Kentucky National Guard in the Persian Gulf War 20th Anniversary History now available for viewing

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The 475th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital was just one of several Kentucky National Guard units to deploy in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The latest addition to the Kentucky National Guard eMuseum is a new book by Kentucky National Guard Command Historian John Trowbridge titled “Kentucky National Guard in the Persian Gulf War 1990-91.”

“Time and events have shown us that we need to remain vigilant in that region of the world, not only for our interests and safety, but that of the entire world,” said Trowbridge.  “This book reflects the overall story of the Kentucky National Guard’s involvement in the First Persian Gulf War. ”

Staff Sgt. William Hurt and Pvt. 1st Class Cleta Boswell, 137th Transportation Detachment, in Saudi Arabia. Women played an unprecdented role in the Persian Gulf War.

“A number of firsts occurred for the Kentucky National Guard and the US military,” said Trowbridge.  ” This was the first time we saw female troops put in harm’s way performing a variety of military occupational specialties such as transportation and military police.  Prior to the Persian Gulf War only female nurses were near the front lines. ”

Trowbridge’s hope is that the book captures the dedication of Citizen-Soldier showed at that time to the people of our nation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“These brave men and women had the expertise to complete their mission and a great compassion for the people of Iraq, friend or foe,” he said.  “And when they returned home to their families and friends, they were welcomed with ceremonies not seen since the return of our World War II veterans.”

The publication is available for viewing or download at the KYNG eMuseum site at this address: http://www.kynghistory.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/52E8D13A-A917-4347-9A50-A1372F6A0C08/0/KYNGinPGW.pdf.  The document is a PDF and is 9.8 MB

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Summary of the Kentucky National Guard in the Persian Gulf War 1990-91

August 2, 1990 saw the invasion of Kuwait by neighboring Iraq, an event that both shocked and outraged the world. Spearheading a twenty-one member United Nations coalition, the United States initiated Operation Desert Shield, the largest military buildup since the Vietnam War.

On January 17, 1991, Americans at home watched as Operation Desert Shield turned into a Desert Storm. A six-week air campaign preceded what came to be known as “The One-Hundred Hour War,” leading to the swift liberation of Kuwait.

Once again Kentuckians found themselves on the forefront of the assault. From Fort Campbell came the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and the 5th Special Forces Group. Fort Knox sent elements of its 194th Separate Armor Brigade. Together, the two bases sent 21,500 men and women into battle.

Because of the size and intensity of the planned offensive, reserve components from all over Kentucky were called to duty, performing such diverse missions as ensuring the transportation and accountability of equipment and supplies, providing direct fire support, battlefield medical support and refugee relief, water purification, film and video documentation of military actions, security and handling of prisoners of war. Some reservists served as replacements for active duty units called to action.

Maj. Bill Clark identifies himself as a Kentuckian during his time in the desert.

U.S. Army Reserve units deployed from Kentucky included the 100th Division (TNG), the 807th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, the 888th Medical Detachment, and the 5010th Army Hospital.

Kentucky can be especially proud of the 1078 Kentucky Army National Guard men and women who went to the desert and performed so valiantly during Desert Storm . . . the soldiers of the 137th Transportation Detachment . . . the 217th Quartermaster Detachment . . . the 2123rd Transportation Company . . . the 475th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) . . . the 133rd Public Affairs Detachment . . . the 1/623rd Field Artillery Battalion . . . and the 223rd and 438th Military Police Companies.1 During the offensive our artillery battalion was given the mission of providing fire support for the coalition forces while our heavy equipment transportation company traveled as far as the Euphrates carrying the load for the advancing troops. Our military police processed thousands of enemy prisoners of war and our Mobile Army Surgical Hospital cared for the ill and injured during a post-war humanitarian relief effort.

Back home the C-130’s of the 123rd Tactical Airlift Wing moved personnel and equipment throughout the U.S. in support of Desert Storm, while our engineers assisted in a variety of state and local projects.

Of the 23,210 Kentucky service members from both the active and reserve forces who served in Southwest Asia, only six lost their lives. For that we must be thankful.

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PERSIAN GULF WAR TIMELINE (May 1990 – April 1991)

1990

May 28-30: Iraqi president Saddam Hussein says that oil overproduction by Kuwait and United Arab Emirates is “economic warfare” against Iraq.

July 15: Iraq accuses Kuwait of stealing oil from Rumaylah oil field near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and warns of military action.

July 22: Iraq begins deploying troops to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border and building a massive military buildup.

August 2: About 100,000 Iraqi troops invade Kuwait. Kuwait is in Iraqi control by the end of the day.

A Kentucky Guard Soldier watches the sun set in the Persian Gulf.

August 6: The U.N. Security Council imposes a trade embargo on Iraq in a 13-0 vote, with Cuba and Yemen abstaining. President George H. W. Bush orders the deployment of U. S. armed forces to defend Saudi Arabia in an operation named, OPERATION DESERT SHIELD.

August 7: The United States launches Operation Desert Shield. First U.S. troops arrive in Saudi Arabia.

August 8: Saddam Hussein proclaims the annexation of Kuwait.

August 9: U. N. declares Iraqi annexation of Kuwait void.

August 10: Hussein declares a “jihad” or holy war against the U. S. and Israel.

August 12: Naval blockade of Iraq begins. All shipments of Iraqi oil halted.

August 28: Iraq declares Kuwait as its 19th province and renames Kuwait City as al-Kadhima.

September 14-15: United Kingdom and France announce the deployment of 10,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.

December 17: The United Nations sets a deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait before January 15, 1991, or face military action. Hussein rejects all U. N. resolutions.

1991 January 3: U. S. Defense Department censors war reporting by the press.

January 9: Talks in Geneva, Switzerland, between U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz end with no progress.

January 12: Congress grants President Bush authority to wage war.

Kentucky National Guard troops showed compassion throughout their deployment in support of the Persian Gulf War.

January 16: The White House announced the commencement of OPERATION DESERT STORM: offensive action against the forces of Iraq under the provisions of U.N. Security Council/U.S. Congressional resolutions.

January 17: The war begins at 2:38 a.m. Baghdad time when AH-64 Apache attack helicopters destroy Iraqi radar sites, later F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighters bomb Baghdad and Iraqi forces. Operation Desert Storm begins.

January 18: Iraq strikes with Soviet-made SCUD missiles on Israel. The U.S. deploys Patriot missiles to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

January 22: Iraqi troops begin blowing up Kuwaiti oil wells.

January 25: Iraqi troops begin “environmental war” by dumping millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.

January 29: Iraqi forces invade the town of Khafji in Saudi Arabia. Iraqi forces are soon engaged by Saudi Arabian and Qatari troops with U.S. Marine artillery.

January 31: Iraqi forces capture Melissa Rathbun-Nealy, the first female Prisoner of War since World War II.

A Kentucky National Guard medic tends to a wounded Iraqi Soldier.

February 1: Iraqi forces are driven out of Saudi Arabia. Allied Forces win the Battle of Khafji. Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney warns U. S. will retaliate if Iraq uses chemical or unconventional weapons. February 8: Total U. S. troop strength in the Gulf over a half million.

February 12-13: A bombing raid by U.S. forces against Baghdad kills 400 Iraqi civilians in an air raid shelter, and three major bridges.

February 19: Soviet-Iraqi peace plan rejected by President Bush. Oil spill in Gulf now estimated at 1.5 million barrels.

February 22: U.S. President George H. W. Bush issues a 24-hour ultimatum: Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait to avoid start of a ground war.

February 24: Allied Forces invade Iraq and Kuwait at around 4 a.m. Baghdad time. General Schwarzkopf implements the Gulf War’s critical “left hook” maneuver as conceived by General Grant’s 1863 Civil War campaign at Vicksburg. The U.S. Army is the first to enter Iraqi territory.

February 25: An Iraqi SCUD missile hits U.S. barracks near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 28 U.S. troops.

Home sweet home.

February 26: Saddam Hussein orders the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. About 10,000 retreating Iraqi troops are killed when Allied aircraft bomb them, it is called the “Highway of Death.”

February 27: U.S. Marines and Saudi Arabian troops enter Kuwait City. The U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division engages the Iraqi Republican Guard in the Battle of Medina Ridge in Iraq. President Bush declares Kuwait liberated.

The Persian Gulf War Memorial in Frankfort, Ky.

February 28: By Presidential order all Coalition offensive operations ceased at 0800 local time.

March 1: The cease-fire plan is negotiated in Safwan, Iraq.

March 17: First U.S. troops arrive home.

April 11: The U.N. Security Council declared a formal cease-fire, ending the Gulf War.

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