A look back at some of the most iconic images of Operation Desert Storm, which began Jan. 17, 1991.
Anniversary of Desert Storm in Photos
U.S. Air Force jets from the 4th Fighter Wing (F-16s and F-15s) fly over Kuwaiti oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqi army during Operation Desert Storm. The U.S. Air Force controlled the skies over Iraq and Kuwait and were never seriously challenged by the Iraqi Air Force. U.S. Air Force photo. A projectile is fired off the port side from one of the Mark 7 16-inch guns in the No. 2 turret aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin during Operation Desert Storm. Desert Storm was the last time that battleships would fire their guns in combat. DoD photo. A U.S. Marine Corps M-60A1 main battle tank equipped with reactive armor and mine-clearing rollers and plow stands by at the head of a column of AAVP-7A1 amphibious assault vehicles as the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force prepares to enter Kuwait at the start of the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm. The individual Marine had no idea what to expect on the other side of the berms that separated Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. DoD photo. F-117 Nighthawks of the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing stand on the flight line with canopies raised following their return from Saudi Arabia where they took part in Operation Desert Storm. The most advanced plane in the world at the time of Desert Storm, less than 20 years later it would be retired from service. DoD photo. The SNS Passumpsic conducting an underway replenishment of the aircraft carrier USS Ranger and the French destroyer Latouche-Treville during Operation Desert Storm. The coalition extended to all areas of the battlefield. DoD photo. A Humvee drives along a road in the Kuwaiti desert following Operation Desert Storm. The retreating Iraqis set the oil fields of Kuwait on fire before they retreated resulting in an environmental and economic disaster. DoD photo. The British flag waves from an armored personnel carrier of the 7th Brigade Royal Scots as it advances along the Basra-Kuwait Highway near Kuwait City following the retreat of Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm. Many retreating Iraqi forces were destroyed outside Kuwait City by air power. DoD photo. Three U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighters from strike fighter squadron VFA-83, fly in formation during Operation Desert Storm. U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Rose Reynolds. M1A1 Abrams of the 3rd Armored Division move out on a mission during Operation Desert Storm. The Iraqi Republican Guard and their T-72s were no match for the superior firepower of the M1A1 Abrams. U.S. Navy photo by Phc. D.W. Holmes II. Demolished vehicles line Highway 80, also known as the "Highway of Death," the route fleeing Iraqi forces took as they retreated from Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. DoD photo. A Kuwaiti pilot prepares for takeoff in an A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft. Notice "Free Kuwait" written on the fuselage. At its core Desert Storm was about liberation. DoD photo by Sgt. Jeff Wright. A B-52 Stratofortress takes off on a mission during Operation Desert Storm. Considered aging at the time of Operation Desert Storm, the B-52 is still in service 20 years later. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chris Putnam. A soldier stakes down camouflage netting around a Patriot tactical air defense launcher at a newly constructed site during Operation Desert Shield. The Patriots at that time were considered unproven technology, but provided a useful defense against the threat posed by Iraqi Scuds. DoD photo. A Syrian soldier aims an AK-47 assault rifle from his position in a foxhole during a firepower demonstration, as part of Operation Desert Shield. The soldier is wearing a Soviet-made Model ShMS nuclear-biological-chemical warfare mask. In a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the Syrians fought alongside the United States in Desert Storm. DoD photo. A company from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) marches across the apron to board the aircraft that will carry the unit to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. This wouldn't be the last time that the 101st deployed to Southwest Asia. DoD photo. Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division walk around their camp wearing rain suits, gloves and M-17A1 protective masks as they try to acclimate their bodies to the heat of Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. The threat of chemical weapons was very real and scenes like this were common during the conflict. DoD photo. A view of a multinational group of fighter jets, including, left to right, a Qatari F-1 Mirage, a French F-1C Mirage, a U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon, a Canadian CF/A-18A Hornet and a Qatari Alpha Jet, during Operation Desert Shield. Eventually 30 countries joined the coalition to free Kuwait. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Lee Corkran. Military personnel examine a Scud missile shot down in the desert by a Patriot tactical air defense missile during Operation Desert Storm. The threat of Iraqi Scuds posed a major problem for the coalition. DoD photo. An A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft flies over a target area. A-10 Thunderbolts destroyed more than 900 Iraqi tanks, 2,000 military vehicles, and 1,200 artillery pieces during Desert Storm. DoD photo. A British Challenger main battle tank moves into a base camp along with other Allied armor during Operation Desert Storm. British troops supported the coalition with land, air, and sea assets. DoD photo. A Pioneer Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) is launched from the battleship USS Wisconsin. Used in a limited role during Operation Desert Storm, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have evolved rapidly in the 20 years since. DoD photo. Egyptian troops stand ready for review by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia as they take part in an assembly of international coalition forces united against Saddam Hussein during Operational Desert Storm. Countries from six continents sent forces to be part of the coalition. DoD photo. A U.S. Navy A-7E Corsair II of attack squadron VA-72, assigned to Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3) aboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, heads for its target in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. The coalition bombing campaign dropped over 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraqi forces. DoD photo. President George H.W. Bush riding in a Humvee with Gen. Schwarzkopf in Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 1990. Gen. Schwarzkopf's strategy for Desert Storm earned him the nickname "Stormin' Norman." George Bush Presidential Library photo. A destroyed Iraqi T-55 lies along the Basra-Kuwait Highway, the scene of one of the final coalition attacks as Iraqi forces retreated from Kuwait City during Operation Desert Storm. DoD photo. A F-14A Tomcat of VF-114 flies over part of Al Jaber Airfield. The effectiveness of precision munitions can be seen in the destroyed hanger. Precision munitions then in its infancy during Desert Storm, has advanced dramatically in the last 20 years. DoD photo. U.S. Marines roll into Kuwait International Airport in light armored vehicles after the retreat of Iraqi forces from Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. The land war lasted only 100 hours, but resulted in the liberation of Kuwait. DoD photo.
li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-487">
li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-491">
li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-24461">
li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-39424">
li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-50122">
li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-85266">
li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-173379">
li class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-179258">
Sheila D. Lewis
3:36 PM February 4, 2011
Thank you Gulf veterans for your efforts in the Middle East!
3:52 PM February 13, 2011
Thanks to my son who served in the Gulf. I Will always be proud of him.
12:50 AM March 18, 2012
What transpired on the Highway of Death was not war.I t was a slaughter of troops who were following orders from the UN. and men, women and children. The Iraqi army had it gun barrels on their tanks locked down and were waving small white flags. The U.S. officials lied to Saddam and he took the bait.
10:48 PM July 14, 2012
Welcome to being in the middle. However, let us not for get the slaughter and rape that happened at the hand sof these troops in Kuwait. Karma will come to get you.
1:37 PM September 24, 2012
I like you very much …you have shown a courage and bravery without imagining.
9:59 AM December 7, 2012
Unless you were there how bout, “shut the hell up!!”
1:09 PM April 27, 2013
Twenty years+… I was part of Operation Desert Storm and proud of it!
4:03 PM May 5, 2013
I WAS THERE IN 1990 and IT WAS A SHIT HOLE
I FOUGHT IN DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM GLAD TO BE BACK IN THE GOOD OLE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
PEOPLE NEED TO BE PROUD OF THE UNITED STATES AND THERE FREEDOM.
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE WE HAD LOST BROTHERS AND SISTERS THERE.
SO HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO THE OPERATION DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM BBROTHERS AND SISTERS THAT HAD FOUGHT FOR AMERICAS FREEDOM
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE UNITED STAES MARINE CORPS. OOHHHHH RAHHHH!