U.S. Marines in the Persian Gulf, 1990-1991: The 3D Marine Aircraft Wing in Desert Shield and Desert Storm (Paperback)
This monograph is an account of the activities of the Marines and units of the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing in support of the I Marine Expeditionary Force's efforts to liberate Kuwait. This document is part of a preliminary series of official Marine Corps histories that cover Marine Corps operations in the Gulf War. On 2 September 1990, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing took command of Marine aviation forces ashore from a Marine composite aircraft group, which had hurriedly been moved to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Desert Shield. The wing would grow to be the largest deployed in Marine Corps history. It would fly more than 10 different types of aircraft from eight airfield sites that required laying more than 4.5 million square feet of ramps, landing, and taxiing areas. In addition, the wing and its support groups would construct six 3,000-man base camps and establish a Marine Air Command and Control System that would operate across four countries in a joint and combined arena. When Operation Desert Storm began, the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing was ready and provided more than 18,000 fixed-wing and helicopter sorties in support of I Marine Expeditionary Force's mission of ejecting Iraqi forces from Kuwait. This monograph is predominantly based on unit command chronologies, more than three dozen interviews with key participants, comments from key participants on the draft monograph, and other source documents available at the Marine Corps Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
About the Author
Lieutenant Colonel LeRoy D. Stearns, Jr., a career aviator, attended the University of Texas at Austin before being commissioned in the Marine Corps and receiving his wings in 1979. Designated a CH-46 pilot, he joined Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162 at Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, and subsequently was deployed with the squadron to the Mediterranean. In 1983, during the last of three such deployments to the Mediterranean, he flew combat missions in support of Marine and coalition forces during the crisis in Beirut, Lebanon. Following assignments in Hawaii and Okinawa, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico, Virginia, and then joined Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165, where he served as the squadron's operations and then executive officer. After a short tour with the Navy Staff as the amphibious warfare policy officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stearns attended the National War College and graduated in June 1997 with a master of science degree in national security strategy.