McChord AFB; C-17 cargo aircraft from Charleston AFB; and KC-10s from McGuire and Travis have been pre-positioned to support the operation.
- MARINES SET SAIL FROM OKINAWA FOR PERSIAN GULF Marine Corps News 11/12/98 02:46:59 PM -- The Secretary of Defense ordered the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to set sail for the Persian Gulf.
- CORRECTION TO NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT BEING SENT TO THE GULF November 12, 1998 - The total number of aircraft ordered to the Gulf should have been reported as 139. The total number of combat aircraft should have been listed as 98 (84 fixed wing and 14 rotary wing aircraft). The total number of support aircraft should have been listed as 41 (37 fixed wing and 4 rotary wing aircraft).
- Holloman unit to deploy to Southwest Asia : 12 Nov 1998 (AFPN) Forces approved include about a dozen F-117s from the 49th Fighter Wing.
- Oklahoma AWACS unit to deploy to Southwest Asia The 552nd Air Control Wing will deploy at least two aircraft and more than 100 people.
- PENTAGON-IRAQ Voice of America 12 November 1998 -- MORE B-52'S ARE ON THE WAY FROM BARKSDALE, LOUISIANA. THE NEXT GROUP OF PLANES TO HEAD FOR THE GULF ARE LIKELY TO BE FIGHTERS FROM LANGLEY, VIRGINIA.
- PENTAGON / IRAQ Voice of America 12 November 1998 -- SEVEN B-52 BOMBERS LIFTED OFF FROM MINOT NORTH DAKOTA EARLY THURSDAY MORNING, MAKING THE 18 HOUR FLIGHT TO DIEGO GARCIA. UP TO 10 MORE OF THE BOMBERS LEAVE LOUISIANA LATE THURSDAY.
- 31st MEU Ordered to Persian Gulf (Nov. 11, 1998) -- The Secretary of Defense ordered the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to set sail for the Persian Gulf aboard the ships of the Belleau Wood Amphibious Ready Group (ARG).
- SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM S. COHEN SIGNS DEPLOYMENT ORDER TO INCREASE FORCE PRESENCE IN THE GULF REGION 11 November 1998 -- The President has approved the recommendations of the Secretary of Defense to deploy additional forces to the Gulf region. The deployments will start within the next several days. Deployment of the entire package of additional forces is expected to take no more than about two weeks.
- MORE FORCES TO GULF, UPDATE Voice of America 11 November 1998 -- 3,000 SOLDIERS FROM AN ARMORED BRIGADE ARE ON THE WAY.
- MORE FORCES TO GULF Voice of America 11 November 1998 -- PLANS ARE READY TO MOVE THOUSANDS OF U-S GROUND TROOPS, MORE MISSILE DEFENSES AND SEVERAL DOZEN MORE AIR CRAFT TO THE PERSIAN GULF.
- DoD News Briefing Tuesday, November 10, 1998 -- In the Gulf today we have 23,500 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. There are 2,600 soldiers; 14,300 sailors and Marines; 5,600 in the Air Force; and then there are joint headquarters and other joint units comprised of 1,000 people. We have in the area today 173 aircraft including air to air, air to ground, dual role, support, and attack helicopters. That does not include Turkey. Certain naval and Air Force forces -- for instance an air expeditionary force -- [are] on a 96 hour tether which means they are ready to get to the Gulf within 96 hours. Q: Do we have any B-52s on Diego Garcia at the moment? A: No.
- Secretary Cohen News Briefing Tuesday, November 10, 1998 -- Cohen I have recommended to President Clinton that we accelerate the transit time of the ENTERPRISE carrier battle group so that it arrives not on November 26th, but by November 23rd. I also recommended to the President that we sail the BELLEAU WOOD amphibious ready group from WESTPAC to arrive in the Gulf by November 26. Q: So both carriers remain, will remain in the Gulf? A: (Cohen): That is not my intent at this time.
- DoD News Briefing , November 5, 1998 -- We've got a lot of forces there already. We've got over 23,000 personnel. We have an aircraft carrier. We have an amphibious ready group. We have a lot of fixed-wing aircraft. I think there's more than a total of 170 aircraft, combat aircraft that are available.
- DoD News Briefing , November 3, 1998 -- Q: Can you give us a rundown on where U.S. aircraft are stationed in the region? A: That force includes both carrier-based air and land-based air. We have approximately 23,000 U.S. personnel who are in the region. The Amphibious Ready Group is centered around the amphibious ship ESSEX. There are a number of Tomahawk-capable ships in the region that we maintain on a continuing basis. Q: You mentioned the EISENHOWER is there. The ENTERPRISE is shortly to deploy. Is there any consideration being given to advancing its deployment or to going back to two carriers in the region?
- USS Abraham Lincoln leaves Arabian Gulf NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) 26 October 1998 -- USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) left the Arabian Gulf Oct. 21. Abraham Lincoln is expected to return to Everett, Wash., by mid-December.
- Formidable Force Remains in Gulf American Forces Press Service 12 August 1998 -- The United States still has a strong, combat-ready force in the Persian Gulf -- nearly 20,000 troops and twice as many missiles as a year ago.
- USS Lincoln BG enters Arabian Gulf NAVY WIRE SERVICE - A WIRE (NWSA) - 28 July 1998 - The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Battle Group relieved USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as both ships passed by each other July 22 in the Arabian Sea.
- DoD News Briefing Tuesday, July 28, 1998 - U.S. forces there number just under 20,000. I think in the last week or so, the aircraft carrier ABRAHAM LINCOLN reported on the scene. We have 14 ships in the area, we have about 165 aircraft.
- US Forces in the Gulf @ CDI.org - as of June 18, 1998
- DoD News Briefing Thursday, June 18, 1998 -- The Gulf -- the forces have come down some. On Tuesday, there were 29,800 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines in the Gulf. Today, there are 28,000, approximately 28,000.
- DoD News Briefing Tuesday, June 9, 1998 - Q: Can you give us a breakdown on forces in the Gulf now that the 12 F-117s are back?
- Patrolling Iraq's northern skies -- : June 4, 1998 American Forces Press Service About 1,300 Americans, 200 British and 100 Turkish troops are deployed to conduct Northern Watch under the co-command of the United States and Turkey.
- DoD News Briefing Tuesday, May 26, 1998 -- President Clinton has decided to reduce the current force there to its pre-crisis levels of about October of last year. Last year we had 18,000 to 19,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the Gulf. We began to build up in response to the problems over inspections and reached a peak force of about 44,000. Today there are about 36,000 or 37,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in the Gulf. We're also leaving behind a very powerful force of cruise missiles that will be about double the size of the cruise missile force before the crisis began last fall.
- GULF TROOPS HEAD HOME Voice of America 26 May 1998 -- PENTAGON OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL SOON CUT THE NUMBER OF U-S TROOPS AND SHIPS IN THE PERSIAN GULF BY ABOUT HALF. THE 37-THOUSAND SAILORS, SOLDIERS, AIRMEN, AND MARINES HAVE BEEN KEEPING A CLOSE WATCH ON IRAQ.
- COHEN / GULF Voice of America 25 May 1998 -- U-S DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN HAS CONFIRMED THE UNITED STATES INTENDS TO SCALE BACK ITS FORCES IN THE PERSIAN GULF TO THE APPROXIMATE LEVELS THAT EXISTED BEFORE LAST NOVEMBER'S STAND-OFF WITH IRAQ OVER U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS.
- Press Briefing Enroute to Santiago, Chile Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen Sunday, 24 May 1998 -- I would hope that we will go to that one carrier presence so that we can get down to approximately where we were prior to November. That is still very significant and that would be between 17,000 and 20,000 personnel. And again, we would hope to have a rapidly deployable force that could go back within a 48 hour period.
- USS Dwight D. Eisenhower BG deployment schedule changes 27 April 1998 -- NAVY WIRE SERVICE - A WIRE (NWSA)
- In Kuwait, U.S. Air Units Prime for War By John Lancaster Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, February 19, 1998; Page A01
- More F-117A Nighthawks deploy to Southwest Asia Released: Feb 17, 1998
- New Weapons Give Navy Top Air Role The Washington Post Thursday, February 12, 1998; Page A25
- General Zinni Briefs on the Deployment of U.S. Forces to the Arabian Gulf Wednesday, November 26, 1997
General Order of BattleThese are generally dated as of early 1998
- Allied Military Buildup in the Gulf @ CNN - current, but few details
- Persian Gulf balance of power @ MSNBC [their orbat is substantially at variance with others]
- Forces in the Gulf @ CNN [totally outta date, with no "as of" date]
- U.S. Bases and Weapons @ ABC News - Ambiguous "as-of" date data
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