Desert Storm: The Vanguard

[Music] [Applause] On 2 August 1990, the Iraqi Army invaded 
the Emirate of Kuwait, overwhelming the   nation's military, toppling its government, 
and annexing the territory for its own.   These actions were the culmination of an 
escalating dispute between Iraq and Kuwait.   In the previous months, the 
Iraqi regime made three demands:   they ordered Kuwaiti forgiveness of billions of 
dollars in loans that had been extended to Iraq   during its war with Iran in the 1980s, 
they insisted OPEC lower sales quotas,   and they dictated that Kuwait halt the alleged 
over-exploitation of the Ramela oil fields. Within four days of the invasion, the 
Iraqis deployed five armored divisions,   two mechanized divisions, and four 
infantry divisions along the border.   This aggression alarmed the international 
community, which reacted with near unanimous   condemnation. President George H.W. Bush and his 
administration were genuinely concerned about   a second attack by the Iraqi units that were 
now massing along the border of Saudi Arabia. I want you to know that, first off, 
we view this situation with gravity.   We view it as a matter of grave concern to 
this country and internationally as well.   What Iraq has done violates 
every norm of international law.

Within days, a brigade of the 82nd 
Airborne Division deployed to Saudi Arabia.   On 14 August, the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade 
joined the 82nd. The 3rd Brigade, 101st Air   Assault Division, followed three days later. The 
arrival of these rapidly deployable units would   provide security and time for mechanized forces 
to conduct the rail and port operations necessary   to transport equipment to U.S. Central Command's 
(U.S. CENTCOM's) area of responsibility. On 23   September, the 24th Infantry Division 
and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment   (ACR) arrived in theater, along with 
the rest of the 18th Airborne Corps.   The 1st Cavalry Division followed in October. With 
a balance of heavy and light units in theater,   U.S. CENTCOM was confident in its ability to deter 
any future Iraqi aggression into Saudi Arabia.

Within days of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the U.S. 
Army's Seventh Corps in Germany received an alert   to plan for possible deployment to Southwest Asia. [Music] Lieutenant General Frederick 
Franks Jr., the Corps Commander,   formed a Crisis Action Team to monitor the 
situation and develop various courses of action.   These scenarios analyzed potential missions and 
what each would require from an operational,   logistical, and personnel standpoint. 
At a press conference on 8 November,   President Bush announced that additional 
units would be sent to the Gulf region.

In three months, the U.S. troop contribution to 
the multinational force in Saudi Arabia has gone   from ten thousand to two hundred and thirty 
thousand. As part of Operation Desert Shield,   I have today directed the Secretary of Defense 
to increase the size of U.S. forces committed   to Desert Shield to ensure that 
the coalition has an adequate   offensive military option should that be 
necessary to achieve our common goals. After President Bush's announcement, Secretary 
of Defense Dick Cheney informed the public that   Seventh Corps and 18th Airborne Corps 
would serve as the tactical headquarters   for the bulk of maneuver units under 
Third Army or U.S.

Army Central's command.   Seventh Corps consisted of the 1st Armored 
Division under the command of Major General   Ronald H. Griffith, the 3rd Armored Division 
under the command of Major General Paul E. Funk,   the 1st Infantry Division under the command of 
Major General Thomas G. Rhame, and the 2nd ACR   under the command of Colonel Leonard D. Holder. 
Once in theater, Seventh Corps had the 1st   Cavalry Division under the command of Brigadier 
General John H.

Tilelli attached as well as the   1st Armored Division from the United Kingdom, 
commanded by Major General Rupert A. Smith. Throughout December and into mid-January, 
the units of Seventh Corps continued to   prepare for their pending deployment. These 
preparations included intense training on   several key weapons platforms that had only been 
recently added to the U.S. Army's inventory:   the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the M1A1 
Abrams tank, and the AH-64 Apache helicopter.   These incorporated the latest 
U.S. military weapons technology   but were unproven in large-scale combat 
operations. The soldiers of Seventh Corps   were about to test themselves and their equipment 
against a veteran Iraqi Army that possessed   Soviet-made military hardware and occupied 
improved defensive positions across Kuwait. As Seventh Corps conducted mission analysis and 
course of action development, the 1st Infantry   Division also prepared to deploy.

for the division, its cavalry squadron,   the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, or 1-4 Cav, would 
also benefit from these new weapons platforms,   receiving M1A1 tanks upon arrival in theater. 
Reconnaissance and security operations would   become critical in the coming campaign, and the 
story of 1-4 Cav, the 1st Infantry Division's   cavalry squadron, reveals the importance of 
those missions in large-scale combat operations. Before they could prove themselves, the U.S. 
forces had to wait for the Iraqi government   to respond to the U.N.

Resolution, which 
threatened a deadline of 15 January 1991   to leave Kuwait or face the consequences. By 
late 1990, the Iraqi Army fielded 32 divisions   organized into seven corps. The Iraqis were 
convinced that coalition forces would attack   up the Wadi al-Batin, an intermittent riverbed. 
The Wadi al-Batin runs from northeast to southwest   across Saudi Arabia's Al-Dibdibah 
Plain for approximately 75 kilometers.   The Iraqis were also convinced that 
coalition forces would support this attack   with an amphibious assault into 
Kuwait and erode their forces. In accordance with this 
anticipated scheme of maneuver,   the area over which the U.S. Seventh Corps would 
attack was defended by the Iraqi Seventh Corps,   which had been task-organized with six divisions 
to cover the space west of the Wadi al-Batin.   The 27th Infantry Division defended 
the Wadi al-Batin, while the 25th,   31st, 48th, and 26th Infantry Divisions occupied 
areas of operation extending to the west.   The 26th ID would become the focus of the U.S. 
Seventh Corps' plan for offensive operations.   Each of the Iraqi divisions had a reconnaissance 
battalion, a tank battalion, and defended their   sectors with two brigades forward and one back. 
Operationally, the Iraqi units neither defended   in depth nor did they construct complex defensive 

They dismissed the idea of an attack   through the western desert as implausible based on 
the difficulty of navigation and trafficability. As Saddam Hussein readied his forces for 
combat, back at Fort Riley, 1-4 Cav under   the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Wilson 
continued training and began staging vehicles   and equipment to deploy. At that time, 1-4 
Cav was a slightly under-strength J-Series   Division Cavalry Squadron. A J-Series Cavalry 
Squadron consisted of a headquarters troop,   two ground cavalry troops, an aviation maintenance 
troop, and two air cavalry troops. The ground   troops were comprised of a headquarters 
platoon, a maintenance section, a mortar   section, and three platoons with six M3 Bradley 
Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and 30 soldiers each.   Lacking tanks, the division cavalry squadron 
was only capable of conducting limited   reconnaissance and security operations, either on 
the ground or in the air, but not simultaneously.

Considered an enabling operation 
by current U.S. Army doctrine,   reconnaissance is performed before, during, or 
after operations to provide commanders and staffs   the information necessary to formulate, 
confirm, or modify courses of action.   Reconnaissance operations are 
oriented on reconnaissance objectives.   A reconnaissance objective is a terrain feature, 
geographic area, enemy force, adversary, or other   mission or operational variable about which the 
commander wants to obtain additional information.   The five types of reconnaissance operations are 
area reconnaissance, reconnaissance in force,   route reconnaissance, special 
reconnaissance, and zone reconnaissance. Also considered enabling operations, security 
operations are used to protect a designated   force from surprise, observation, 
or direct fire by enemy forces.   The main difference between security operations 
and reconnaissance is that security operations   orient on the force or facility being protected, 
while reconnaissance orients on the enemy and   terrain.

The four types of security operations 
are area security, screen, guard, and cover.   1-4 Cav, without additional armor support, would 
only be capable of screening a protected force.   Fortunately, the squadron would 
receive 9 M1A1 tanks upon arrival   in theater. These tanks provided 1-4 
Cav with the firepower and protection   it would need to fight for information 
and protect the division's main effort. On 29 December 1990, 1-4 Cav and the bulk of the 
1st Infantry Division departed Fort Riley, Kansas,   for Saudi Arabia. Upon arrival, the squadron 
offloaded its equipment or drew new equipment   and then moved to Tactical Assembly Area (TAA) 
Roosevelt, the 1st Infantry Division's staging   area, to prepare for future operations. 16 January 
came and went without an Iraqi withdrawal from   Kuwait. At 0238 on 17 January 1991, coalition 
forces initiated a massive air campaign   designed to destroy the Iraqis' ability 
to conduct a coordinated defense.   On the morning of 17 January, Major Sylvia 
Maribel, the operations officer of the 701st   Main Support Battalion, headed out of 
TAA Roosevelt with a small advance party   to establish the Division Support Area (DSA). They 
chose a site 120 kilometers west of TAA Roosevelt   and began to prepare the position to 
support future offensive operations.   Major Maribel quickly concluded that the remote 
location and the lack of a robust security force   put the sustainment units occupying the DSA 
at significant risk should the Iraqis attack.

That evening, Major Maribel contacted the 
division main command post. Colonel Bob Shadley,   the division support commander, asked Major 
Maribel if there was anything she needed.   Major Maribel immediately requested the cavalry 
squadron for support. Current Army doctrine design ates a Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) 
to control the Division Support Area.   If a MEB is not available, a brigade combat 
team must be designated to control the area.   Furthermore, depending on the situation, 
including the threat, size of the support area,   and number of units within the support 
and consolidation areas, division and   corps commanders may employ a Support Area Command 
Post (SACP) to assist in controlling operations.   The SACP enables division and corps commanders 
to exercise command and control over disparate,   functionally focused elements operating within 
the support and consolidation areas that may   exceed the effective span of control of the MEB or 
division main command posts.

The SACP also allows   the division commander to focus on operations 
in the close area by controlling operations in   the rear. The division's SACP normally co-locates 
with the MEB, which provides the command post with   signal connectivity, life support, security, and 
workspace. Functions of the command post include   planning and directing sustainment, terrain 
management, movement control, and area security.   When augmented by the MEB staff, the command 
post may also plan and control combined arms   operations with units under division or corps 
control, manage airspace, and employ fires.

Threats in the Division Support 
Area are categorized by the   three levels of defense required to counter them. 
Any or all threat levels may exist simultaneously   in the Division Support Area. A Level 
1 threat is a small enemy force that   can be defeated by those units normally 
operating in the echelon support area   or by the perimeter defenses established by 
friendly bases and base clusters. A Level 1   threat for a typical base consists of a squad-size 
unit or smaller group of enemy soldiers.

A Level 2   threat is an enemy force that can be defeated by 
a base or base cluster's defensive capabilities   when augmented by a response force. A Level 3 
threat is an enemy force or activity beyond the   defensive capability of both the base and base 
cluster and any local reserve or response force. Major Maribel's initial assessment 
was correct. The 701st's location,   now called DSA Junction City, was roughly 50 
kilometers from the nearest maneuver units   but less than 15 kilometers from Iraqi border 
outposts. The presence of a lightly defended   logistics base would present a tempting target 
for Iraqi troops, but deploying forces forward   of DSA Junction City might also reveal the 
coalition's attack plans prematurely. Regardless,   the division augmented the DSA with an element of 
the cavalry squadron. On 20 January, 1-4 Cav began   preparing Bravo Troop under the command of Captain 
Mike Bills to move to DSA Junction City. At 0800   on the morning of 24 January, the troop, with 
all its attachments, departed with 20 Bradleys,   6 M1A1s, and various engineer, air 
defense, mortar, and support vehicles.   With terrain features virtually non-existent, 
the troop navigated almost exclusively using GPS,   a new technology at the time.

immediately upon arriving at DSA Junction City,   Captain Bills realized that one troop was 
not going to be enough to screen the entire   support area and requested additional forces. 
The division dispatched the rest of 1-4 Cav,   and over the next 24 days, the squadron conducted 
area security and a stationary screen of the area. A type of security operation, a screen provides 
early warning to a protected force. A screen may   be either stationary or moving and is governed 
by the five fundamentals of security operations:   provide early and accurate warning, 
provide reaction time and maneuver space,   orient on the force, area, or facility, perform 
continuous reconnaissance, and maintain enemy   contact. Screen missions are defensive in nature 
and accomplished by establishing observation posts   oriented on an area of operation augmented with 
patrols (mounted, dismounted, sensor, and aerial)   to ensure surveillance of dead space. The 
commander's guidance determines whether   the screening force disrupts, harasses, 
or destroys enemy reconnaissance forces.   Observation posts are an important 
element of the squadron's effort   to establish and maintain security, and they 
should be repositioned over extended distances.   A squadron executing a stationary screen must 
know the general trace of the screen and the time   it must be established, the width of the screen 
sector, the protected force or facility to screen,   the rear boundary of the screening 
force, and possible follow-on missions.   Screens have certain execution considerations 
that guide planning tasks for a screen,   including: allow no enemy ground element to pass 
through the screen undetected and unreported,   maintain continuous surveillance of all avenues 
of approach that affect the protected force,   conduct counter-reconnaissance to destroy, 
defeat, or disrupt enemy reconnaissance elements,   locate and identify the lead elements 
that indicate the enemy's main attack as   prescribed in the enemy's order of battle or 
intelligence preparation of the battlefield,   determine the direction of enemy movement, 
maintain contact and report threat activities   even when displacing, impede and harass the enemy 
without becoming decisively engaged, and detect   and report all enemy elements attempting to pass 
through the screen (both ground and aviation).

Despite the arrival of 1-4 Cav, the division was 
still concerned that the DSA was isolated and   exposed. To secure the DSA further, it tasked 
3rd Battalion, 37th Armor, and 1st Battalion,   5th Field Artillery with augmenting 1-4 Cav. 
Controlled by the division tactical command post,   the new organization, referred to as Combat 
Command Carter, performed area security   operations to protect the DSA while also screening 
the movement of maneuver units into sector.   The first few days on the screen line 
proved uneventful until 1 February,   when 1-4 Cav made contact with the enemy. A patrol 
of four Iraqi soldiers wandered across the border   into Bravo Troop's screen and were quickly 

Over the next 24 hours, the squadron   began encountering Iraqi reconnaissance units 
more frequently. The arrival of the rest of   Combat Command Carter on 4 February was a 
welcome sight as it allowed the squadron to   reduce its portion of the screen line. This 
added much-needed depth to 1-4 Cav's screen. The addition of three tank companies and 
an infantry company from Task Force 3-37   Armor enabled 1-4 Cav's dismounted observation 
posts to pass contact reports to Bradleys and   tanks in overwatch, while ground surveillance 
radar (GSR) monitored other avenues of approach.   The squadron's AH-1 Cobra and OH-58 Charlie 
Kiowa helicopters investigated long-range   contacts. To conceal the location of ground 
observation posts and screen positions,   the support provided by 3-37 Armor enabled 1-4 
Cav to rotate platoons from its two ground troops   off the screen line and back to the DSA for 
rest, maintenance, and additional training.   With Combat Command Carter, Seventh 
Corps now had three brigade-sized units   forward of the main body screening the 
border between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.   The 1st Cavalry Division had two brigades 
forward with Combat Command Carter to the west.

Between 1 February and 17 February, Combat Command 
Carter had numerous contacts with the Iraqi Army   crossing into Saudi Arabia. These 
included small dismounted patrols,   Iraqi engineers emplacing obstacles, 
and improving anti-tank ditches.   For every contact made, there were at least 
twice that number of phantom contacts. The ground   surveillance radar monitoring the likely avenues 
of approach had a difficult time distinguishing   a company of Iraqi BTR-60 armored personnel 
carriers from a herd of camels.

Pilots from   outside the squadron frequently misidentified 
friendly observation posts as enemy positions.   Despite these challenges, by 14 February, 1-4 
Cav's role in Combat Command Carter was complete,   and the squadron was attached to 3rd Brigade to 
be a part of what would become Task Force Iron. 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division provided 
the headquarters for Task Force Iron.   It consisted of two maneuver battalions, 
1-4 Cav and 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry,   with the 4th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery in 
direct support. Task Force Iron also received   general support reinforcing fire from 
an additional 16 artillery battalions.   1st Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade provided 
attack helicopter support. Engineers from the   317th Engineer Battalion rounded out the task 
force. Task Force Iron's mission was to conduct   a covert breach of the berm on the Iraqi 
border and then advance through the breach   to establish a screen line for the rest of the 1st 
Infantry Division once the main attack commenced.   A breach is a synchronized combined arms 
activity conducted to allow maneuver through   an obstacle. The task force's success rested 
on winning the counter-reconnaissance fight.   Destroying the enemy's reconnaissance assets would 
prevent the Iraqis from gathering information   on the coalition's intentions.

This would go a 
long way towards setting conditions for success   later in the campaign. Army Techniques 
Publication 3-20 describes counter-reconnaissance   as a tactical mission task that encompasses 
all measures taken by a commander to counter   enemy reconnaissance efforts. It denies the enemy 
commander the ability to conduct reconnaissance   and develop situational understanding. 
Countering enemy reconnaissance is the   first and possibly most important step in 
ensuring the main body can execute its mission. At 1100 on 15 February, Task Force Iron initiated 
movement with two scout weapons teams from 1-4 Cav   forward. 1-41 Infantry followed to the east, 
and 1-4 Cav followed to the west. At 1130,   4-3 Field Artillery fired on Iraqi vehicles 
that could observe the task force's movements.   Upon reaching the border, engineers created 
multiple breach lanes in only 15 minutes.   The squadron advanced through the 
breach lanes with the tanks in the lead.   Shortly after noon, all of Task Force Iron was 
through the berm and moving north.

By 1430,   the entire task force was approximately two 
kilometers inside Iraq but still short of the   limit of advance along Phase Line Minnesota. The 
task force spent the next day clearing the area   and improving its position. At 2142, the task 
force made contact with what was believed to be   six vehicles moving from northwest to 
southeast. Since the targets were beyond the limit of advance along Phase Line Minnesota, 
the task force prepared to engage with indirect   fire, but the vehicles quickly moved out of range 
of the forward observers. At 2210, the task force   observed a group of three vehicles moving north 
to south. As the tanks attached to 1-41 Infantry   prepared to engage, these targets also moved out 
of range. At 2339, the task force reported the   presence of possible Soviet-made BTRs accompanied 
by at least one tank traveling southeast.   Fifteen minutes later, at 2354, Charlie Company's 
Bradleys made contact with three vehicles.   They engaged with TOW missiles but could observe 
no secondary explosions.

The risk of fratricide is   inherent in all combat operations, but this danger 
is only increased for reconnaissance and security   assets operating forward of the main body. On 
the evening of 16 February into the early morning   hours of 17 February, inclement weather, limited 
visibility, unfamiliarity with the terrain,   the presence of enemy forces, and human error 
would all come together in a tragic outcome. Army Techniques Publication 3-20.96 notes that 
the counter-reconnaissance plan should address   how to acquire and defeat enemy reconnaissance 
elements. The intelligence section provides key   input into the planning process. It identifies 
avenues of approach into the unit sector,   what type of enemy reconnaissance elements the 
unit expects in the sector, and when they are   most likely to move into the sector. The squadron 
commander or S3 uses this information to formulate   the counter-reconnaissance plan 
and to task units to execute it.

Lieutenant Colonel Hillman was convinced they had 
encountered an Iraqi reconnaissance battalion.   According to the task force's 
counter-reconnaissance plan, the Apaches of 1-1   Aviation would investigate and, if necessary, 
destroy any long-range contacts identified by the   observers. At 2326, the brigade commander ordered 
the Apache support to launch. A platoon from 1-1   Aviation lifted off shortly after midnight on 17 
February, accompanied by the battalion commander,   Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Hales. The division 
tactical command post requested the task force   turn off all ground surveillance radar to 
avoid confusing the Apaches' radar sensors. To assist the Apache pilots, 
the commander of 1-41 Infantry,   Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hillman, 
coordinated with them to identify the FLOT.   At approximately 40 minutes after 
midnight, the task force commander,   Colonel David Weissman, suspended all indirect 
fire to clear air space for the Apaches.

Vehicles, the box ABC-type vehicles, are 
consistent with the type that was fired earlier.   I have no forces forward at the 2-5 grid line. Colonel Weissman ordered 
them to destroy the targets,   but the pilots hesitated as they had 
yet to make a positive identification. Well, I'm gonna tell you, it's hard to pull this 
trigger. Back me up a little bit here. Tell me   I'm fine. Heading zero-seven-zero, 
thirty-eight hundred meters. The high winds and limited visibility 
combined to misorient his crew.   While Hales believed the 
aircraft was oriented north,   the high winds had caused the aircraft to drift 
so that they were instead pointed northeast. Okay, I'll be firing in about 10 seconds. Roger. Lieutenant Colonel Hales 
fired two Hellfire missiles. I hope it's enemy. That's all right. 
Just stay on here it comes. That's one.   I guess you could say that hit it. All right, 
now let's take a look at the second one. Seconds later, the GSR 
vehicle was destroyed as well.   The three remaining scouts and all three 
GSR crew members were wounded. Lieutenant   Colonel Hales identified two individuals 
staggering away from the second vehicle.

There are no hot targets. Got two personnel   walking away from the 
targets. Roger. You got guns? He ordered his wingman to engage 
with the 30-millimeter cannon.   It was then that Lieutenant Colonel 
Hillman broke into the transmission. Roger. I was afraid of that. 
I was really afraid of that. Major General Rhame, who had been monitoring 
the engagement on the battalion's command net,   ordered it broken off immediately. As the Apaches 
returned to their assembly area, Task Force Iron   continued the fight. For the next two hours, the 
task force continued to have sporadic contact,   but by 0300, enemy activity had ceased. 
There were numerous mistakes made that night.   Although Seventh Corps had standard operating 
procedures for identifying friendly forces   and preventing fratricide, many of these proved 
ineffective during periods of limited visibility.   Thermal tape applied to vehicles was often 
indistinguishable at ranges over 1,000 meters.   Infrared strobe lights provided a visual 
marker under passive night vision devices   but were not visible through the thermal systems 
used by Army ground and air combat systems.   The most common marking system was a 
black inverted V painted on vehicle hulls.   Another common marker was red VS-17 marker 
panels tied to the back or top of vehicles.   Although many field expedients were tried, 
the most common limited visibility markings   were red lens flashlights tied to 
bustle racks on tanks and Bradleys.   Unfortunately, these were not visible 
through thermal sights.

In addition to   vehicle recognition signals, commands exchange 
liaisons, coordinate closely with adjacent units,   co-locate command posts during complex operations, 
and use control measures to prevent fratricide.   Despite having coordinated with Lieutenant 
Colonel Hillman to identify the FLOT, the FLOT   does not apply to small, long-range reconnaissance 
assets that may be positioned beyond it. In these   circumstances, friendly forces forward of the FLOT 
may have a restrictive fire support coordination   measure such as a restrictive fire area or 
a no-fire area placed around them to prevent   friendly fire incidents. Commanders also establish 
a limit of advance (LOA) to prevent fratricide.   The limit of advance is a phase line used to 
control the forward progress of an attack.   The attacking unit does not advance any 
of its elements or assets beyond the LOA,   but it can push its security forces, such 
as reconnaissance assets, to that limit. [Music] Because the enemy contact was well beyond the 
FLOT and beyond the range of direct fire weapon   systems, Task Force Iron should have continued to 
observe rather than develop the situation by fire.   The movement by the Iraqi reconnaissance 
battalion opposite 1-41 Infantry   was a demonstration designed to draw U.S.

into revealing their location and disposition.   Task Force Iron's counter-reconnaissance operation 
was complicated by the stresses associated with   operating in unfamiliar terrain under limited 
visibility. The open desert made it difficult   for commanders to tie control measures such as 
the FLOT and LOA to easily recognizable terrain   features that could be used to control movement 
and ensure an accurate common operating picture.   Although they did not compromise their 
position or yield ground to the Iraqis,   two of the scouts lost their lives 
in the confusion and miscommunication   that clouded the battlefield that 

In the aftermath of the conflict,   the U.S. Army made numerous changes to 
prevent future incidents of fratricide. On the morning of 18 February, Task Force Iron was 
ordered to displace south, back through the berm.   As the task force withdrew through the passage, 
they received indirect fire that was unnerving   but inaccurate. The squadron moved 
to Tactical Assembly Area Respite,   which was a necessary reprieve after 
almost 30 days of continuous operations. Since the beginning of the air campaign 
on 17 January, coalition air strikes and   long-range naval gunfire had been bombarding Iraqi 
forces inside Kuwait and Iraq.

By mid-February,   the Iraqis were no closer to leaving 
Kuwait than when the campaign began   a month earlier. On 22 February, Seventh Corps 
received Third Army Fragmentary Order (FRAGO)   4-4, which confirmed the ground campaign 
would commence at 0100 on 24 February.   The FRAGO reminded Seventh Corps commanders that, 
without notice, the National Command Authority   may change this date. Commanders must be able to 
execute Operations Order 001 Desert Storm on time.   Third Army designated Seventh Corps as the 
main effort and tasked it with penetrating   the Iraqi defenses and destroying 
their operational center of gravity,   the Republican Guard. The Seventh Corps 
commander, Lieutenant General Frederick Franks,   tasked the 1st Infantry Division with 
breaching the main Iraqi defensive belt.   Once complete, the 1st Infantry Division would 
conduct a forward passage of lines with the   United Kingdom's 1st Armored Division so that 
the British could attack east to destroy the 52nd   Armored Division, the Iraqi Seventh Corps' mobile 

Because the goal was to push the bulk of   the U.S. Seventh Corps' combat power forward to 
fix and destroy the Republican Guard, the 1st   Infantry Division planned to execute the breach 
like a gap crossing rather than a penetration.   The operation planned for multiple phases. 
First, the division artillery would target   Iraqi defensive positions with over 90,000 rounds 
during a two and a half hour preparation fire.   Preparation fire is normally a high volume 
of fires delivered over a short period of   time to maximize surprise and shock 
effect. Preparation fire can include   electronic attack and should be synchronized 
with other electronic warfare activities.   The 1st Infantry Division's fire support 
coordinator was responsible for coordinating   indirect fire from four divisions and three 
separate field artillery brigades.

The goal was   to allow the assault forces to get within 200 to 
300 meters of the Iraqi lines before shifting fire   and drawing the defenders out of their positions 
when the assault force was on top of them. During the second phase, the two lead brigades 
would penetrate the Iraqi defenses while the third   brigade prepared to follow and exploit the initial 
attack. As the lead task forces of each brigade   cleared a zone of enemy positions, the follow-on 
forces would continue to expand this penetration.   The battle handover line, designated Phase Line 
New Jersey, was secured by three brigades abreast.   The final phase consisted of passing the UK's 1st 
Armored Division through 1st Infantry Division   in order for it to turn east and 
attack the Iraqi 52nd Armor Division.

With all the preliminary moves completed, the 
coalition land component was prepared to attack.   On 24 February, the 18th Airborne Corps on the coalition's western flank would initiate 
the main offensive early on the morning of 24   February. Farther east, JFC East, JFC 
North, MARCENT, and the 18th Airborne   Corps along with Seventh Corps were pushing the 
remaining Iraqi forces into a pocket near Basra.   First Infantry Division was given a new 
mission, but before that could happen,   the division was in desperate need of 
ammunition and fuel after its long night. Once resupplied, the division was 
tasked with seizing a large objective   approximately 50 kilometers north of Kuwait City,   designated Objective Denver. It consisted of 
a road network that included the Basra Highway   and numerous smaller roads the Iraqi Army could 
use to escape north.

1-4 Cav intended to screen   the division's western flank to provide sufficient 
warning of impending counterattacks. The division   expected to quickly consolidate on the far side of 
the objective. However, difficult terrain combined   with enemy resistance slowed its movement to a 
crawl. 1-4 Cav ended up seizing the northern edge   of Objective Denver and establishing a blocking 
position by 1630 to prevent the further withdrawal   of Iraqi forces north. Within 45 minutes, the 
entire squadron was involved in a firefight. The Iraqis were shocked to find American troops 
along the highway.

Some chose to fight their way   through, only to be destroyed by the squadron's 
Bradleys and M1A1s. Others chose to avoid the   road altogether and tried to bypass the squadron 
through the oil fields east of the objective.   The rest surrendered. By 1600, 1-4 Cav 
had captured over 450 Iraqi soldiers.   Two hours later, that number had 
swelled to over one thousand.   All through the night, the squadron held 
the northwest portion of Objective Denver.

As the sun rose that morning, the squadron was 
finally relieved by the rest of 2nd Brigade.   For over 14 hours, the squadron had held its 
position beyond the range of supporting artillery   and with only intermittent communication with the 
rest of the division. The battle for Objective   Denver had ended, and the coalition war would soon 
follow suit. On 28 February 1991, President George   Bush declared a ceasefire, which was to take 
effect at 0800 the following day. On 3 March 1991,   the Iraqi delegation agreed to all points 
on U.N. Resolution 686, ending hostilities. All of the coalition's 
operational goals had been met.   Kuwait had been liberated, its government had 
been restored, the Iraqi Army had been forcibly   removed and crippled in the process.

All of 
this for incredibly few coalition casualties.   The story of 1-4 Cav demonstrates the versatility 
and flexibility of the division cavalry squadron.   Throughout Operation Desert Storm, 1-4 Cav 
routinely operated as the vanguard of the 1st   Infantry Division. Operating as a true combined 
arms team, the troopers overwhelmed the Iraqi   Republican Guard time and again by synchronizing 
attack aviation, indirect fire, and maneuver.   Throughout their numerous engagements, the 
officers, NCOs, and soldiers of 1-4 Cav   applied the fundamentals of security operations 
to provide early warning, protect the main body,   and defeat enemy reconnaissance.

Above all, they 
took the initiative and exercised mission command   to maintain the division's tempo by performing 
aggressive reconnaissance and security operations. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] If he continues to have an army, then 
he continues to be a threat somewhere,   and I don't want my children or grandchildren or 
great-grandchildren coming back to this region   and fighting against Iraq 
again. That's how I feel. Peaceful efforts to disarm 
the Iraqi regime have failed   again and again because we are 
not dealing with peaceful men.

May God bless our country and all who defend..