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  •   U.S. Strength in the Persian Gulf

    As of Feb. 24:
    Troops are deployed throughout the Gulf region, with the following countries involved in some aspect of the buildup: Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Turkey. As of Feb. 23, the total U.S. military force had grown to more than 300 combat aircraft, 30 ships, and personnel numbering about 35,000, including sailors, soldiers, Marines and airmen.

    U.S. Naval Forces in the 5th Fleet:
    The 5th Fleet is currently deployed in the Persian Gulf, and as of Feb. 23, the naval forces included: two carriers, 20 ships, 103 strike aircraft, approximately 20,000 sailors and marines.

    The military sealift command forces in the gulf include: 18 ships, 189 U.S. Navy personnel, 844 civilian mariners and 64 oceanographers. Naval forces enroute to the 5th Fleet include: five ships, 30 aircraft, 4,740 sailors and marines.

    Currently, two U.S. naval battle groups are in the Gulf, each led by a carrier:

    USS George Washington:
    Crew: 5,500 – Carrier Air Wing 1:
    SQUADRON      TYPE                      AIRCRAFT      No. (Approx.)
    VF-102	      Fighter                   F-14B         14
    VFA-82        Strike Fighter            F/A-18C       12
    VFA-86        Strike Fighter            F/A-18C       12
    VMFA-251      Marine Strike Fighter     F/A-18C       10
    VAQ-137       Tactical Elec. Warfare    EA-6B          4
    VAW-123       Carrier Early Warning     E-2C           4
    HS-11         Helicopter                SH-60F         4
                                            HH-60H         2
    VQ-6          Fleet Air Reconn.         ES-3A          3
    VS-32         Sea Control               S-3B           8

    USS Independence:
    Crew: 5,000 – Carrier Air Wing 5:
    SQUADRON      TYPE                      AIRCRAFT      No. (Approx.)
    VF-154	      Fighter                   F-14B         10
    VFA-27        Strike Fighter            F/A-18C       12
    VFA-192       Strike Fighter            F/A-18C       12
    VFA-195       Strike Fighter            F/A-18C       12
    VAQ-136       Tactical Elec. Warfare    EA-6B          5
    VAW-115       Carrier Early Warning     E-2C           4
    HS-14         Helicopter                SH-60F         4
                                            HH-60H         2
    VQ-5          Fleet Air Reconn.         ES-3A          3
    VS-21         Sea Control               S-3B           8
    VRC-30        Fleet Logistics Support   C2-A           2

    Note: The Navy reports that a carrier airwing is usually loaded with more than 4.6 million pounds of air launched missiles, laser-guided bombs, general purpose bombs and ammunition including: Harpoon, HARM, Maverick, Sidewinder, Sparrow, Walleye, AMRAAM, Shrike, SLAM, Phoenix, and Vulcan 20mm shells.

    Accompanying vessels:

  • USS Bunker Hill: Ship's company of 358; is Tomahawk-capable.
  • USS Normandy: Ship's company of 358; is Tomahawk-capable.


  • USS Barry: Ship's company of 300; is Tomahawk-capable.
  • USS Carney: Ship's company of 300; is Tomahawk-capable.
  • USS Ingersoll: Ship's company of 339.
  • USS John S. McCain: Ship's company of 300; is Tomahawk-capable.
  • USS John Young: Ship's company of 339; is Tomahawk-capable.

    Guided Missile Frigates:

  • USS Reuben James: Ship's company of 200.
  • USS Samuel B. Roberts: Ship's company of 200.
  • USS Ingersoll: Ship's company of 339.

    Attack Submarines:

  • USS Annapolis: Ship's company of 133; is Tomahawk-capable.
  • USS Charlotte: Ship's company of 133.

    Fast Combat Support Ship:

  • USS Seattle: Ship's company of 600.
  • USS Samuel B. Roberts: Ship's company of 200.
  • USS Ingersoll: Ship's company of 339.

    Mine Countermeasures Ship:

  • USS Ardent: Ship's company of 81.
  • USS Dextrous: Ship's company of 81.

    USS Guam Amphibious Ready Group:

    USS GUAM: Is a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship which essentially acts as a small aircraft carrier that serves to put troops on hostile shores.

    Ship's company numbers 900, including 2,000 combat-ready Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is also capable of Special Operations. The ship also has an Aviation Combat Element Reinforced section which includes:

  • Super Cobra Attack Helicopter Squadron – 6 AH-1Ws.
  • Combat Assault/Cargo Helicopter Squadron – 12 CH-46Es.
  • Combat Assdault/Cargo Helicopter Squadron – 2 HH-46Ds.
  • Heavy Lift Helicopter Squadron – 6 CH-53Es.
  • Ship to Shore Utility – 3 UH-1Ns.

    USS Shreveport: Is a versatile ship which acts as an amphibious transport used to land Marines, their equipment and supplies. Landings are achieved through the use of embarked landing craft or amphibious vehicles augmented by helicopters in amphibious assault. Ship's company of 420.

    USS Ashland (ship's company of 340) and USS Oak Hill (ship's company of 340): Are both Dock Landing Ships which serve to support a variety of amphibious operations and landings onto hostile shores.

    (Source: U.S. Navy)

    U.S. Air Force:
    As of Feb. 24, Air Force officials reported that personnel in the area numbered close to 8,000. The 100 aircraft based in Saudi Arabia for patrols over southern Iraq has seen the addition of two dozen F-15 and F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain. The Air Force has also authorized the dispatch of 12 F-117 stealth fighter jets to Kuwait, three B-1 bombers to Bahrain and 14 B-52 bombers to the island of Diego Garcia. It also has diverted dozens of support aircraft to the region for refueling, surveillance, electronic jamming and search-and-rescue missions.

    Jabir Air Base, Kuwait: 36 aircraft, including F-117 stealth jets and several A-10 ground attack planes and F-16 fighter jets.

    Incirlik Air Base, Turkey:
    50 aircraft, 24 of which are combat aircraft, including F-16s, F-15s, refueling planes and 3 electronic warfare planes.

    Sheik Isa Airfield, Bahrain
    About 40 warplanes, including A-10s and 2 B-1 bombers.

    Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia
    More than 100 aircraft, including F-16s, F-15s, A-10s, electronic warfare and refueling planes.

    U.S. Army
    Approximately 7,000 combat ground troops have been deployed to Camp Doha in Kuwait.

    British forces: Britain has eight Tornado attack planes in bases in Kuwait.

    The British Navy has also moved the carrier Invincible to the Gulf. The Invincible carries six Royal Air Force Harrier attack jets, eight other planes and 11 helicopters. It is now equipped with more than 540 Tomahawk cruise missiles—more than twice as many as were launched during the entire Gulf War.

    © Copyright 1998

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