Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War

By Albert J.Mauroni | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

“…And Then We Are Going to Kill It”

Corps will be in MOPP-I starting at 0538 hrs, 24 Feb 91. The 1 ID will be in MOPP-II, but only for those north of Phase Line Vermont. DMain will be in MOPP-I starting at stand-to (0500).

—1st IN DIV NBC Center, 1820 hours, 23 February 1991

Final combat preparation against Iraqi CB agent use would include massive conventional attacks against any rebuilt airfields, facilities or delivery systems that might be able to employ CB agents. NBC weapons production and storage sites, such as a newly discovered BW facility at Latifiyah (west of Baghdad), received another barrage of aircraft delivered munitions and Tomahawks. Despite coalition emphasis on degrading Iraqi artillery, there were still more than enough artillery tubes and rocket launchers available to Iraqi forces to fire high-priority chemical agent delivery missions. Operational intelligence assets had pinpointed most of these. Artillery batteries and naval battleship guns pounded anything in range of the Iraqi border that might be able to deliver CB agent munitions. 1

This still left the threat of Scuds and Iraqi aircraft. Saddam Hussein had built up an air force with over 600 combat aircraft. Approximately 100 of these flew to Iran before the air war, and another thirty-three aircraft had been destroyed by the air offensive. This left over 500 aircraft capable of delivering CB agent munitions. If the command and control structure could still operate, and if the munitions produced prior to the air campaign had been transported to the air bases, there was the possibility that Iraq could employ CB agent munitions against the coalition. CENTAF's air offensive had destroyed the ability of the southern airfields to support CW strikes against CENTCOM forces, but other airfields still existed. The limited number of CW warheads designed for Scuds and the intense coalition air superiority would mean only a limited capability but could not necessarily prevent any “leak through” of aircraft or Scuds in a saturation air attack.

Logistically speaking, the coalition was about as ready as it would ever be. When Defense Secretary Cheney and General Powell asked the corps commanders what would prevent them from being able to launch offensive operations by

-109-

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Chemical-Biological Defense: U.S. Military Policies and Decisions in the Gulf War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • Chapter 1 - Incidents in the Gulf 1
  • Chapter 2 - Deployment to the Desert 19
  • Chapter 3 - Building Up the Defense 43
  • Chapter 4 - Move to the Offense 61
  • Chapter 5 - Tensions Rise in the Gulf 75
  • Chapter 6 - Operation Desert Storm Begins 91
  • Chapter 7 - “…and Then We Are Going to Kill It” 109
  • Chapter 8 - After-Action Report 129
  • Chapter 9 - Agent Orange Revisited? 151
  • Chapter 10 - Conclusion 169
  • Appendix A 187
  • Appendix B 191
  • Appendix C 201
  • Notes 209
  • Selected Bibliography 227
  • Index 231
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