TAB F - Determining Troop Unit Locations

A.  Background. The Khamisiyah narrative published in April 1997 and the DoD/CIA paper, "Modeling the Chemical Warfare Agent Release at the Khamisiyah Pit," published September 4, 1997, described the methodology used to identify approximately 21,000 Gulf War veterans thought to be within a 50 kilometer radius of Khamisiyah during the first two weeks of March 1991. The Special Assistant sent a letter and a survey about the Khamisiyah events to the veterans. The US Armed Services Center for Unit Records Research (USASCURR) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) provide the databases used to determine unit locations during the Gulf War and who was in each unit in the possible exposure hazard areas. USASCURR derived unit locations from a review of a large number of Gulf War unit records. USASCURR began the review in mid-1994, declared their database operational in Fall 1995, and has continually updated it as they obtained additional unit locations. USASCURR gathered unit location information from a wide range of sources, including unit history data archives, operational logs, situation reports, after action reports and historical reports. The initial effort to record unit location data received a big boost in March 1995 when the Deputy Secretary of Defense established the Gulf War Declassification Project. The Services’ declassification offices led the DoD-wide effort to review Gulf War operational records, declassify them, and routinely make these documents available to USASCURR and to the Office of the Special Assistant.

B.  More accurate data. In April 1997, the Office of the Special Assistant needed to have available improved unit locations to accurately identify veterans to complement the ongoing DoD/CIA modeling effort to better reflect the potential downwind hazard area. Specifically, the Office of the Special Assistant needed to determine the veterans’ unit locations during the period March 10 - 13, 1991. Although veterans were either assigned or attached to specific units during the Gulf War, a unit’s location on a specific day may not, necessarily, pinpoint where an individual soldier was on that day. For example, a precise record of a location for a soldier on patrol or in transit to another location would not exist.

C.  G3/S3 conferences. To assist in identifying additional unit locations and to verify existing locations in the Persian Gulf Registry, the Office of the Special Assistant and the Department of the Army began a coordinated effort to assemble former Gulf War brigade, divisional, and non-divisional operations officers (G3s/S3s). Initially, the Office of the Special Assistant and the Department of the Army brought operations officers from the XVIII Airborne Corps—whose area of responsibility included Khamisiyah during March 10 - 13, 1991—to USASCURR to review, refine, and enhance their units’ location information. G3s and S3s from the 101st Airborne Division, 24th Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps’ separate brigades, combat support and combat service support units, the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and the 1st Cavalry Division met in small groups for a week at a time to review the information contained in the unit locations registry. The productive results of this first series of conferences and the realization, in July 1997, that the Khamisiyah potential hazard area extended beyond the original estimate of a 50-kilometer radius convinced the Office of the Special Assistant and Department of the Army leadership that they needed to continue the conferences for other Army units that deployed during the Gulf War. Thus, the G3/S3 conferences for unit location database improvement continued from September 1997 through June 1998 as the Office of the Special Assistant and the Department of the Army brought back VII Corps and Echelons-Above-Corps operations officers to review their unit locations and to enhance the database. This effort significantly enhanced the USASCURR database and was the basis for reducing the uncertainties associated with locating US units around Khamisiyah during the demolitions. While the G3/S3 conferences ended in June 1998, the Office of the Special Assistant and USASCURR continue to work together to improve the locations and personnel databases.

D.  Converting units to service members. The USASCURR now has more than 855,000 unit locations in its database of daily unit locations during the war. The US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine combined USASCURR’s unit locations with DMDC’s registry of Gulf War Veterans and the 1997 and 2000 modeling results to produce graphic representations of the potential hazard areas for March 10 - 13, 1991.

E.  Improved unit locations and personnel data. When we assisted DMDC to provide better linking of individual veterans to units, we filled in major gaps in identifying assigned and attached unit personnel. The combined improvements in unit location data with unit manpower information has resulted in Table 7:

Table 7. Unit location data and manpower information improvements


July 1997

June 2000

Unit locations in KTO 610,000 855,000
G3/S3 conferences to update locations Only XVIII Airborne Corps Army complete
Air Force personnel None except major air force bases 85%
Resolution Mostly battalion & Higher Nearly all Company
Veterans linked to units Major gaps Much improved

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