"A line has been drawn in the sand ... Withdraw from Kuwait unconditionally and immediately, or face the terrible consequences."
-- President George H.W. Bush
Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of
Operation Desert Storm
In January 1991, the United States' first real test of the post-Cold War world unfolded as a television event.
After Iraq invaded the nation of Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, and it was condemned by the United Nations, Operation Desert Shield began. Desert Shield was a deployment to defend Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries from future aggression and provided a platform to prepare for an offensive contingency if Iraq didn't comply with UN edicts.
The world watched and waited to see if Iraq would abide by the United Nations-imposed deadline to withdraw from Kuwait by Jan. 15, 1991, or face a coalition force instructed to use "all means necessary to restore international order." As the deadline passed without a response from Iraq, Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm.
With a focus on air power, the U.S. Air Force took center stage, giving Air Force civil engineers the opportunity to show they were more than ready for the task. The main mission of the deployed Air Force civil engineers, some of the first units to deploy, was to bed down personnel and aircraft, then operate and maintain those bases.
25th Anniversary video link
25th Anniversary news story
Air Force 25th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm site
Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center 25th Anniversary site