Operation Desert Storm, December 1990 thru May 1991

On July 21, 1990 I attended a Roger Waters concert at the Potsdamer Platz, a place that had only recently been known as “no-man’s land” between East and West Berlin.  Roger Waters had vowed that if the Berlin Wall ever came down, he would play “The Wall” in that exact location.  It was an epic 15 hour pilgrimage for the four soldiers that drove from our Kaserne 25 KM west of Nurnburg.  We were still bound to the rules that required us to pass through check points Alpha and Bravo.  Had we been able to drive directly to Berlin, it would have only been a 2.5 hour drive. 

At the end of the concert, all of the performers got together and sang a song from Live Aid called “Tide is Turning”.  We stood there, four ‘Cold Warriors’,  waving our hands in the air,  celebrating peace,  and assuming we were out of a job.

Twelve days later Saddam Hussien invaded Kuwait.  The peace was short lived.

Within a month the U.S. Army deployed the 18th Airborne Corps to Saudi Arabia in the first wave of Operation Desert Shield.  Three months later,  just before the Thanksgiving Holiday,  the Army announced the units that were to be included in the second major deployment.  We all watched AFN as the names of the units scrolled across the TV.  Division after Division slid by and then,  there it was,  1st Armored Division.  In a month we packed up,  moved all of our equipment to Rotterdam (your's truly being the “Most Honorable Convoy Commander” of “Operation Just Drive”),  made arrangements for the family members staying behind in Europe, and on December 20, 1990 deployed to Saudi Arabia.

I was the Platoon Leader for the Scout Platoon, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment.  An Apache Attack Helicopter Battalion assigned to 4th Brigade of the 1st Armored Division.

Here are some pictures and a little history of the five months I was in the Desert.  I took about half of the pictures and my friend Brett,  who is in my webpage’s Arizona Pics section,  took the other half.  Brett deployed with Charlie Company as Crew Chief in my platoon.  Brett was in charge of the maintenance on the helicopter that I personally flew.  There’s not enough space here, or any other place,  for me to describe how much I counted on Brett,  and what his efforts and friendship have meant to me.

If you are interested a more detail account of our experiences in the Desert,  Charlie Company’s Commander,  Mike Gregory,  wrote a fictional account of an Attack Helicopter Company in Desert Storm.  It is called “Desert Skies”.   It’s a great book  which gives the reader a “user level” perspective of the war.  I highly recommend it.

Finally, the process of watermarking the pictures with copyright information made the pictures I've published here quite a bit grainier than the original scans.  If you are interested in better quality pictures, either for publication or use on a dart board, send me an e-mail.

Click here for the pictures

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