This is a personal narrative with photo's provide by Nick Brunstein. Nick served as the Bandit's Assistant S-3 & the B Company Commander. Contact Nick at the following email address email@example.com. He has allowed the Association of 3rd Armored Division Veterans to copy & publish his narrative.
Desert Shield/Storm 1990-91
Welcome to the Desert Shield/Storm area. This started as just another section of photos. We have members that served in the war, and I hope to get their photos and thoughts added. In truth, this has turned into a photo journal of what we went through. It is my hope that someone may read this and see another perspective on what happened. We will be adding more photos in the future. Perhaps you can see images from that period that you have not seen before.
The images below are grouped based on the period they happened.
A note here: You can tell where the U.S. Soldiers deployed from by the color of their uniforms and even weapons. Units deploying from the U.S. were issued Desert Camouflage Uniforms (DCU's), and had the 9mm pistol. Units deploying from Germany wore the standard "woodland" Battle Dress Uniform (BDU's), and still had the .45 pistol. We (4/67 AR) would not get issued DCU's until prior to our redeployment. The rule was that everyone had to have 1 set of DCU's with patches before they could get on the plane.
Advance Party, Dec. 1990 – Feb. 1991.
4/67 Armor "Bandits", 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division "Spearhead".
Cement City, Saudi Arabia, Dec 1990
Christmas Day, 25 Dec 1990
We flew into Saudi from Germany. We then were taken to "Cement City", near Dhahran (Saudi Arabia) which was in fact a cement plant. The ground you see is sand and cement dust. To prove you cant kill the Christmas Spirit, Advance Party members created a "Christmas Tree" using empty water bottles, filled with sand and stacked, then wrapped with canvas. The trim is "T.P.", with the tops of water bottles as decoration. The gifts were "Any Service Member" boxes packed by folks in the U.S. including notes from the person who packed them. The "gifts" may not look like much, but they did make a difference for the troops.
Convoy, 1 Jan 1991
We deployed to our Tactical Assembly Area on New Years Day, 1991. The nice thing was that Robin Williams had done a "Good Morning Saudi Arabia" show for AFN. It was as good as he was in the movie, but we went out of range before the show was half way completed. We would not hear American radio again till just before the Air War started. The only radio we had in between was the "Voice of Peace" out of Baghdad featuring Baghdad "Bob and Betty". They did play decent music, and provided humor such as the "While you are sitting in the desert, Bart Simpson is sleeping with your wives" news reports.
Seems they did not know Bart Simpson was a Cartoon character.
Go figure, we are talking about a country which had put all that effort into preparing to fight WWI
Lucky for us.
The rest of the Battalion deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in Mid January 1991. They would join us "deep" in the desert in Feb.
Ground Action 24-28 Feb. 1991
4/67 Armor "Bandits", 3rd Brigade, 3rd Armor Division "Spearhead"
"The way home is through Iraq"
A short halt during the attack.
Bradley Fighting Vehicles on the flank.
A ZSU23-4 that did not survive the air war.
Destroyed Iraqi tank
Burning Oilfields in Kuwait
Tactical Operations Center, Kuwait.
"B" Company, 4/67 Armor, 3rd Armored Division "Spearhead".
Screen Line Mission, Demarkation Line (DML), South of Basrah, Iraq, April-May 1991
One thing I do not understand is that every book or "study" ends the story just after the ceasefire in March. There are some looks at the Northern situation, but no examination of what happened from March-June 1991 in the south. In truth, there was more "story" with what happened AFTER the ceasefire.
In April, we moved north to take over the screen line mission along the DML south of Basrah. "B" Company was tasked organized with 2 Tank, and 1 Mech Inf. Platoon. For the mission, the Battalion Scout Platoon was attached. Our sector was several "k's" wide, and sat on the highway running south from Basrah. We could watch the fighting between the Rebels, and the Republican Guards at night. The Rebels had no chance, their only hope was to make it to our lines and escape the killing. It is a hard thing to have the power to level a town with a word, and have no ability to use it. These are things the "school" can never teach you how to deal with. With the new role for the military as "Peacekeeper", these situations now become common place as our troops face the same issues.
Patrolling the DML, April 1991.
The gun tube is B65 (my XO's tank) running as "wing" tank. The vehicle in the lower picture is a disabled Iraqi BMP.
Destruction of a T72 Tank, DML, Iraq.
The following is a series of photos that document the destruction of a disabled T72. I will add more pictures in the future.
T72 As we found it.
"Do we need more explosives?"
Lighting the fuse, "rigged" to blow
Where the T72 was located
I admit that we may have used a little too much explosive. You can see how far back we were when the tank blew. In fact, in the explosion picture there are many objects in the sky. One of those objects was a "road wheel" from the T72. That road wheel missed me by 5 feet, on its way deeper into the desert.
At least that was one T72 that would never get used again.
Establishing the U.N. Buffer Zone, May 1991
With the end of the DML screen mission, we pulled back to establish the new U.N. buffer Zone. My company had spent over 30 days on the screen mission, so we were put into reserve around the Battalion TOC. After a few days where everyone could see us, we were ready to get back out on the line. I managed to work a deal, and we moved back into the Zone.
The "Bandit 3" heads out to check another position as the Battalion prepares the U.N. Buffer Zone.
A visit from Dick Cheney the day before we pull out of the U.N. Zone. 2 CH47 helicopters loaded with reporters came with him. The Brigade Commander, Col. Goff is the man on the right.
The day before we were to load up and move back to the port (or so we thought) we had a visit from Mr. Cheney. He told us of a defense treaty just signed with Kuwait, how everyone back home was proud of us, and how they were doing everything possible to make sure we got home fast. Hands were shaken, morale was good. The troops were looking forward to returning to Germany. After turning the reporters loose on us, they all climbed back into their helicopters and flew off.
Next day, we pulled out of the buffer zone, and moved back to our HET loading area. Once there, a meeting of the full Battalion was called. We did not know what was to be said, but we suspected it would not be good.
At the meeting (Col. Goff was there), we were told that WE would be part of the Kuwaiti defense force. The Battalion would be detached from 3rd Brigade, and attached to 1st Brigade. The rest of 3rd Brigade would continue to return to Germany.
How long would WE remain in Kuwait? The answer was "an indefinite, but short (we hope) period of time".
When asked by a soldier if he was staying with us in Kuwait, Col Goff replied: "No, I am going home with my Brigade". That was all he said on it, period.
Granted this was correct in a technical sense, but this was the worst answer a Commander of troops could EVER give. In one sentence, he told a full Battalion that had served under him for so long, that we were not a part of his Brigade. In the military, loyalty is a key item. That answer indicated to the soldiers that the Brigade Commander had no loyalty to our Battalion. With that answer, the Battalion meeting started to turn bad. We moved to break up the formation as fast as possible.
It was the ONLY time in my career that I had a real concern that a soldier might shoot a superior officer.
Defense of Kuwait, now attached to 1st BDE, 3rd Armored Division "Spearhead"
Camp Doha, Kuwait. May -June 1991
A relaxed moment while on area defense. You can see the Doha area behind the tank (the tower). This area was also called "Stalag Doha" as you could not leave the walled area except for area defense. We were assigned for what was called "an indefinite, but shortperiod of time". We were attached to 1st BDE, 1st AD. In fact, the 3rd AD would begin to demobilize while we were still deployed.
Most popular song?
Eagles: Hotel California
"you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.."
Most popular slogan?
"No more lies"
(a variation on the official slogan of "no more lives")
Re-Deployment to Germany, June 1991.
Here you can see a "B" Company tank loading on a HET. The M1A1's we used were the "HA" version (they had Depleted Uranium armor mesh added to the front), and they were heavier than a normal M1. As you can see, loading the tanks on the trucks was not an easy task. The driver can not see the guide unless he stood on the box at the rear of the tractor. When the tank starts onto the trailer, it kicks the rear of the tractor up in the air in a sudden movement. If the guide was not careful, he could be thrown from the vehicle. We did not have any injuries, so credit goes to the soldiers doing that job. In the picture you can see the rear wheels off the ground as the tank starts onto the trailer..
In June 1991 we were relieved of the defense mission by the 11th ACR. We would be the last combat Battalion to re-deploy from the theater. In the 18 months prior to this, I had spent less than 90 days at home (the 90 days were not grouped together). We delivered the tanks and vehicles to the port, and prepared to go home. The final day arrived, we boarded the plane and were going "home" at last. We arrived back home in Germany on 21 June 1991.
Wearing our brand new DCU's.