The Support Of Air Defense In Desert Shield And Desert Storm

1744 words - 7 pages

In Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Iraqi forces fired 93 Scud missiles at coalition forces in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. (Rostker) Air Defense Artillery (ADA) played an immensely significant role in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with units from 11th Brigade Air Defense Artillery and the 32d Air Defense Command rapidly deploying into theater. The effectiveness of the units and their roles in fighting this war proved that Air Defense Artillery was critical to the success of the campaign. Although Patriot Batteries placed strategically throughout Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel played a tremendous tactical role in these wars, High-Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) was not the only type of surface to air missile system in place to protect ground forces and valuable military assets. Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) units also deployed with the air defense units. These weapon systems, integrated with ground forces, provided air defense to dominate against aircraft and Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM) on the front lines.
During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, European Command (EUCOM) air defense units from 32d Air Defense Command deployed with the mission to provide security for the back door of Iraq from locations in Israel and Turkey. (Global Security) The threat the US and coalition forces faced was Sadaam Hussein’s chemical weapons arsenal. Intelligence suggested that Iraqi Forces filled both chemical and biological payloads to the Scud missiles. (Rostker) The concern was if a warhead would explode, it would release airborne agents on the US and coalition forces. US Commanders had additional concerns. Could Patriot engage the warheads successfully? Patriot capabilities were not for the purpose of the mission prior to Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The Patriot capability was for shooting down low flying aircraft to include helicopters at this time.
The 32d Air Defense Command assisted 10th Brigade Air Defense Artillery to provide the air defense units from EUCOM. (Brigade General Scales) The 10th Brigade Air Defense Artillery from Darmstadt, Germany made direct contributions of personnel and equipment to form Task Forces (TF) 4-7 ADA and TF 8-43 ADA. These air defense units were to enforce the locations of other air defense units deployed to the outer parts of Iraq. TF 2-43 ADA had the task of providing defense to King Khalid Military City in Saudi Arabia. Patriot assistance would ensure the 32d Air Defense Command was integrated with counter air, active defense operations, and planning at the theater levels. The units above ensured ground forces had access to early warning detection of Scud attacks. The system alerted soldiers to the possibility of biological and chemical weapons agents before being released by incoming Scud missiles. Alarms would sound and troops would dawn their chemical suits while weapon systems automatically engaged the incoming Scud missiles. (Brigade General Scales) Within...

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