On the second of August 1990, Saddam Hussein launched a surprise attack on the small country of Kuwait. With more than 130,000 troops, Saddam quickly took Kuwait and pushed forward to the borders of Saudi Arabia. The United States, with virtually no military presence, launched the largest, strategic logistical movement the world had ever seen. This Case Study will focus on the tactical planning for the movement of U.S. forces and equipment that led to a swift victory over Saddam Hussein and his forces.
Twenty Two years before the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, President Carter, through the Carter Doctrine, was already preparing strategies for movement into the Middle East.¬1 The Persian Gulf was quickly gaining popularity among governments because of the lucrative oil reserves that lay below the land. The United States had interest in several countries across the middle east and President Carter stated, “ any attempt by an outside force to gain control over the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interest of the United States and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force”.2 With the end of cold war planning and a new type of problem on the horizon, President Carter created a 100,000-man strike force with the ability to move soldier and equipment to any place on the planet. From this decision, the Maritime Position Force was born, a strategic force that would eventually allow the U.S. to rapidly posture for combat in the days before Operation Desert Storm. The concept behind the Maritime Positioning Force called for the ships to be forward deployed with the combat equipment and s...
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... available asset to complete the full transformation of troops and equipment on the ground in Iraq. Although impossible on this level, one improvement to an already impressive prepositioning force would be to increase the amount of water borne assets and placements around the globe. There is also an increased need for new ship technology that will allow for more cargo storage, on a more efficient ship that can move at a pace quicker than that of today. Lastly, for the first time, the Civil Reserve Airfleet was activated. A very important lesson was that the civilian air carriers were a very important asset and the fact they volunteered at a reduced rate, shows the importance of an entire unified country. As new technologies and capabilities manifest themselves for wartime use, we must take all actions to ensure they are available for use in any combat scenario.
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