DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS
WASHINGTON. DC 20350-2000
IN REPLY REPER TO
Subj: THE UNITED STATES NAVY IN "DESERT SHIELD" I "DESERT STORM"
Encl: (1) Summary Report
1. This summary of the role of the United States Navy in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM was compiled from the reports of operational commanders and supporting commands, and information gathered at headquarters. It provides a ready reference of Navy participation in DESERT SHIELD/STORM with the objective of making accurate, useful information available as quickly as possible.
2. The significance of the Navy's role in Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM is clear. Forward deployed naval forces provided protection for early introduction of land-based ground and air assets, and may well have deterred further aggression by Iraq. Maritime superiority and unchallenged control of the sea enabled the safe and timely delivery of equipment, supplies and spare parts necessary to support the allied campaign. Interdiction of Iraqi seaborne trade, an ongoing operation, cut enemy resupply, dampened their will to fight and significantly impacted Iraq's economic health. More than 90% of material to support the campaign was delivered by sealift, and the majority of medical assets in the early months were provided by Navy. The presence of Middle East Force ships deterred Iraqi mine laying in the southern Persian Gulf. Naval aviation complemented allied air operations, added flexibility to the air campaign and deterred reintroduction of Iraqi aircraft from Than into the conflict. Tomahawk cruise missiles took out heavily defended targets in Iraq and significantly degraded enemy air defenses.
3. The most significant contributor to our decisive victory was our motivated, dedicated, well-frained volunteers. Our people performed superbly, and validated the investments made in them over the past decades. Their courage, commitment and professionalism inspired unprecedented and well-deserved support from the American public and national leadership. Their compassion and generosity in the war's aftermath inspired the world. The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces gave us victory, and America's sailors were a crucial part of that victory. This report documents the contributions of the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States Navy.
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