Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did

Synopsis

Desert Storm was the largest naval operation since World War II. Although naval forces did not play the central role, they fulfilled an important function throughout the operation, facing many formidable challenges and considerable risk. This book provides a close examination of the problems encountered by the Navy, both in the military situation and in dealing with the other services, and the decisions made to address these issues. While interservice rivalries sometimes intruded at higher levels, jointness at the tactical level often led to effective combined-arms operations.

Excerpt

Desert Storm at Sea: What the Navy Really Did fills a void by giving overdue recognition to the naval part of Desert Shield and Desert Storm and to the Sailors and Marines who served so ably. As the book relates, the naval forces at sea were full partners in the coalition victory of Desert Storm. To understand the performance of the Navy/Marine Corps team during Desert Storm, however, a clear understanding of the significant achievements that occurred during Desert Shield is necessary. The first volume, Desert Shield at Sea, tells how the coalition navies prepared for Desert Storm and enforced the sanctions against Iraq. The Maritime Interception Operation provided the glue that helped form the coalition. This second volume relates the challenges the naval forces faced and met during Desert Storm.

Most histories of Desert Storm emphasize the success of the air campaign, to which Navy and Marine Corps aircraft were full contributors. But Desert Storm was not just an air war. Even though the naval forces afloat contributed the immense striking power of six aircraft carriers, the naval forces also played other important roles. This book tells of the constant vigilance required to defend the coalition's flanks against the air threat and the initiative and heroism of the surface combatants in the northern Persian Gulf. It also relates how the naval forces carried out their most challenging operation--the amphibious deception. Of all the things that NavCent forces did during Desert Storm, I am proudest of the amphibious deception because we accomplished our mission without a single American dying. One thing Saddam Hussein got right was that he had a healthy respect for the flexibility of sea power and the threat of an amphibious assault.

Superior technology certainly played an important part in victory, but the really decisive difference was in the people. The men and women in the coalition forces understood the cause for which they were fighting, believed in that cause, and fought with great courage, tenacity, and skill. We should never overestimate the . . .

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