From 16 January through 28 February 1991, the United States and its allies conducted one of the most operationally successful wars in history, a conflict in which air operations played a preeminent role. The Gulf War Air Power Survey was commissioned on 22 August 1991 to review all aspects of air warfare in the Persian Gulf for use by the United States Air Force, but it was not to confine itself to discussion of that institution. The Survey has produced reports on planning, the conduct of operations, the effects of the air campaign, command and control, logistics, air base support, space, weapons and tactics, as well as a chronology and a compendium of statistics on the war. It has prepared as well a summary report and some shorter papers and assembled an archive composed of paper, microfilm, and electronic records, all of which have been deposited at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The Survey was just that, an attempt to provide a comprehensive and documented account of the war. It is not a definitive history: that will await the passage of time and the opening of sources (Iraqi records, for example) that were not available to Survey researchers. Nor is it a summary of lessons learned: other organizations, including many within the Air Force, have already done that. Rather, the Survey provides an analytical and evidentiary point of departure for future studies of the air campaign. It concentrates on an analysis of the operational level of war in the belief that this level of warfare is at once one of the most difficult to characterize and one of the most important to understand.
The Survey was directed by Dr. Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and was staffed by a mixture of civilian and military analysts, including retired officers from the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. It was divided into task forces, most of which were run by civilians working temporarily for the Air Force. The work produced by the Survey was examined by a distinguished review committee that included scholars, retired general officers from the Air Force, Navy, and Army, as well as former and current senior government officials. Throughout, the Survey strived to conduct its research in a spirit of impartiality and scholarly rigor. Its members had as their standard the observation of Mr. Franklin D'Olier, chairman of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey during and after the second World War: "We wanted to burn into everybody's souls that fact that the survey's responsibility . . . was to ascertain facts and to seek truth, eliminating completely any preconceived theories or dogmas."
The Survey attempted to create a body of data common to all of the reports. Because one group of researchers compiled this core material while other task forces were researching and drafting other, more narrowly focused studies, it is possible that discrepancies exist among the reports with regard to points of detail. More importantly, authors were given discretion, within the bounds of evidence and plausibility, to interpret events as they saw them. In some cases, task forces came to differing conclusions about particular aspects of this war. Such divergences of view were expected and even desired: the Survey was intended to serve as a point of departure for those who read its reports, and not their analytical terminus.
This volume concentrates on direct as well as indirect support required to conduct air operations. The first report, Logistics, is primarily concerned with overall logistics planning, supply and maintenance of the force, and its transportation necessary for war. The second report, Support, concerns itself with the air base and airbase operations (e.g., civil engineering, services, and personnel). This is the dual theme of the volume.
The Survey's members owe a great debt of gratitude to Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice, who conceived of the project, provided it with resources, and set for it the highest standards of independence and objectivity. Many organizations and individuals gave generously of their resources and time to support this effort. Various branches and commands of the Air Force were particularly helpful in providing material for and, in some cases, personnel to conduct the study. The United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Army aided with this study in different ways, including the sharing of data pertaining to the air war. A number of the United States' Coalition partners also made available individuals and records that were vital to the Survey's work. Many participants in the war, including senior political officials and officers from all of the Services were willing to speak with the Survey and share their recollections of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Private students of the Gulf War also made available their knowledge of the crisis and conflict. Wherever possible and appropriate such assistance has been acknowledged in the text.
The Survey's independence was its reason for being. Each report is the product of the authors who wrote it and does not necessarily represent the views of the Review Committee, the Air Force or the Department of Defense.
The Gulf War Air Power Survey reports were submitted to the Department of Defense for policy and security review. In accordance with this review, certain information has been removed from the original text. These areas have been annotated as [DELETED].
Gulf War Air Power Survey
Part I: Planning Report Part II: Command and Control Report Volume II:
Part I: Logistics Report Part II: Support Report Volume IV:
Part I: Weapons, Tactics,
and Training Report
Part II: Space Report Volume V:
Part I: A Statistical Compendium Part II: Chronology
Security Review viii
List of Reports ix
Part I: Logistics Index to Logistics Report
Part II: Support Index to Support Report
(Note: Each of the two reports retained pagination independent of the other. Accordingly, the table of contents for each report accompanies each report independently of this table of contents).
Part I Logistics
Task Force Chief Mr. Richard A. Gunkel
Principal Author Mr. Richard L. Olson
Contributing Authors Mr. Roger K. Coffey
Mr. Francis E. Cartwright
Mr. Dennis K. Dakan
Maj. Daniel L. Draper
Mr. James A. Forbes
Lt. Col. Constance D. Graham
Mr. John W. Schade
Maj. Gen. Click D. Smith, Jr. (Retired, USAF)
Contents Report Acknowledgements xiii
1 Logistics of the Gulf War 1
2 Preparation for a Southwest Asia Contingency 27
3 Deploying to the Theater 81
4 Intra-Theater Airlift 141
Appendix 4-A: Theater Prepositioned Equipment 169
Appendix 4-B: Theater Airlift Management 171
Appendix 4-C: Definition of Provisional Units Terms 175
5 Air Refueling 177
6 Arming the Force 221
7 Supplying the Force 259
8 Maintaining the Force 307
Appendix 8-A: Summary of Gulf Conflict
U.S. Air Force Battle Damage and Repair 365
Appendix 8-B: AOR Maintenance Population Analysis 373 9 Logistics Performance 381
Tables 1 United States Air Force Aircraft Inventory versus
15 MAC Strategic Airlift Missions by Destination in AOR
August 1990 - February 1991 103
16 Mission-Capable (MC) Aircraft and Aircraft Flown
(Daily Averages) 105
17 Desert Shield/Desert Storm MAC Cargo:
Unit and Sustainment 112
18 NAVCENT Buildup: Fixed-Wing Aircraft 116 19 CENTAF Aircraft Beddown at End of Phase I 118 20 CENTAF Aircraft Beddown at End of Phase II 119 21 CENTAF Buildup: TAF Combat Aircraft 120 22 CENTAF Buildup: TAF Combat Support Aircraft 121 23 F-4G Air Refueling Track 124
24 CENTAF Buildup: SAC Aircraft 127 25 CENTAF Buildup: MAC Aircraft 135 26 CENTAF Buildup: AFSOF Aircraft 137 27 MARCENT Buildup: Fixed-Wing Aircraft 137 28 Coalition Member Aircraft 138
29 MAC Strategic Airlift Sorties by Aerial Ports of
Debarkation (Aug 90 - Feb 91) 142
30 Aerial Ports of Debarkation and
Prepositioning Sites 143
31 Tactical Airlift Forces Beddown Locations 145
32 Airlift Organizations, Bases, and Units 149
33 Camel and Star Routes 152
34 Theater Main Supply Routes and Logistics Bases 155
35 Principal NAVCENT Logistics Bases 157 36 MARCENT Area 161 37 Aeromedical Evacuation 162
38 Atlantic Bridge Air Refueling 190
39 Tanker Beddown in the AOR 195 40 Air Refueling Tracks and Anchors 198
41 KC-135s Deployed from CONUS 200 42 Air Refueling Sorties Flown 201
43 Munitions Storage Locations Prior to Operation
Desert Shield 227
44 United States Munitions Storage and Port Locations 238
45 Total Munitions Deployed 238
46 Munitions Storage Locations, 16 January 1991 240
47 AIM-7M Sparrow Missile 251 48 AIM-9M Sidewinder Missile 252 49 MK-82 Low- and High-Drag 500-Pound Bomb 252
50 M117 (750-Pound) 253
51 MK-84 (2,000-Pound Low- and High-Drag Bomb) 253
52 AGM-65 Series Maverick Missile 254 53 GBU-10 (Improved 2,000-Pound Bomb) 254 54 GBU-12 (500-Pound PGM) 255 55 GBU-24 (Improved 2,000-Pound Bomb 255 56 GBU-27 (2,000-Pound PGM for F-117A) 256 57 CBU-52/58/71 (Cluster Bomb Units) 256 58 CBU-87 (Combined Effects Munition) 257 59 CBU-89 (Gator Antitank Munition) 257 60 Desert Shield and Desert Storm Aircraft Status 260
61 CENTAF Supply Support Activity Configuration 275 62 DFSC Fuel Locations 288 63 ABDR Events by Aircraft Type 321 64 Damage Areas 321
65 Aircraft Battle Damage Repair Time 323
66 A-10 Aircraft Battle Damage Repair 323
67 MAC Maintenance Cycles 337 68 Surge Requirements and Production (Cumulative) 342
69 F-16 FMC Rate 347 70 F-15 Break and Fix Rates 350
71 Maintenance Population by Month 358
72 Maintenance Personnel by Base and Month 359
73 Maintenance Personnel: Planned vs Actual 362
74 Maintenance Footprint Analysis 374
75 Munitions Posture 387
Report Acknowledgements The survey of logistics in the Gulf War brought together a formidable team with expertise that crossed every avenue of transportation, supply, maintenance, and the myriad aspects of logistics planning and coordination. Mr. Richard Gunkel was the Logistics, Support, and Space Task Force Leader, and Richard Olson led the authoring and development of the logistics report. The authors' efforts to sift, sort, analyze, and interpret were complemented by innumerable contributions of members on the Air Staff, at MAJCOMs, and in base-level organizations who managed and fought both within and outside the CENTCOM Area of Responsibility and who shared their experiences for the benefit of those who follow. The study director, Dr. Eliot Cohen, provided a major challenge with his constant urging to describe the essence of logistics without turning the "hapless reader" into a technician. The authors met the challenge through a thematic approach by providing answers to questions of what happened. The basis for the story was laid in describing preparations for the war by Connie Graham, who provided new and original insights to the problems of theater logistics. Frank Cartwright provided special expertise on material might that could be focused in building a foundation for the conflict. Roger Coffey brought first-hand airlift experience to the description of deployment and positioning the force. Click Smith described the in-theater transportation and operational support with a special understanding of management and practice. Daniel Draper not only covered fuels, aerial refueling, as well as ground refueling, but brought reflections garnered from long hours in the Air Staff Logistics Readiness Center during the conflict. Dennis Dakan provided notable expertise to the essential aspects of munitions and arming the force. John Schade's intimate understanding of wholesale and retail supply provides keen insights to a massive undertaking of provisioning. Jim Forbes, penetrating analysis transcended the whole of the Logistics survey to describe maintenance accomplishments. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Anthony J. Burshnick contributed significantly through his introspective critiques of organization and content. Mr Alan P. Heffernan deserves real thanks for solving automation challenges; Ms. Anne H. Predzin accomplished inspired editing by reining in our propensity to be too technical; and Ms. Barbara L. Gardien brought imaginative style for layout and design. The anchor in the process, from the beginning to the end, was Ms. Cecelia French, whose immeasurable support with answers, typing, organizing, and retyping sustained us with her energy.
This report discusses logistics in the Persian Gulf War as it applies to all military operations and in particular to air operations. Simply put, how did the United States equip its forces for Desert Shield and Desert Storm? Logistics also includes functions for maintaining an air base and support services. These aspects of logistics will be covered in the two parts of this volume.
One of the simpler, but nonetheless comprehensive, definitions of logistics was documented by Baron Antoine Henri Jomini subsequent to the Napoleonic Wars, when he defined logistics as the "practical art of moving armies."1 A Joint Chiefs of Staff definition expands on Jomini's version, expressing logistics as The science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces. In its most comprehensive sense, those aspects of military operations which deal with: a. design and development, acquisition, storage, movement, distribution, maintenance, evacuation, and disposition of materiel; b. movement, evacuation, and hospitalization of personnel; c. acquisition, or construction, maintenance, operation, and disposition of facilities; and d. acquisition or furnishing of services. 2 The Gulf War encompassed all of these aspects of logistics, and did so on a grand scale. One of the main reasons for success in this conflict was the ability of the U.S. military to respond logisticallyto move, beddown, and sustain the combat forces. The primary focus of our survey was to examine airpower application in a theater devoid of prior operational presence. This unique environment presented airpower managers with severe challenges to assure efficient and effective application of combat force. We examine the state of logistics prior to the conflict, the characteristics of planning, the efforts to put combat and support elements in place, the support of air operations during combat; and in particular, how planners envisioned the role of logistics in supporting air forces to achieve Coalition objectives and execute military strategy. We structured several specific themes in framing our review. Some of them surfaced late in the 1970s after Vietnam, and some were still pondered as the air campaign unfolded in January 1991. First is the nature and substance of the predeployment planning and preparation. A massive resource base, vastly expanded in preparation for a global conflict with the Soviets, served as a basis. How did this mass play in the Gulf conflict? Where was the mass? All of the forces and most of the assets required in the Middle East had to be moved into position. Moving required lift resources as well as time. What then was the significance of five and a half months to position, to set up, to organize, to gain efficiency, and to train for what was to be accomplished?
A second theme focuses on planning that had been formulated, although a current, approved, and detailed plan did not exist. What was the evolution from the planning that existed, and what was the character of execution actions that took place in establishing the Desert Storm support structure of January 1991? Research showed that, for this theater, logistics operated without confirmation of priorities and with insufficient details to deploy efficiently. Was that important? If so, how were problems corrected? Our examination of Gulf War planning and execution confirms that the unique missions and institutionalized support processes of the major commands produced individualized support and organizational structures. How did these unique structures make a difference, if at all? This theme also addresses the level of chaos that existed, the improvisation that ensued, and the degree to which readiness and sustainability were affected.
A third theme concerns the degree to which command and control affected basic logistics concepts of operation. How did automated systems and equipment designed for deployed operations perform where called upon? To what extent were pace and effectiveness of specific logistics operations tied to availability of information processing and the accessibility of in-theater and global communications? Was information available outside the area of responsibility to provide necessary assistance and support?
Interwoven with these themes are some other fairly important questions. For example: Did the desert environment present unique problems? What were the relationships among the Services, and how were joint responsibilities for logistics in the theater assigned and accomplished? Since Gulf‑related logistical efforts drained resources from other theaters, what were the airpower impacts outside of the Gulf War? How well were the forces prepared? What was the impact of precrises training on Gulf War logistics? Many examples show that training practices and exercises prepared the United States well for the Desert Shield/Desert Storm task. At the same time, there are also examples illustrating how lack of realistic conditions or overscripting of training and exercise scenarios masked problems later confronted in the Gulf. This is especially true for many areas of logistics.
As these themes suggest, the first report is focused on the substance and process of the plan and the benefits of a robust resource base, as well as the innovation required to respond to unforeseen contingencies as they arose. The themes are addressed within the following structure.