Exercise Intrinsic Action
Following Operation DESERT STRIKE in 1996, Kuwait agreed to a nearly continuous presence of a US battalion task force in Kuwait. These US Army INTRINSIC ACTION rotations and US Marine Corps EAGER MACE rotations conducted combined training with the Kuwaiti Land Forces and other coalition partners. In addition, Special Operations Forces conducted IRIS GOLD rotations to train and assist other Kuwaiti military units.
Operation Desert Spring succeeded Exercise Intrinsic Action on 01 October 1999. However, the INTRINSIC ACTION designation continues to be used with respect to the force-on-force exercises in Kuwait. This exercise was designed to provide continued US ground presence in Kuwait, improve interoperability and battle staff proficiency between US and Kuwaiti armed forces, and enhance US military force capabilities to rapidly deploy to the region.
Members of US Central Command's Army component and Kuwaiti armed forces participated in Exercise Intrinsic Action within the framework of the Defense Cooperation Agreement between Kuwait and the United States. Under Intrinsic Action, Army battalions rotated into Camp Doha for training with the Kuwaitis while brigade command elements rotated into various locations in the country.
These four-month exercises were conducted with the Kuwaiti Army and used US Army equipment prepositioned in Kuwait. Although termed an "exercise" these deployments actually constituted a continuous operational presence of American ground forces in Kuwait, with different units rotating in for periods of four months at a time. Each rotation received a sequential designator, with the three deployments in 1997, for instance, being designated INTRINSIC ACTION 98-1, INTRINSIC ACTION 98-2, and INTRINSIC ACTION 98-3.
US forces participate in a combined exercise with military forces from the country of Kuwait starting March 15, 1995. Exercise Intrinsic Action 95-2 was designed to test the rapid response capabilities of U.S. Army units, and to enhance the interoperability between the two countries' forces. The exercise involved US military from the 1st Armored Division, V Corps, stationed in Germany, 5th Special Forces Group from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and Kuwaiti forces.
In August 1995, the Blackjack Brigade Combat Team (BCT) deployed to Kuwait on 48 hours notice for "Operation Intrinsic Action" in response to aggressive actions by Iraq. Fourteen hundred soldiers from the Fort Hood, Texas-based 1st Cavalry Division deployed to Kuwait two months ahead of schedule to take part in Intrinsic Action 95-3. Soldiers assigned to the 1st Cavalry, 2nd Brigade, from Fort Hood, Texas, arrived at the Kuwait City International Airport, Kuwait, aboard a C-141B Starlifter assigned to the 19th Airlift Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., 22 August 1995. The deployment was stepped up two months amid concern that increased military activity in Iraq posed a threat to Jordan or Saudi Arabia. The activity accelerated after Jordan granted political asylum to two senior Iraqi defectors, one of whom called for the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. While stressing that the decision to move up the U.S.-Kuwaiti Intrinsic Action exercise was not a "force deployment" defense officials acknowledged that it was meant to send a clear signal to Iraq. Bumping up the Intrinsic Action timetable showcased the military's ability to project power forward, rapidly and efficiently.
The Department of Defense confirmed September 13, 1996 that a U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team headquarters and two battalions from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, would deploy as a part of Exercise Intrinsic Action to Kuwait. The 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, consisting of approximately 5,000 soldiers, joined the 1,200 soldiers who had been in Kuwait since August training with the Kuwaiti armed forces as a part of Intrinsic Action 96-3. The unit drew equipment, such as M1A1 Abrams tanks and M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles already prepositioned in Kuwait.
Under Intrinsic Action 96-3, on 30 September 1996 the first of 3,500 jet-lagged soldiers from Texas began the long drive into the desert. They were on a "combat time line," moving straight into battle position as if Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard troops were really advancing. The US plan to deploy an added 3,500 Americans was put on hold for a day, when an army officer misread an order to prepare to deploy as the final go-ahead, prompting the Pentagon to announce the troops were going before Defense Secretary Perry could seek permission from Kuwait.
In February 1997 it was announced that the latest INTRINSIC ACTION exercise would consist of a battalion from Fort Hood. The 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood spent about 120 days in Kuwait, exercising with Kuwaiti forces. The previous deployment under INTRINSIC ACTION was from the 10th of August to the 15th of December 1996.
In June of 1997 the entire 2nd battalion 12th Cavalry task force deployed to Kuwait, drew prepositioned equipment, and initiated a rigorous two and a half month training cycle known as Intrinsic Action 97-02. The Chargers battled blowing sand, 130-plus degree temperatures, and 50 mile an hour winds, all while maintaining an above 90% operational readiness rate and a high quality of life for the soldiers.
More than 1,200 soldiers from Fort Carson's 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, deployed for Exercise INTRINSIC ACTION 97-3. The four-month exercise was conducted with the Kuwaiti Army and uses U.S. Army equipment prepositioned in Kuwait. The exercise was designed to improve readiness and enhance U.S. military capabilities to quickly deploy to the region. The task force, consisting of two mechanized infantry companies, a tank company, a field artillery battery and an engineer company, trained with units from Kuwait's 35th Brigade. INTRINSIC ACTION 97-3 was scheduled to run through December with soldiers returning home by Christmas.
Nearly 1,500 US soldiers participated with members of the Kuwaiti armed forces in Exercise Intrinsic Action 98-1. US Central Command's army component and Kuwaiti armed forces participated in Exercise Intrinsic Action 98-1, scheduled to begin Jan. 20, 1998 and to continue until mid-April 1998. The exercise will involved approximately 1,500 U.S. Army soldiers. The deployment included a battalion task force, combat support units and combat service support units. The task force deployed without equipment and will use prepositioned equipment in Kuwait. More than 1,200 soldiers from Fort Benning's 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division deployed in January 1998 for Exercise INTRINSIC ACTION 98-1. The task force, consisting of two mechanized infantry companies, two tank companies, a field artillery battery and engineer company, trained with units from Kuwait's 35th Brigade after the Ramadan religious period ends on January 28th.
As of July 1998 more than 1,200 soldiers from Task Force 2-7 CAV, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, are deployed for Exercise INTRINSIC ACTION 98-2. The task force consists of two mechanized infantry companies, two tank companies, a field artillery battery and an engineer company.
Within the framework of the Defense Cooperation Agreement between Kuwait and the United States, members of U.S. Central Command's Army component and Kuwaiti armed forces participated in Exercise Intrinsic Action 98-2. This exercise, scheduled May 15 to mid-August 1998, was designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships, improve readiness and interoperability between U.S. and Kuwaiti armed forces, enhance U.S. military force capabilities to quickly deploy to the region and provide continued U.S. ground presence in Kuwait. The exercise involved approximately 1,200 U.S. Army soldiers from elements of Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Central Command, Ft. McPherson, Ga. and elements of the First Cavalry Division, Ft. Hood, Texas. The deployment will include a battalion task force, combat support units and combat service support units. The task force deployed without equipment and used prepositioned equipment in Kuwait.
Within the framework of the Defense Cooperation Agreement between Kuwait and the United States, members of U.S. Central Command's Army component and Kuwaiti armed forces participated in Exercise Intrinsic Action 98-3 from Aug. 30 through mid-December 1998. This exercise was designed to provide continued U.S. ground presence in Kuwait, improve interoperability and battle staff proficiency between U.S. and Kuwaiti armed forces, and enhance U.S. military force capabilities to rapidly deploy to the region. The exercise involved approximately 1,500 U.S. Army soldiers from elements of Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Central Command, Fort McPherson, Ga., and elements of the 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. The deployment included a battalion task force, combat support units and combat service support units. The task force deployed without equipment and will use prepositioned equipment in Kuwait.
Intrinsic Action 99-01 involved approximately 1,250 U.S. Army soldiers from elements of Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Central Command, Ft. McPherson, Ga. and elements of the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized), Ft. Stewart, Ga. The deployment included a battalion task force, combat support units and combat service support units. The task force deployed without equipment and will use prepositioned equipment in Kuwait. This exercise was scheduled Dec. 10, 1998 though mid-April 1999.
In August 1999 the Bravo Company 404th Direct Support Maintenance deployed to Intrinsic Action 99-03 . Personnel endured heat in the 130's heavy work hours, camels in the road, guard duty in one of many guard towers, and nice cold showers. All of the troops came home on 20 December 1999.
Following command, control and communications improvements at Camp Doha, the base became the standing headquarters of a brigade-sized unit under Operation Desert Spring, which succeeded Exercise Intrinsic Action on 01 October 1999.
Exercise Intrinsic Action continued as an Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration (RSOI) and force-on-force exercise. Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration is a rigorous event for soldiers who have just traveled many hours on a crowded airplane. Hours after touching down, units account for and pick up pre-positioned weapon systems, equipment and supplies and head to the desert. RSOI readies battalion-to brigade-sized task force elements to fight shortly after arriving in Kuwait. Since the Gulf War, RSOI has become one of the most important missions for ARCENT-Kuwait.
On the main equipment draw lot on Camp Doha, a massive logistical effort takes place every RSOI. Soldiers inventory each vehicle and ensure it has its proper combat load. Only then will Camp Doha's Director of Logistics personnel sign over each vehicle to the task force. A couple of hours pass and the task force moves into the second phase of the RSOI process -- staging. One by one, drivers and ground guides load tracked vehicles onto heavy equipment transports and positioned wheeled vehicles into columns in the marshaling area, making final preparations for the drive to the Kabal. Onward movement began when each serial of the overall convoy headed out the gate of Camp Doha and began the slow trek through the desert. The final phase, integration, is the tactical fusion of the arriving units into the Kuwait defensive plan.
The MPRI Kuwait Observer-Controller Team (KOCT) was assembled for 80 + days to support an exercise during May to Aug 02 supporting a force-on-force exercise (INTRINSIC ACTION) and LFX at Camp Doha, Kuwait in Summer 02. The exercise involves Armor, and Mech Infantry forces. MPRI was looking for physically fit qualified OCs, Training Analysis Feedback Facility specialists, and Battlestaff officers and NCOs with Company/Platoon heavy force experience. Candidates must possess Co/Plt level CTC OC experience or numerous rotations to a CTC at that level. These exercises are very demanding. Team members will work continually for the 50 + days. The heat can be a significant risk factor - so being in top physical condition is paramount.
In the aftermath of the Gulf War CENTCOM set up an exercise program to exercise US troops in Kuwait, to help rebuild the Kuwait Armed Forces and to allow a degree of Coalition exercising to take place. The Kuwaitis provided the Host Nation Support for allies taking part in the exercises. By the late 1990s the only UK Land forces exercising in Kuwait have been light role battalions from Cyprus. The Kuwaitis made clear their dissatisfaction with this, stating that for the Host Nation Support provided they expected appropriate, ie, armored forces to participate in the exercises. The UK therefore proposed that UK Land forces exercise in Kuwait, with the Americans and Kuwaitis, on CENTCOM organised exercises. A UK armored brigade headquarters will participate in the Command Post Exercise Lucky Sentinel in odd years commencing in 1999; and the UK will provide an armoured Battle Group to participate in the field training Exercise Intrinsic Action in 2002 and every even year thereafter.
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