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The Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm Timeline

  • Iraq invades Kuwait, Aug. 2, 1990.
  • Operation Desert Shield begins, Aug. 7.
  • First U.S. forces (F-15 Eagle fighters from Langley Air Force Base, Va.) arrive in Saudi Arabia, Aug. 7.
  • First Operation Desert Shield-related U.S. death, Aug. 12.
  • President George Bush authorizes first call-up of Selected Reservists to active duty for 90 days, by executive order, Aug. 22. (Call-up widened in subsequent authorizations; period of service extended to 180 days on Nov. 12 by executive order.)
  • Operation Desert Storm and air war phase begins, 3 a.m., Jan. 17, 1991 (Jan. 16, 7 p.m. Eastern time).
  • Iraq attacks Israel with seven Scud missiles, Jan. 17.
  • U.S. Patriot missile successfully intercepts first Scud, over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 17.
  • President Bush authorizes the call-up of up to 1 million National Guardsmen and Reservist for up to two years, Jan. 18.
  • DoD announces deployment of Europe-based Patriot missiles and crews to Israel, Jan. 19.
  • Iraq creates massive oil slick in gulf, Jan. 25.
  • Iraqis attack Khafji, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 29.
  • Iraq captures first U.S. female prisoner of war, Jan. 31.
  • Award of the National Defense Service Medal authorized, Feb. 21.
  • Iraqis ignite estimate 700 oil wells in Kuwait, Feb. 23.
  • Allied ground assault begins, 4 a.m., Feb 24 (Feb. 23, 8 p.m. Eastern time).
  • Iraqi Scud destroys U.S. barracks in Dhahran, killing 28 U.S. soldiers, Feb. 25.
  • Cessation of hostilities declared, 8:01 a.m., Feb. 28 (12:01 a.m. Eastern).
  • Cease-fire terms negotiated in Safwan, Iraq, March 1.
  • DoD announces first troop redeployment home, March l7 (24th Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.)
  • Award of the Southwest Asia Service medal authorized, March 13.
  • President Bush announces U.S. relief supply airdrops to Kurdish refugees in Turkey and northern Iraq, April 5.
  • Iraq officially accepts cease-fire terms, April 6.
  • Task Force Provide Comfort forms and deploys, April 6.
  • U.S. transports deliver 72,000 pounds of supplies in first six Operation Provide Comfort missions, April 7.
  • Cease-fire takes effect, April 11.
  • Construction of first Provide Comfort tent city begins near Zakhu, Iraq, April 20.
  • U.N. commission assumes responsibility for Kurdish refugees, June 7.
    (From the 1991 "Defense Almanac.")

Information Courtesy of American Forces Information Service

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