16-aug-90    to    10-mar-91

Operation Desert Shield/Storm

16-aug-90    to    10-mar-91

iraq Iraq

In Aug 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, after previous attempts had been detered. An international coalition was formed following UN condemnation and led by a huge US build up in the area, Kuwait was liberated and Iraqi troops driven back.
The events of August are mostly faint memory but it was truly an incredible effort. 16 of August of 1990 found us the first Marine Corps combat unit in Saudi Arabia fully ready to fight. We remained the northern most Marine combat force for over a month. Those were tense,diffucult and exciting times. on 29 Jan 1991 We had our first hostile engagement in Khafji. 31 Jan 1991 Squadron redeployed to Tanajib. 24Feb 1991 Coalition ground offensive begins. When called to fight , we outflew every squadron  in Saudi Arabia we destroyed over a 100 targets and caputured an Iraqi Tank battalion. We flew several dangerous urgent medevacs and our Psyops accounted for untold Iraqi surrenders. 28 feb 1991  President Bush announced a cease fire. 10Mar 1991 Depart Saudi Arabia to come home to sweet old USA.
The UK's Support Helicopter Force, Middle East was made up from the Puma's from 33 and 230 Squadrons numbering around 15 a/c, the Chinook's from 7 and 18 Sqn and also from 240 OCU making up 17 a/c in total.  The Royal Navy Commando Helicopter Force provided 12 Sea King HC4 aircraft coming from 845 and 848 Squadrons.  All the UK's helicopters were painted in a desert pink camouflage, with some of the Chinooks, that were used as SF support receiving a distinctive black scheme that was hand painted on.   
Operating from Small Ships decks were Lynx from 815 and 829 Naval Air Squadrons, some despatched specifically for Operation Granby (the British contribution to Operation Desert Shield/Storm), others already in theatre due to assignment to the Armilla Patrol. Between 29 and 30 Jan, the Iraqi Navy was operating almost 20 vessels off Khafji (Al Hafji) and Lynx from Armilla Patrol ships, HMS Gloucester, HMS Cardiff and HMS Brazen engaged and destroyed or severely damaged them all.
France deployed over 18000 personnel and tasks were undertaken as Operation Daguet.


Dates UnitModels
    US HMLA-369 US Marine Corps 209 AH-1 Cobra
    aug90 to mar91 UK 815 NAS Fleet Air Arm Lynx
    aug90 to mar91 UK 829 NAS Fleet Air Arm Lynx
    aug90 to mar91 US HMH-466 US Marine Corps S-80 H-53E
    oct90 to mar91 AR EAH1 Comando de Aviacion Naval Argentina Alouette III
    nov90 to mar91 UK 7 Squadron Royal Air Force CH-47C Chinook
    nov90 to mar91 UK 33 Squadron Royal Air Force SA330 Puma
    nov90 to mar91 UK 230 Squadron Royal Air Force SA330 Puma
    01nov90 to 01mar91 US HSL-49 US Navy S-70 H-60
    25nov90 to 15mar91 UK 240 OCU Royal Air Force SA330 Puma
CH-47C Chinook
    dec90 to mar91 UK 654 Squadron Army Air Corps WAH-64 Apache
SA341B Gazelle AH.1
    dec90 to mar91 UK 659 Squadron Army Air Corps Scout
    dec90 to mar91 UK 661 Squadron Army Air Corps SA341B Gazelle AH.1
    dec90 to mar91 UK 846 NAS Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
    28dec90 to may91 US 2-227th AVN US Army Aviation AH-64A Apache
    jan91 to mar91 UK 845 NAS Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
    jan91 to mar91 UK 848 NAS Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
    jan91 to apr91 US HS-9 US Navy S-61 H-3
    06jan91 to 15mar91 UK 18 Squadron Royal Air Force CH-47C Chinook
Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

helicopter   Individual helicopters

Model IDs
Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior 83-24129 w/o    
Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk 78-22974    
Westland Sea King HC.4 ZD478    
Westland Lynx HAS2 XZ227     XZ228     XZ230     XZ694     XZ720    
Westland Sea King HAS.2 XZ571    
Westland Lynx HAS3 ZD256    
Aerospatiale SA330E Puma XW200     XW225    
Aerospatiale SA342M Gazelle 3849     4067    
Boeing CH-47D Chinook 84-24181    


Aircraft Carrier   John F Kennedy class US Navy CV-67 USS John F Kennedy,
Helicopter Carrier   Argus class Royal Fleet Auxiliary A135 RFA Argus,
Guided-Missile Cruiser   Ticonderoga VLS class US Navy CG-59 USS Princeton,
Guided-Missile Cruiser   Ticonderoga class US Navy CG-50 USS Valley Forge,
Destroyer   Spruance class US Navy DD-975 USS O'Brien,
Guided-Missile Frigate   Adelaide class Royal Australian Navy FFG 03 HMAS Sydney, Royal Australian Navy FFG 04 HMAS Darwin,
Guided-Missile Frigate   Jacob van Heemskerck class Royal Netherlands Navy F813 Hr.Ms. Witte de With,
Frigate   Knox class US Navy FF-1063 USS Reasoner,
Frigate   Kortenaer class Royal Netherlands Navy F826 Hr.Ms. Pieter Florisz,
Frigate   Type 22 (Batch 1) Broadsword class Royal Navy F91 HMS Brazen,
Frigate   Type 22 (Batch 2) Boxer class Royal Navy F98 HMS Coventry,
Command ship   Blue Ridge class US Navy LCC-19 USS Blue Ridge,
Assault Carrier   Iwo Jima class US Navy LPH-10 USS Tripoli, US Navy LPH-3 USS Okinawa,
Support Ship   Sacramento class US Navy AOE-3 USS Seattle, US Navy AOE-4 USS Detroit,
Support Ship   Mars class US Navy AFS-7 USS San Jose,
Support Ship   Wichita class US Navy AOR-3 USS Kansas City, US Navy AOR-6 USS Kalamazoo,
Support Ship   Kilauea class US Navy AE-32 USS Flint,
Support Ship   Stromboli class Italian Navy A 5327 Stromboli,

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