Photos Coalition Forces

30 years ago Operation Desert Storm began!
I was 21, my sidekick was 18. We were told we would be there 6 months, sold my car.

Arrived Jan 1, 2 weeks to get ready, all kicked off, air war for 6 weeks, ground war 2 weeks, tidied up for 2 weeks, flew home on a VC10. I looked after Tornado's.

Maggie gave us a 10% pay rise, and 30 days leave.
Gulf War. Saudi Arabia. 22 February 1991. God Bless the nurses. US Army nurse Amy Stuart of the 5th MASH grabs a quick nap with her teddy bear sent by her family during Operation Desert Storm. Photo by David Turnley.

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Saw this picture posted somewhere else before (Reddit, I think) and someone in the comments talked about how what I'd initially taken to be pyjama trousers were actually something called 'Desert Night Camouflage'. I'd never heard of it before that.

Gulf War. 2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991. USMC 1st Force Reconnaissance Company in their Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicles during Operation Desert Storm

Gulf War. Persian Gulf. 1 February 1991. A member of the US Navy's SEAL Team 8 checks his M-14 rifle aboard the fleet oiler USNS Joshua Humphreys (T-AO-188). The SEALs provide boarding teams to assist the Maritime Interception Force in enforcing U.N. sanctions against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.

Preparing for Battle, 11th February 1991
Commanding Officer’s Conference at Battlegroup Headquarters. Colonel Arthur said that the Squadrons performance last week was good. He gave a brief overview of the Irish Hussars Mission and procedures to be take from the Staging Area.
In the Staging Area get your heads down for a kip. Troop Leaders to Zero Delta (Battle Captains Warrior) when the Sqn Ldr is away at a briefing so we can be ready to receive his orders on his return.
Half load the Commander’s GPMG and the co-ax. Sort stowage out to ensure vision from episcopes and sights. Keep all internal water tanks full. We will have no support for 72 hours. We’ll be closed down from moving out of the Staging Area. The route will be marked with blue cyalumes. Vehicle spacing to be 25m in lanes and lanes will be 300m apart. We’ll be at 30 mins NTM (Notice to Move). Expect to be in the Staging Area for up to 18 hours. If you break down, wave the next vehicle past.
Radios on low power but OK to use once through the breach. Irish Hussars Battlegroup will lead once through the breach. Our job will be to find and fix the enemy and to be the Fire Support Regiment for the Brigade. Destroy enemy from 2,000m, don’t go closer. No infantry to be dismounted. Only interested in destroying armour. On G-6/-5 there will be a Guns Raid across the border firing 3,000m over the border to assess the enemy’s counter-battery capability. If there is any, we will engage immediately with MLRS. 23,000,000lbs of TNT will be fired into the breach area. Once we have broken out 40 Fd Regt RA will be in direct sp around 2km behind QRIH BG. For the guns to stop, deploy and survey takes 15 mins. The enemy have enough artillery ammo for 5 days of intensive firing. Watch out for bomblets – blue disc – they’re dangerous, (a number of C Squadrons young Troopers would be injured from not heeding this warning).
There will be ten Challenger turret decoys issued per Squadron. They’re a third smaller than a CR turret. Place at least 50m from your tank. It’s a force multiplier when in a defensive position.
Actions on contact: from indirect fire, move PDQ, starburst and then swing back on axis; from the air, move Sqn in figure of 8 and create a cone of fire for the aircraft to fly through. Tendency to huddle under attack. Don’t. Spread out. We can survive almost anything he has at 2,000m. If hit, speak to crew, hit the smoke grenades dischargers. Shock of the hit. Treat casualties in the turret. If fire, bale out. Otherwise stay in the turret. It’s the safest place. Iraqis jump out of their tanks when they’re hit. Keep going and maintain momentum.
In Khafghi a US Bradley firing 25mm cannon at a T-62 caused the Iraqi crew to bale out. The Iraqis are being severely degraded across the Kuwait Theatre of Operations and Iraq. Saddam believes the ground offensive is imminent. Still expecting us up the coast road. Ships off the coast are playing recordings of tanks on the ranges as deception. Saddam has ammo dumps and fuel across the whole of Iraq. No doubt that he was going to go on for all the state in the Gulf.
Look after equipment, fuel and water. We aim to seize a water hole on the far side of the breach. General De la Bailliere thinks that the ground offensive will take 14 days. As soon as it is over they will try and get up home asap, at least within 2-3 weeks of the end of the war. Enemy surrenders – no one is to risk their life to accept a surrender. Wait until they move towards us with no weapons. Put IR/thermal tape in inverted V shape on the tanks. The US aims to destroy Iraq’s ability to wage war for ten years. 15,000lbs bombs are being dropped as quickly as possible because world opinion will stop the US from dropping them.
At these regular Regimental briefings the breadth of skills required to make a modern battlegroup was evident. Aside from the largest grouping of Irish Hussars, we had soldiers and officers from 17th/21st Lancers, 5th Inniskillen Dragoon Guards, 15/19 Hussars, Royal Hussars, Fusiliers, Green Jackets, the Canadian 8th Hussars, the Royal Tank Regiment, the Royal Regiment of Wales, Royal Artillery, the Royal Army Medical Corps, the Chaplains Department and 22nd Special Air Service Regiment.
Collectively, we likened ourselves to our 7th Armoured Brigade forebears, the Desert Rats of the Western Desert, and we dressed accordingly in whatever was comfortable. No two officers or soldiers were ever dressed the same. The Irish Hussars in their Tent hats, some of us had Service Dress hats, or woolly motto beanies with an array of jumpers, jackets, boots and weapons that would make any visitor think they had arrived at a tinkers’ convention and not at a battlegroup on the brink of war. It was glorious sunshine all day until I woke up in the late afternoon and it was raining, again.

Saw this picture posted somewhere else before (Reddit, I think) and someone in the comments talked about how what I'd initially taken to be pyjama trousers were actually something called 'Desert Night Camouflage'. I'd never heard of it before that.

They were actually overtrousers not trousers. They were useless as a camouflage item - even at night when seen through II sights - but they were relatively warm. I 'aquired' a parka in Kurdistan that I wore for some static OPs but gave it away after the tour because it wasn't worth the effort carrying it for the limited increase in warmth. As is always the way we were issued with Mountain Equipment padded suits after the tour...
F-117 stealth fighter aircraft of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing stand on the flight line with canopies raised following their return from Saudi Arabia where they took part in Operation Desert Storm. January 1991

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