View Full Version : The Noose Around Iraq

03-15-03, 08:53 AM

The United States and Britain have deployed more than a quarter of a million military personnel in the Gulf in preparation for a possible attack on Iraq.

Around 225,000 US soldiers, sailors and airmen sent to the region are already in place.

Most of Britain's 45,000 troops deployed to the Gulf are also now there.

Sky News Online looks at the main deployments.


Total strength has swelled to some 45,000 men and women including Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force personnel.

The Ministry of Defence on March 13 said the "majority" of its forces had arrived in the Gulf.

The main British ground fighting force numbers some 26,000 and will be led by 1 UK Armoured Division headquarters, deployed with one of its three brigades.

The force also includes the 7th Armoured Brigade, the "Desert Rats", with 3,400 combat troops, 120 Challenger-2 tanks and 150 Warrior armoured fighting vehicles. These are likely to be based in Kuwait.

Britain has also sent 16 Air Assault Brigade's 2,100 helicopter-mobile paratroops and 102 Logistics Brigade.

An estimated additional 3,000 army personnel including command and control units, engineers and signallers have also been deployed.

At sea, Britain has sent a 16-ship naval flotilla carrying 4,000 Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade, capable of deploying by helicopter or surface landing craft, plus a Fleet Submarine.

The naval fleet, manned by 4,000 sailors, is led by the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and helicopter assault ship Ocean, both equipped with troop-carrying helicopters rather than fixed-wing jets.

Britain's Royal Air Force component in the Gulf numbers 100 fixed-wing aircraft - including Hercules transport aircraft, Tornado and Harrier jets - and 27 Puma and Chinook helicopters, all supported by about 7,000 personnel.


There are currently five US aircraft carriers - plus Britain's Ark Royal - within striking distance of Baghdad, bringing to nearly 500 the number of US naval and Air Force warplanes near Iraq.

The US carriers Kitty Hawk, Abraham Lincoln and Constellation are in or near the Gulf. The Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman are in the Mediterranean.

USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier, left San Diego on March 3 at the head of a battle group of six warships.

The group carries about 8,500 personnel.

US carriers each typically deploy about 75 planes including about 50 attack aircraft.

Each carrier is shepherded by half a dozen or so cruisers, destroyers and submarines with long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Nearly 800 additional medical staff have been ordered to join the US Navy hospital ship Comfort which is also in the region and has a 1,000-bed capacity.

The US Navy plans to move about a dozen missile-firing cruisers and destroyers from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf region in the coming days to join more than 60 other US ships there.

The ships are armed with hundreds of Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles.


The Pentagon said that 225,000 US troops were already in the Gulf region for use in a possible war.

As of March 12, 188,592 reservists had beem mobilised, many of whom are heading to the Gulf.

Nearly 100,000 US army soldiers and Marines are in Kuwait.


Several radar-avoiding F-117A "stealth" attack jets are now doing practice flights at Al-Udeid in Qatar.

B-52 bombers are in Britain - from where they can reach Iraq. Other B-52s along with B-1 bombers are already in the Gulf.

B-52 and B-1 long-range bombers are also stationed at an air base on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

Radar-avoiding B-2 stealth bombers have left their base at Whiteman in Missouri and are expected to head to Diego Garcia, but so far the Pentagon has refused to say where they will be deployed.

Special hangers for the bat-wing B-2s have been built on the Indian Ocean island and at RAF Fairford, in England.

The US Air Force has also sent F-15C fighters, F-15E attack jets, F-16 fighters, A-10 attack jets, Predator unmanned spy planes and radar aircraft to the Gulf.

The US has bases in Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Djibouti and Saudi Arabia.




Rob Parry
03-15-03, 02:53 PM
Roger, what has not been given a great deal of airtime is the way many of us on Military Forums are joining with the families of our Marines and sending parcels of daily essentials to make their lives more bearable. Our guys, unless in the RAF (by virtue of the airfield environment), don't have the fantastic PX facilities provided for your troops. Reports of men losing 14 lbs in weight, having gash food and living on 2 litres of water a day in a rear echelon area are disgraceful in this day and age. It seems as if the politicos are happy to put them there without adequate supplies or infrastructure, then carry on their First Class shuttle diplomacy. Doh! One of our guys was told they needed food and letters from home, so he sent a good friend, lemon juice and a large letter M cut from a magazine. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when it is opened!

03-16-03, 11:54 PM
Will it just be us, Tommy? The Turks have no stomach, The French have no balls, and the Germans are cornered by economics. A small group of Americans, Brits, and Aussies, will show the world what is fair and right? The question is whose flag will fly in Bagdad in August?

03-16-03, 11:55 PM
...from the halls of Montezuema...

Sticky blue
03-22-03, 03:42 PM
Quote: The question is whose flag will fly in Bagdad in August?

The Iraqi flag will be flying! A flag of a people freed from the dictatorship of Saddam...