Countdown to 75: US Army Europe Supports Desert Storm (#75Strong)

3d Armored Division troops combat the ubiquitous desert dust by performing daily maintenance on their M1A1s. 2 / 4 3d Armored Division troops combat the ubiquitous desert dust by performing daily maintenance on their M1A1s. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Army Center for Military History) Then President George Bush speaks to U.S. Military personnel gathered for his Thanksgiving holiday visit during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 1990. 3 / 4 Then President George Bush speaks to U.S. Military personnel gathered for his Thanksgiving holiday visit during Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 1990. (Photo Credit: U.S. Navy JO3 Gerald Johnson) Illustration titled "Night Attack" by Mario Acevedo, U.S. Army Center for Military History. 4 / 4 Illustration titled “Night Attack” by Mario Acevedo, U.S. Army Center for Military History. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Army Center for Military History)

The dramatic events of the late 1980s — the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, German reunification, and the collapse of the Soviet Union — combined to change U.S. Army Europe again.

Intermediate nuclear weapons were withdrawn, chemical weapons were moved out of Europe, and units began to depart the European continent while others were inactivated.

Then Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

The first deployments from U.S. Army Europe to Saudi Arabia in August 1990 included the 45th Medical Company and advance elements of the 12th Aviation Brigade, which by September had deployed two Apache attack helicopter battalions, a Kiowa scout helicopter company, a Black Hawk utility helicopter company, a Chinook platoon, and associated support and maintenance units.

These were quickly followed by intelligence specialists, chemical warfare experts, logistical personnel, many individual replacements, and finally almost the entire VII Corps.

The command eventually deployed more than 75,000 personnel plus 1,200 tanks, 1,700 armored combat vehicles, more than 650 pieces of artillery, and more than 325 aircraft.

When the war ended, many U.S. Army Europe Soldiers remained to complete the logistical cleanup; others were deployed to northern Iraq or Turkey to aid refugees.

Upon return to Europe, many also found that their units were in the process of either relocating to the continental U.S. or inactivating.

We’ll be highlighting U.S. Army Europe’s history over the next 12 weeks as we countdown to our 75th birthday. Follow along with #75Strong!

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

Source: US Army (USAREUR)

Featured Image: 1st Infantry Division Soldier securing a vehicle to a railcar. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Army Center for Military History)

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