first published on September 26, 2018 by Josh
The first gulf war, named Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, was a U.S. led operation by a coalition of 35 nations against the nation of Iraq after the invasion and annexation of Kuwait. On 16 January, 1991, the war officially moved into the combat phase of the operation with an intense aerial campaign against Iraqi Forces. For 42 days and nights, coalition forces hit the Army of Iraq with 100,000 sorties dropping a total of 88,500 tons of explosive ordinance.
Target precedence was set in an order that allowed for the disassembly and destruction of Iraqi Forces starting with their air power and anti-aircraft capabilities. Following this, command and control nodes were dominated to weaken the command structure of the enemy Military for the follow-on ground attack. Due to the Iraqi Army’s micromanagement at higher echelons of command, and their inability to conduct small unit leadership, these strikes would prove to be deadly effective at disabling their ability to fight back and defend positions.
The third, and largest target were SCUD missile launcher, weapons research facilities, and naval forces. The MANPAD anti-aircraft capabilities of the Iraqi Army proved to be almost entirely useless throughout the air campaign, knocking down only 75 total coalition aircraft across the 100,000 sorties, with only 44 such losses being a direct result of enemy action against the aircraft.
Below is an 11 minute video reel taken from Operation Desert Storm. It was recorded on the ordinance delivery camera system of multiple AH-64 Apache attack helicopters as they flew missions against the Iraqi Army in throughout the duration of Operation Desert Storm.