Desert Shield at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Shield at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Shield at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Shield at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Synopsis

A complete, chronological study offering a unique, and as yet, unseen level of detail regarding the Navy's contribution throughout Operation Desert Shield.

Excerpt

As the Seventh Fleet commander in early August 1990, I and my staff (and flagship USS Blue Ridge) were back in our homeport of Yokosuka, Japan, after being gone for most of the year up to that point. Our high-priority projects included: working with the Fifth Air Force to refine our joint campaign plan against the USSR; closer cooperation with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces on a variety of fronts; and working closely with commanders in Korea to make the Seventh Fleet a full partner in defense of that peninsula. In developing the campaign plan, asking the right questions of the national intelligence community and pointing them in practical directions of importance to warfighters were major accomplishments. This effort and our strike-planning methodology would later serve us well.

Our involvement with the Central Command had been limited to training of U.S. naval forces as they steamed through the Western Pacific en route to the North Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. We tried to replicate the kinds of operational challenges they could face in CentCom’s area of responsibility. We also provided a great deal of logistics support to naval forces in that area of responsibility. We provided P-3C aircraft for area surveillance, and we supported Commander, Joint Task Force Middle East’s (CJTFME’s) needs for intelligence collection assets. In early 1989, I had flown to the carrier operating in the North Arabian Sea and then on to Bahrain for talks with Rear Admiral Tony Less, CJTFME. I also helo’d out to a cruiser (USS England) operating in the Persian Gulf to see what kind of air defense picture it could maintain. The Gulf was a harsh environment, but the Navy had about 40 years’ experience operating there.

On 2 August 1990, I remember hearing about Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and thinking that the then-CJTFME, Rear Admiral Bill Fogarty, was going to be a busy guy. I recall sending him a short personal message offering any possible support. Then began the sequence of events, well documented in this volume, that led to ComSeventhFlt taking over as ComUSNavCent/CTF 150. We still retained our . . .

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