The 9th Engineer Battalion in Operation Desert Storm
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS
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This paper discusses the participation of the 9th Engineer Battalion, 7th Engineer Brigade, VII Corps, during Operation Desert Storm, as viewed by its former Battalion Commander. Stationed in Aschaffenberg, Germany, the unit deployed to Saudi Arabia and initially provided engineer support to the First Armored Division. Later, while under the operational control of the First Brigade, First Infantry Division, it supported the breach into Iraq, participated in the Battle at Norfolk, and conducted denial operations throughout southern Iraq and northern Kuwait. The report highlights lessons in training, materiel, and doctrine. The author concludes that the readiness of the combined arms team to breach Iraqi minefields was inadequate at the onset of war, due to late fielding of countermine equipment, insufficient training time, peacetime training constraints, and voids in countermine doctrine. The author provides information which helps to explain the late fielding of countermine equipment. Finally, he concludes that the future countermine modernization program, key to correcting current shortfalls, must be carefully managed due to future budget reductions.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics