Operation Desert Storm: 1991

“First-Wing; First In”

Thirty years ago today, I pulled a 36-hour day as the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia launched the air war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Our role was to clear the air of Iraqi fighters. That took less than a day. My one thousand maintainers continually loaded, launched, recovered, re-loaded, re-fueled, and re-launched our 48 deployed F-15C/D Eagles all night, day, and the next night in that rapid sortie generation effort.

I was later awarded my second Bronze Star Medal for my role as 1TFW Deputy Commander for Maintenance preparing and deploying and supporting the five months of continuous air cover for Operation Desert Shield which preceded as well as for Desert Storm and re-deploying home later in 1991.

1 TFW maintenance leaders deployed “somewhere in southwest Asia”

Dhahran Air Base, on the Persian Gulf, was home to the Royal Saudi Air Force premier F-15 squadron, our hosts. Hence the Saudi markings on the model behind us in the photograph. LtCol Joe Harrison, right, 1st Aircraft Generation Squadron commander, was also awarded a Bronze Star Medal.