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.