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Check Six – 1990: Desert Shield turns into Storm

January 11, 2021

From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website

The U.S did not take long to respond to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein occupying neighboring Kuwait Aug. 2, 1990.

Five days later, President George H.W. Bush ordered Americans to the region to start Operation Desert Shield.

Air Force Veteran Howard “Pip” Pope, commander for the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron, was among the first American forces to arrive. Leading a squadron known as the “Ironmen” flying F-15s, they deployed with little notice in a matter of days. After a 14-hour flight from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, they arrived at Dhahran Air Base in Saudi Arabia.

Pope kept a diary of the events, excerpts of which follow. The diary paints a picture of how quickly U.S. forces deployed to the region, changing from an eight-plane deployment to an entire squadron of F-15s. The entries have been lightly formatted for clarity.

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This is the first of a five article series about Desert Storm from the Department of Veterans Affairs website. These articles are from all five military branches. 

The war that started in the early Middle East morning on January 16, 1991 – do you remember where you were?

From → History

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