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US Forces Order of Battle
Saturday, October 14, 2000

This is a "best available" order-of-battle of forces deployed in CENTCOM's part of Southwest Asia, as well as EUCOM forces in Turkey participating in Operation Northern Watch. Over time, the amount of publicly available information concerning aircraft types and specific units has diminished to the point that it is not presently possible to provide a particularly high fidelity profile of current deployments [CENTAF has not updated its deployment information since early 1998]. There are evidently significant gaps in unit identifications, as well as non-trivial uncertainties as to numbers of specific types of aircraft. Although the Naval forces are reported with considerable fidelity, the Air Force and Army force levels and units are increasingly conjectural.

Current contingency operations are estimated to entail annual costs of about $1 billion.

There are probably about 25,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area, including a Brigade sized Army unit in Kuwait [about 5,000 soldiers], approximately 5,000 Air Force personnel, between 13,000-15,000 sailors and Marines [the Navy provides the lower number which does not include civilians, while a direct count suggests the higher number], and joint headquarters and other joint units comprised of 1,000 people. The number of troops deployed in the area fluctuates on a daily basis, and has averaged between 20,000 and 25,000 in recent years. Naval force personnel levels have varied between 8,000 and 15,000, while Army training exercises routinely deploy upwards of 1,500 troops for periods of a few weeks. The EUCOM Area of Responsibility includes approximately 1,000 Air Force personnel at Incrilik AB Turkey, flying Operation North Watch patrols.

Forces in the region include land and carrier-based aircraft, surface warships, 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 are about 200 combatant and direct support aircraft in the Iraq [CENTCOM and EUCOM] Area of Responsibility, which total includes air to air, air to ground, dual role, direct support, and attack helicopters. Additional aircraft not included in this total include indirect support aircraft. The number of aircraft typically reported by CENTCOM and DOD normally only covers those conducting "imminent danger" missions, and does not include other support aircraft that would not face the prospect of hostile fire.

A total of 738 Vertical Launch System cells are available for Tomahawk cruise missiles, which is roughly twice the average number typically deployed in recent years. Based on estimates of prior deployments, perhaps as many as 400 Tomahawks are actually deployed. The cruise missile force can be augmented significantly within days.

Sources and Methods

Operation NORTHERN WATCH Aircraft

UnitLocation Squadron Aircraft
Homebase type combat other TOTAL
?~30 ?~30 ~60
39th Air and Space Expeditionary Wing
Incirlik AB - Turkey
77 Fighter Sq Shaw AFB F-16CJ ~6
Fighter Wing F-16CJ ~6
Fighter Wing AFB F-16CJ ~6
335 Fighter Sq Seymour Johnson AFB F-15E 4
493rd Expd Fighter Sq RAF Lakenheath F-15C 6
9th Expd Special Operations Sq Hurlburt Field MC-130 ~3
66th Expd Rescue Sq Nellis AFB HH-60 ~3
UH-60 ~3
336th Expd Air Refueling Sq March & McConnell AFB KC-135 ~12
965th Expd Abn Air Control Sq Tinker AFB E-3A ~3
C-12 ~1
VMAQ-1 EA-6B 3

Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Aircraft

UnitLocation Squadron Aircraft
Homebase type combat other TOTAL
~160 ~35 ~200
Land Based ~100 ~30 ~130
9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force ~100 ~30 ~130
Saudi Arabia - Eskan Village 0 0 0
320 Air Expeditionary Group NONE 0 0 0
Saudi Arabia - Prince Sultan Air Base [PSAB] ~64 ~16 ~90
363rd Air Expeditionary Wing
363 Air Expeditionary Group
335 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron F-15 ~18
336 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Misawa AB F-16 ~18
VAQ-128 [Navy] EA-6B 2
363 Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Sq E-3 AWACS 6
12th Air Control Squadron E-8 JSTARS 2
763 Expeditionary Reconnaissance Sq
12 Expeditionary Intelligence Sq
RC-135 4
363 Expeditionary Air Refueling Sq KC-135 ? 12
363 Expeditionary Airlift Sq ? 10
4402d Reconnaissance Squadron (P) U-2 2
4404th MEDEVAC Company UH-60 ~6
Saudi Arabia - Taif Air Base 0 0 0
Kuwait - Ali As Salem AB ~13 ~13
9th Air Expeditionary Group
9 Expeditionary Air Control Sq Davis-Monthan EC-130 ~3
9 Expeditionary Rescue Sq Moody AFB HH-60 ~3
9 Expeditionary Special Operations Sq Hurlburt Field MC-130 ~3
9 Expeditionary Airlift Sq C-130E 2
9 Aeromedical Evacuation Fl H-60G 2
Kuwait - Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base ~30 ~30
332 Air Expeditionary Group
A10 Squadron A-10 ~13
1 FW F15 Squadron F-15 ~10
Squadron F-16CJ ?~8
United Arab Emirates - Al Dhafra ? 12 ? 12
763 Expeditionary Air Refueling Sq KC-10 ? 12
Oman - Al Seeb Air Base 4 4
763 Expeditionary Airlift Sq KC-10 4 4
Bahrain - Sheik Isa Airfield 0 0
B-1 Squadron B-1 0
Diego Garcia 2 0 2
2nd Air Expeditionary Group 2 0 2
96 Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-52 2
KC-10 0
Afloat in the Persian Gulf 62 6 68
Carrier Air Wing CVW-14 [USS Abraham Lincoln] 62 668
VF-31 F-14B 10
VFA-25 F/A-18C 12
VFA-113 F/A-18C 12
VFA-115 F/A-18C 12
VAQ-135 EA-6B 4
VS-29 S-3B 8
VAW-117 E-2C 4
HS-6 SH-60 6


Crew VLS Cells
CVG Carrier Battle Group9,184738
USS Abraham Lincoln CV 725,680-0-
USS Bunker Hill CG 52 400 122
USS Shiloh CG 67 400 122
USS Paul Hamilton DDG 60 340 90
USS Cole DDG 67 340 90
USS Milius DDG 69 340 90
USS Donald Cook DDG 75 340 90
USS OldendorfDD 972 382 61
USS Fletcher DD 992 382 61
USS Crommelin FFG 37 220-0-
USS Hawes FFG 53 220-0-
USS Tucson SSN 770 140 12
ARG Amphibious Ready Group5,0100
USS Tarawa LHD 13,002-0-
USS Duluth LPD 61,320-0-
USS Anchorage LSD 36688-0-
MCM Mine Countermeasure Squadron2720
USS Ardent MCM 1285-0-
USS Dextrous MCM 1385-0-
USS Cardinal MHC 6051-0-
USS Raven MHC 6151-0-
MSC Military Sealift Command424
USNS Diehl T-AO 193124-0-
USNS Catawba T-ATF 16820-0-
USNS Spica T-AFS 9170-0-
USNS Shughart T-AKR 295 26-0-
USNS Gordon T-AKR 296 26-0-
USNS Yano T-AKR 297 26-0-
USNS Gilliland T-AKR 298 26-0-
USNS Watson T-AKR 31026-0-
Tomahawk-capable VLS Cells738
Tomahawks embarked? 400+

Army Forces

Riyadh Airfield, Saudi ArabiaX
Dhahran AB, Saudi ArabiaX
Camp Doha, Kuwait~5,000X
Incirlik AB - TurkeyX

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