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Old 21 January 2011, 04:30
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20th Anniversary of Desert Storm

It's a little late, but I realized about five minutes ago that today is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Desert Storm.

20 years ago I was a Sergeant who had inherited a rifle platoon from a nitwit Staff Sergeant who had been (as the Romans said) "promoted and removed". I had a Lt who personified every negative stereotype ever conceived about 2nd Lt's as well. This guy was so loopy those of us who were inflicted with him won't say his name, lest it somehow magically summon him to our location.

We were positioned outside of a massive ASP, ostensibly "standing guard". Really it was a make work situation. I remember getting a brief at 1700 that the fireworks were going to be kicking off later that night. I kept trying to remember how accurate things like FROG-7's and SCUD's were, since one of those in the ASP we were 100 yards from might make it an even more interesting night. They closed the brief by telling us to keep it quiet until 2300hrs.

I went back to the platoon area and tried to look like it was business as usual. I just sat there wondering if it was actually going to happen, and which of the men I was sitting with were not going to be returning home whole. I had another nagging question too... was this redheaded retard of a Platoon "Commander" going to choke if we ran into trouble once the shooting started? Nobody trusted him. He lied, and then lied to cover up his lies. He talked a lot of shit about the Marines in the platoon, and made it pretty clear that we were beneath him. He couldn't read a map without street signs, and he was physically weak.

At about 2200, the sky was full of jet engine sounds. You couldn't tell where one aircraft started, and where the next one ended. It was just a continuous wall of noise in the sky. The guys knew something was going on, and as I passed by posts that night everyone asked... "Hey Sergeant, is it on or are they just fucking with the Iraqis?" I simply answered "Let me see what I can find out" and I moved on.

Finally, one of my Squad Leaders stopped me and said "It's happening isn't it?"

It was just one of those things where you just let it out without thinking. "Yeah. We're hitting them tonight. Keep it quiet, but make sure you know where your chemical detectors are. We're going to let everyone know in about 10 minutes. Nobody goes anywhere without their MOPP gear and mask. That crazy fuck might throw some gas at us."

Not too long after that LT and I walked from post to post informing the guys that a shooting war was about to break out. Everyone knew it was going to happen, but I guess hearing it from their LT and Platoon Sergeant made it real. In the few quiet moments between waves of aircraft there was no small talk around the posts or in our hooch. Everyone was just sort of taking it in. I realized that they were going through the same thing I had gone through a couple of hours before.

Everyone was awake. Even the guys who didn't have to be. We were all waiting to see how the world would change over the next couple of hours. The jet noises subsided just after midnight, and I realized that those planes were dropping bombs all over Kuwait and Iraq at that moment, or would be soon.

About 0300 the aircraft noises started again as every fighter and bomber in the world began returning to their bases. I finally closed my eyes and fell into a very deep, very relaxed sleep. I guess I knew what the decision was, and once the die was cast I was completely comfortable with it.

I slept until the first fake NBC alert went out about an hour later. By 0500 I was racked out again and dreaming about a Mooses Long Island Iced Tea and a hot brunette I had a one nighter with before we left for Saudi.

What were YOU doing that day?
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Old 21 January 2011, 09:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo_One_Three View Post
It's a little late, but I realized about five minutes ago that today is the 20th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Desert Storm.

20 years ago I was a Sergeant who had inherited a rifle platoon from a nitwit Staff Sergeant who had been (as the Romans said) "promoted and removed". I had a Lt who personified every negative stereotype ever conceived about 2nd Lt's as well. This guy was so loopy those of us who were inflicted with him won't say his name, lest it somehow magically summon him to our location.

We were positioned outside of a massive ASP, ostensibly "standing guard". Really it was a make work situation. I remember getting a brief at 1700 that the fireworks were going to be kicking off later that night. I kept trying to remember how accurate things like FROG-7's and SCUD's were, since one of those in the ASP we were 100 yards from might make it an even more interesting night. They closed the brief by telling us to keep it quiet until 2300hrs.

...

What were YOU doing that day?
I was a corporal, running a radio relay site south of Khafji... Was this the ASP near the airport there?
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Old 21 January 2011, 09:59
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I was sitting on a rock pile in Rahfa all the way out west as part of the "Hail Mary" swing. The PL/PSG came and told us and we woke up, took our NAP and started a few prayers hoping that we get the chance to get up there to Baghdad and kick some ass...

2 nights later, the biggest rainstorm hit us out there in the desert, and people and gear that wasnt' smart enough to get it off the ground were spending the morning looking for it. I told my team to put their shit on the cot after we came back in from out 2 hour shift on guard. I slept in a tight fetal position and stayed dry.
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Old 21 January 2011, 11:29
HaChayal HaChayal is offline
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I was just a boy but I remember the air raid sirens from the scuds that came towards Tel Aviv. Very scary.

I remember my father wanting our government to strike back but we couldn't because of the anti-Sadaam Arab countries pulled their usual garbage about keeping appearances of not cooperating with us.
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Old 21 January 2011, 12:42
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I was counting the days in the DEP: less than a month away from bootcamp at MCRD PI.

Hey Bravo_One_Three -- Is that screename reference to B 1/3 out of KBay? I went to 1/3 for my first duty station. If so, do you know D. Odle?

Semper Fi
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Old 21 January 2011, 13:00
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I've been arguing for about a week now with a bunch of the guys who were in my Company at the time over where exactly we were that night.

Half say we were in the field.

The other half say we were in the dayroom.

I say dayroom because I clearly remember drinking beer and cheering the attacks like it was a sporting event.

I suspect that everyone who thinks we were in the field simply had more to drink than I did.

I spent the rest of the war sitting the bench.

We eventually got sent to Stuttgart to guard some HQ or another (VII Corps?).

The most exciting things got after that was the German national who thought it was fun to back-fire his motorbike on the way past our post every morning - 'til he got knocked off the bike in a hail of rock-throwing.
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Old 21 January 2011, 13:41
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Yikes. Twenty Years. Guess that makes me old and crusty. I was in a hole in the sand--can't even remeber which hole or where the hole was at. I remember looking overhead the next morning and watching a B-52 on its way back from a run--thats how I found out the air war had started. Shortly thereafter we went back to Camp
Eagle II (after filling in all our holes) to refit and redeploy for our part in the battle plan. We moved back out again approximately a week or two later, where I once again lived in a hole. Good Times.
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Old 21 January 2011, 15:48
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It really doesnt seem that long ago. First deployment overseas for a young Specialist, my twin brother floating around in the Gulf at the same time on USS Denver with his Marines, sister at West Point and my Mom going nuts back home worrying about her kids. Weird, wild time.
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Old 21 January 2011, 16:11
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I was somewhere out by DrlSgt. I was a new Spc 4 pulling guard. Someone found out it was my Bday so instead of perimeter I got to sit on a 577 ramp for radio watch. One minute just chilling putting in a chew, next every net lit up. Thought damn, turning 20 is easy. Seeing 21 might be a problem. Fuckit had a fresh chew, round in the chamber, max ammo load+, nothing else I can do. Did perimeter walk. Did stand to few hours later and looking up from my hole all I could see was contrails. Yep it was gonna be a good day.
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Old 21 January 2011, 17:04
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I just spent the last 4 days reliving that day with my brothers from FOB 52.

I was in the Bell Tower at the Border Station north of Hafr Al Batin, watching and listening to all of the aircraft cross over into Iraq after the Apaches shitcanned the radar dishes. It was the IP for attack aircraft flying in the Eastern sector (Coalition Forces)

I remember when the first Daisy Cutter went off a few days(?) later. It was like the fucking sun came up for about 10 seconds.
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Old 21 January 2011, 17:59
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Moving around Saudi, Heavyguns 1/1 and a TOW Platoon.
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Old 21 January 2011, 19:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo_One_Three View Post
...What were YOU doing that day?
Re-loading magazines.
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Old 21 January 2011, 19:59
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We were up by Rahfa, and I was able to tune into my little gift from Japan, a small Sony radio. Listened to the initial reports on BBC, and the next morning watched as coalition aircraft would line up south of the border to take on fuel from tankers circling high above.

Prior to the ground war, I was attached to one of the Cav troops of the 24th for a couple of weeks, a little more forward, and on Feb 10 rode along with the Troop commander in his Bradley scout vehicle and crossed into Iraq for a mounted recon, along with a couple of M-1s providing overwatch.

I know there were other units, including our LRSD, that were conducting longer range missions, but I always got a kick out of being among one of the first from my division to cross into Iraq, if only for a few hours.
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Old 21 January 2011, 20:39
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Sitting at home watching it on TV. I had already been out of the Army for 2 years, but debated going back until they actually started the bombing. Called the personnel center that day and volunteered to be re-activated, they had to delay it for a few days while they changed the name from Desert Shield to Desert Storm on the paperwork. The next week I was on my way to Colorado, assigned to a reserve light Infantry unit. Germany was fun though, but this is why I went private sector this time around.
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Old 21 January 2011, 20:44
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I was at Champion Main Base Camp, I lost the pool on exact time bombs would start dropping. We had started pool back in Dec.

Went out to Humvee and smoked a cigar with 1/504 PIR Mortar Plt Ldr, Todd Williams. We remain friends to this day. We eager as hell to go north and get in a fight.
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Old 21 January 2011, 21:05
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I had just arrived in Rota that very day. Watched it on CNN from our barracks room.
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Old 21 January 2011, 21:15
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18thABC G2 SCIF. It was the only secure area we could set up in. Made the daily FTF run to SOCCENT. My boss came in and looked like he was about to have a heart attack. Then he told us that it was kicking off tonight. Since I was only NCO or enlisted I had been working the night shift for the last few weeks. So I made some more coffee and sat outside to watch the strike aircraft roll in and out of airfield the rest of the night.
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Old 21 January 2011, 21:32
DrlSgt DrlSgt is offline
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No shit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRS Guy View Post
I was at Champion Main Base Camp, I lost the pool on exact time bombs would start dropping. We had started pool back in Dec.

Went out to Humvee and smoked a cigar with 1/504 PIR Mortar Plt Ldr, Todd Williams. We remain friends to this day. We eager as hell to go north and get in a fight.
I was at Champion main also with 1/505 C co. I had some buddies from PLDC that was in B co 1/504, plus Walt Shumate's Son was the PL in B co1/504..

We had left Champion Main, after Christmas of twinkies and near beer. Move out to the Rafha and staged from there to do that mass assault on Talil Air Field which was our final OBJ when the war ended. I still have pics somewhere of my squad at the Mi-18...

Times flies..
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Old 22 January 2011, 21:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrlSgt View Post
I was at Champion main also with 1/505 C co. I had some buddies from PLDC that was in B co 1/504, plus Walt Shumate's Son was the PL in B co1/504..

We had left Champion Main, after Christmas of twinkies and near beer. Move out to the Rafha and staged from there to do that mass assault on Talil Air Field which was our final OBJ when the war ended. I still have pics somewhere of my squad at the Mi-18...

Times flies..
Sounds about right, we were over at "Camp Nix" side.

Holy shit, I did not know Walt Shumate's son was in B Co. I remember Barry Sadler's boy was there. Think he was SPC. Remember the few times the Saudis would come and try to run PT on the road from the main gate? That was briefly amusing.
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Old 22 January 2011, 22:15
Bearcat06 Bearcat06 is offline
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Working 12 hour shifts at the Gates and pissing people off at Schofield because we were doing 100% ID Checks and pulling over every 3-4 car to check with EOD K-9s......

We had traffic back up passed Mililani.....

Had some asshat 2nd LT try to jump my shit because he was 2 hours late for PT (PAO/Units had told people to plan accordingly) and before I could open my mouth, our BN XO (who was out on site inspecting what we were doing) jumped in btwn us and ripped his ass.....took his unit info down.....and called his BN CDR as douchebag sulked off.....heading to the unit after we ripped the fuck out of his car......

Rest of time we sat in my room drinking beer watching it on CNN.....

Months later, I was part of TF 4/87 and headed to the Sinai......
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