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US Forces Order of Battle - 25 November

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 no longer possible to provide a high fidelity profile of current deployments. There are evidently significant gaps in unit identifications, as well as non-trivial uncertainties as to numbers of specific types of aircraft. The presence of significant numbers of civilian contractor personnel at various facilities in the region further complicates accounting for total personnel numbers.

Excluding forces deployed in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, there are probably about 48,000 military personnel in the CENTCOM area of responsibility, including about 400 aircraft of all types. 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, with typically about 200 aircraft in the region. Forces in the region include 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.

Ground forces include a variety of units that are normally deployed in the region, which total about 3,700 troops. Forces in the region include a Patriot missile task force with two batteries deployed in Saudi Arabia and two in Kuwait. The Army Intrinsic Action / Desert Spring training exercises routinely deploy 1,500 to 5,000 troops for rotations of several months. As of late-September 2002 a brigade rotation was in progress having just begun, ultimately this will involve as many as 10,000 soldiers in Kuwait. In addition to the 3,700 soldiers normally in the region, this troop rotation, once completed, could bring the total Army presence to nearly 14,000 soldiers. However it is possible that the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division will return to the United States. As of late-October there were roughly 10,000 soldiers based in the region, with some 6,000 in Kuwait. On 24 September 2002 it was reported that the 82nd Airborne Division had been notified to be prepared to deploy to the Gulf within two weeks.

The EUCOM Area of Responsibility includes approximately 1,700 Air Force personnel at Incrilik AB Turkey, flying Operation Northern Watch patrols. Prior to Operation Enduring Freedom, approximately 6,200 Air Force personnel were normally stationed in the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility. As many as 17,500 Air Force personnel may be currently stationed in the CENTCOM and EUCOM areas responsible for operations against Iraq, operating a total of about 280 aircraft of all types.

Naval units include a headquarters and shore-based units comprised of about 1,200 people at Manama in Bahrain. Nearly a thousand civilian mariners are associated with Military Sealift Command ships at Diego Garcia. During the 1990s overal Naval force personnel levels in the CENTCOM AOR typically varied between 8,000 and 15,000. Each Carrier Battlegroup, with its associated Carrier Air Wing, has approximately 11,000 sailors embarked. Each Amphibious Group has about 1,700 sailors, 1,500 Marines, and 700 Marine aviators embarked. As of late-September 2002 there was one carrier battle group in the area, and one amphibious group, for a total of slightly less than 20,000 naval personnel. These units included about 128 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. A total of about 400 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 150 Tomahawks are actually deployed. The cruise missile force can be augmented significantly within days.

Currently, there are about 370 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.

Recent Developments

Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force are deploying to Southwest Asia on November 21, 2002. Based at Camp Pendleton, these Marines are part of I MEF's command element and number in the hundreds. This deployment was announced on Sept 11, 2002 and is part of the Internal Look exercise that will be taking place in Southwest Asia beginning later this month or in early December.

Elements of the 3-43rd Air Defense Artillery from Fort Bliss, Texas have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Southern Watch. Relatedly, stories in the El Paso Times on November 19 and November 20 report that there have been strong indications that a significant number of troops located there either have recieved deployment orders or have been alerted to prepare for a deployment to Southwest Asia. The El Paso Times also reports that between 75 and 100 rail cars carrying support equipment left Fort Bliss recently for an undisclosed location in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Constellation Battle Group made a port of call in Hong Kong on November 22 and will remain in port through the 27th. While ports of call are a routine feature of deployments, the decision by the Navy to allow the Connie to divert to Hong Kong rather than head directly to the Persian Gulf is another indication that the US does not anticipate that an attack on Iraq would take place prior to mid-December, the estimated time of arrival for the Constellation and her Battle Group.

Relatedly, articles from both the South China Morning Post and the Associated Press dated November 19 and November 18, 2002, respectively, report that the USS Kitty Hawk and elements of her Battle Group will make a port call at Hong Kong on November 29 through December 3. An additional story printed on November 22, in the Associated Press reports that the USS Rainier which is currently attached to the Connie Battle Group will remain in port awaiting the arrival of the Kitty Hawk and will depart with her on December 3. This is a very strong indication that the Kitty Hawk may be departing for the Persian Gulf.

If true, this would bring the total number of aircraft carriers available for a late December early January attack on Iraq to five, provided that the George Washington does not return to Norfolk on December 20.

For up-to-date information on US Carrier Battle Groups including their known positions check GlobalSecurity's "Where are the Carriers?" page.

CENTCOM Southwest Asia - Army Forces

TOTAL? 9,000
Kuwait - Camp Doha~2,700
Army Central Command700
201st Military Intelligence BN
385th Sig. Co, 54 Signal Bn125
Det. 831st Transportation Bn2
Combat Equipment Bn-Kuwait ? 25
2x1 Brigade Set [(APS-5) 1 of 4]- 0 -116 M1 MBT
58 M2 BFV
Kuwait - Camp Arifjan25
Combat Equipment Bn-Kuwait ? 25
2x1 Brigade Set [(APS-5) 2 of 4]- 0 -116 M1 MBT
58 M2 BFV
Kuwait - The Kabals? 6,000
7th Squadron, 6th Cavalry ? - AH-64D
? UH-60L
elements of I Marine Expeditionary Force
elements of V-Corps ~ 1,000
6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry ? - AH-64D
2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry 450?4 - AH-64D
?4 UH-60
E Company, 51st Infantry Rgt
element of 1 UK Armoured Division
2nd BDE, 3rd Infantry Div (ex Desert Spring) 2x1 Brigade Set [(APS-5) 3 of 4] 5,000116 M1 MBT
58 M2 BFV
3rd BN, 15th Infantry Rgt (ex Desert Spring)
1st BN, 64th Armor Rgt (ex Desert Spring)
4th BN, 64th Armor Rgt (ex Desert Spring)
E Trp, 9th Cavalry Rgt (ex Desert Spring)
1st BN, 9th Field Artillery Rgt (ex Desert Spring)
26th FWD Support BN (ex Desert Spring)
10th Engineer BN (ex Desert Spring)
U/I element of 123rd Signal BN (ex Desert Spring)
elements of 3rd BDE, 3rd Infantry Div (ex Desert Spring) ?5,000
Kuwait - Ahmed Al Jaber AB85
Patriot Task Force Battery8532 - Patriot
Kuwait - Ali Al Salem AB85
Patriot Task Force Battery8532 - Patriot
Bahrain - Manama250
SOCCENT-FWD (exercise Iris Gold)250
Bahrain - Mina Sulman11
Det. 831st Transportation Bn11
Qatar - Al Karana15
Combat Equipment Bn15
Division Set [(APS-5)]- 0 -
Qatar - Camp As Sayliyah15
Combat Equipment Battalion-Qatar15
2x1 Brigade Set [(APS-5) 4 of 4]- 0 -116 M1 MBT
58 M2 BFV
Qatar - Camp Snoopy20
Army Material Command - FWD SWA10
Combat Equipment Battalion-Qatar10
Qatar - Umm Said2
Det. 831st Transportation Bn2
Saudi Arabia - Dhahran AB200
Patriot Task Force Battery8532 - Patriot
550th Sig. Co, 54 Signal Bn125
Det. 831st Transportation Bn3
Saudi Arabia - Eskan Village300
Patriot Task Force170
Headquarters, 54th Signal Bn125
Saudi Arabia - Riyadh Airfield85
Patriot Task Force Battery8532 - Patriot
Turkey - Incirlik AB
Diego Garcia
2x2 Brigade Set [(APS-3) / [APSRON 4]- 0 -116 M1 MBT
116 M2 BFV
1x1 Brigade Set [(APS-3) / [APSRON 4] - 0 -58 M1 MBT
58 M2 BFV


Location Unit Squadron Aircraft Personnel
TOTAL~ 601,700
Land Based Aircraft
Incirlik AB - Turkey
39th Air and Space Expeditionary Wing~ 601,700
77th Fighter Sq 6 - F-16CJ
4th Fighter Sq 6- F-16CJ
124th Fighter Sq ? 6 - F-16CD
27th Fighter Sq ? 6 - F-15C
U/I Unit ? 6 - F-15E
U/I Unit ? 3 - MC-130
U/I Unit ? 3 - HH-60G
U/I Unit ? 3 - UH-60
900th Exp Air Refueling Sq ? 12 - KC-135
970th Air Control Sq ? 3 - E-3A
VAQ 209 ? 2 - EA-6B
VAQ 133 ? 2 - EA-6B
No. 41 Squadron [UK RAF] 6 - Jaguar
No. 10 Squadron [UK RAF] ? - VC10 C1K


Location Unit Squadron Aircraft Personnel
TOTAL220? 16,000
Land Based Aircraft
Saudi Arabia - Eskan Village 1,500
9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force
Saudi Arabia - Prince Sultan Air Base [PSAB]724,500
363rd Air Expeditionary Wing
335 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron 18 - F-15
336 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron 18 - F-16
186th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
184th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
6 - F-16
363 Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Sq 6 - E-3 AWACS
12th Air Control Squadron 2 - E-8 JSTARS
763 Expeditionary Reconnaissance Sq
12 Expeditionary Intelligence Sq
4 - RC-135
363 Expeditionary Air Refueling Sq 12 - KC-135
363 Expeditionary Airlift Sq
4402d Reconnaissance Squadron (P) 2 - U-2
detachment, VMAQ 1 ?3 - EA-6B
4404th MEDEVAC Company 6 - UH-60
No. 43 Squadron [UK RAF] 4 - Tornado F3
Diego Garcia
40th Air Expeditionary Wing? 20? 1,000
40th Bomb Squadron ? 8 - B-52
462nd Air Expeditionary Group? 12 - KC-135R
Bahrain - Muharraq Airfield
VP-1 Screaming Eagles? - P-3? 50
No. 216 Squadron [UK RAF]1 - L-1011 Tristar? 50
Det. VQ-1 World Watchers? - EP-3E ARIES II
Det. Two HC-2 Fleet Angels? - UH-3H
? - VH-3A
Det. One HC-4 Black Stallions? - MH-53E
Kuwait - Ali Al Salem Air Base
386th Air Expeditionary Group1,500
71st Rescue Squadron 2 - HC-130P
No. 12 Squadron [UK RAF] 6 - Tornado GR4
15th Exp Recon Sq ? - RQ-1B
Kuwait - Al Jaber Air Base 771,200
332nd Air Expeditionary Group
332nd Expd Air Sprt Ops Sqdn
332nd Expd Intel Flt
U/I Fighter Squadron12 - A-10
U/I Fighter Squadron18 - F-15C
391st Fighter Squadron10 - F-15E
510th Fighter Squadron?8 - F-16CG/DG
VMFA 212 Lancers12 - F/A-18
U/I Airlift Squadron8 - C-130
332nd Expd Rescue Sqdn2 - HH-60G
U/I element, 552nd Air Control Wing 7 - E-3 AWACS
Oman - Masirah Air Base 141,300
319th Air Expeditionary Group
U/I Unit? 6 - KC-135R
U/I element, 911th Airlift Wing ? 8 - C-130
4th Special Operations Squadron ? 6 - AC-130U
8th Special Operations Squadron ? - MC-130E
Oman - Seeb International Airport 141,300
320th Air Expeditionary Wing?
U/I Fighter Squadron? -
U/I Airlift Squadron, 43rd Airlift Wing? - C-130
Oman - Thumrait Air Base
405th Air Expeditionary Wing? 10? 1,000
U/I element, 9th Bomb Squadron ? - B-1B
U/I element, 13th Bomb Squadron ? - B-1B
U/I element, 28th Bomb Squadron ? - B-1B
U/I element, 37th Bomb Squadron ? - B-1B
U/I element, 77th Bomb Squadron ? - B-1B
U/I Unit? - E-3
U/I element, 55th Wing ? - RC-135
No. 201 Squadron? - Nimrod MR2
No. 206 Squadron? - Nimrod MR2
Qatar - Al Udeid Air Base 123,500
379th Air Expeditionary Wing
44th Expeditionary Air Refueling Sqdn? 4 - KC-10
340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Sqdn? 2 - KC-135R
911th Air Refueling Sqdn~ 2 - KC-135R
U/I Unit, 434th Refueling Wing? 2 - KC-135R
U/I element, 93rd Air Control Wing? 2 - E-8 JSTARS
detachment, VMAQ 1 ?3 - EA-6B
UAE - AL Dhafra Air Base
380th Air Expeditionary Wing 7? 500
U/I element, 9th Reconnaissance Wing ? 2 - U-2
12th Recon Sqdn, 9th Recon Wing? 1 - RQ-4
763 Expeditionary Air Refueling Sq? 4 - KC-10
908 Expeditionary Air Refueling Sq? 4 - KC-10

CENTCOM Southwest Asia - Naval Forces

Location Unit Squadron Aircraft Personnel
Bahrain - Manama 1,200
Naval Forces Central Command / Fifth Fleet
Destroyer Squadron 50
Combined Task Force 53 CTF-53
U/I Port Security Unit
Oman - Masirah AB
Combined Task Force 57 CTF-572 - P-3C? 100
Afloat Marines
11th Marine Expeditionary Unit [11 MEU]1,5004 M1A1
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit [24 MEU]1,5004 M1A1
Afloat Naval Aviation
Location Unit Squadron Aircraft Personnel
CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln
Carrier Air Wing 14 702,500
VF-31 Tomcatters 10 - F-14D
VFA-25 Fist of the Fleet 12 - F/A-18
VFA-113 Stingers12 - F/A-18C
VFA-115 Rampagers12 - F/A-18E/F
VAW-113 Black Eagles4 - E-2C
VAQ-139 Cougars4 - EA-6B
VS-35 Blue Wolves8 - S-3B
VRC-30 Providers Det2 - C-2A
HS-4 Black Knight6 - SH-60F
LHA 3 Belleau Wood
HMM-166 Sea Elks 12 - CH-46
4 - CH-53E
3 - UH-1N
4 - AH-1W
6 - AV-8
LHA 4 Nassau
HMM-263 Thunder Chickens 12 - CH-46
4 - CH-53E
3 - UH-1N
4 - AH-1W
6 - AV-8
Afloat Warships
Group Ship Class Crew VLS Cells
TOTAL+ 10,500405
Abraham Lincoln Battle Group5,963405
CVN 72 Abraham LincolnCVN 683100-0-
CG 53 Mobile BayCG 47 364127
CG 67 ShilohCG 47 364127
DDG 60 Paul HamiltonDDG 51 32390
DD 992 FletcherDD 968 38261
FFG 37 CrommelinFFG 7 300-0-
FFG 57 Reuben JamesFFG 7 300-0-
AOE 2 CamdenAOE 1 700-0-
SSN 718 HonoluluSSN 688 130-0-
LHA 3 Belleau Wood Amphibious Ready Group1,684
LHA 3 Belleau WoodLHA 1 964-0-
LPD 9 DenverLPD 4 420-0-
LSD 39 Mount VernonLSD 36 300-0-
LHA 4 Nassau Amphibious Ready Group1,684
LHA 4 NassauLHA 1 964-0-
LPD 4 AustinLPD 4 420-0-
LSD 46 TortugaLSD 41 400-0-
Mine Countermeasures Division 31270
MCM 12 ArdentMCM 1 85-0-
MCM 13 DextrousMCM 1 85-0-
MHC 60 CardinalMHC 51 50-0-
MHC 61 RavenMHC 51 50-0-
UK Operation Oracle237
F 85 CumberlandType 22 237-0-
UK Armilla Patrol365
F 231 ArgyllType 23 169-0-
M109 BangorMCMV Sandown Class 34-0-
M111 BlythMCMV Sandown Class 34-0-
M101 SandownMCMV Sandown Class 34-0-
M33 BrocklesbyMCMV Hunt Class 45-0-
L3004 Sir Bedivere 49-0-
Afloat at Diego Garcia
Maritime Prepositioning Squadron 2~ 450
Maritime Prepositioning Force
T-AK 3000 MV Cpl. Louis J. Hauge Jr.25-0-
T-AK 3001 MV Pfc. William B. Baugh25-0-
T-AK 3002 MV Pfc. James Anderson Jr.25-0-
T-AK 3003 MV 1st Lt. Alex Bonnyman25-0-
T-AK 3004 MV Pvt. Franklin J. Phillips 25-0-
T-AK 3017 USNS Gysgt Fred W. Stockham 26-0-
Combat Prepositioning Force
T-AK 2062 MV American Cormorant? 25-0-
T-AK 4496 MV LTC John U.D. Page22-0-
T-AK 4544 Sgt. Edward A. Carter, Jr.22-0-
Logistics Prepositioning Force
T-AK 4638 Pitsenbarger23-0-
T-AK 4396 MV Bernard F. Fisher? 25-0-
T-AK 9655 MV Green Ridge? 25-0-
T-AOT 5084 Chesapeake? 75-0-
T-AO 187 USNS Henry J. Kaiser82-0-
Afloat Prepositioning Ship Squadron FOUR424
T-AFS 9 Spica 170-0-
T-AKR 295 Shughart 26-0-
T-AKR 296 Gordon 26-0-
T-AKR 297 Yano 26-0-
T-AKR 298 Gilliland 26-0-
T-AKR 310 Watson 26-0-
T-AO 193 Diehl 124-0-
T-ATF 168 Catawba 20-0-

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