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  • iraq Operation Desert Shield/Storm


    16-aug-90    to    10-mar-91

    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.


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    DatesRotary Wing Aircraft UnitModels
        US Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 US Marine Corps 209 AH-1 Cobra
        aug90 to mar91 UK 815 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Lynx
        aug90 to mar91 UK 829 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Lynx
        aug90 to mar91 US Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 US Marine Corps S-80 H-53E
        oct90 to mar91 AR 1ra Escuadrilla Aeronaval de Helicopteros 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 Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 49 US Navy S-70 H-60
        25nov90 to 15mar91 UK 240 Operational Conversion Unit 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 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
        28dec90 to may91 US 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment US Army Aviation AH-64A Apache
        jan91 to mar91 UK 845 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
        jan91 to mar91 UK 848 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King HC.4
        jan91 to apr91 US Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Nine 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

    Individual helicopters

    Model IDs
    Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior 83-24129    
    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    
    Boeing CH-47D Chinook 84-24181    


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    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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