David.Gettman December 31st, 2005
On 8 November 1990, the Second ACR was in the process of redefining its post-Cold War mission when it was alerted for deployment to Saudi Arabia. On 11 November, what had been VII Corps’ initial instructions to “move no earlier than 20 November” became “begin movement tomorrow.” Continue Reading »
David.Gettman December 30th, 2005
“Congratulations on your superb combat performance…
You met every requirement of our mission and accomplished everything expected of you by the nation, the Army and the Corps. Few units could have done what you did; nobody could have done it better.”
65th Colonel of the Regiment
1 March 1991
When Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, directed his forces to invade Kuwait no one could have predicted the eventual involvement of the 2d ACR. The Regiment was in fact in gunnery at Grafenwoehr on the 2nd of August 1990, the date of the invasion. Speculation about a mission in the Gulf occurred, but no one really expected that the Regiment would actually deploy. Continue Reading »
David.Gettman December 29th, 2005
After maintaining radio silence throughout the covering operation, Regimental nets opened at 1310 hours. This was the start of operations, the first wartime or combat operation conducted by the Regiment since May 1945. At 1330 the 210th FA Brigade fired a nine-minute artillery prep with two 155 battalions, an MLRS battery and the Regiment’ s howitzer batteries.
The prep covered the breaching of a double berm between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. This berm, erected to discourage smugglers, stood 8-10 feet high. 82nd Engineer Battalion, OPCON to the Dragoons and reinforced by the Regiment’ s own 84th Engineer Company, cut 43 lanes through the berm to allow passage of the follow-on squadrons and the Corps main body of two divisions.
While the Engineers completed these lanes, the Regiment crossed the berm line, called PL BECKS, with 4/2 leading in an aerial screen, followed by two squadrons abreast, Second in the west and Third in the east. First Squadron followed 3/2 as the Regimental reserve and RSS followed 2/2. Fourth Squadron cleared the zone with Nomad and Palehorse Troops as far as PL BUD by 1350 hrs. Eagle Troop breached the berm by 1400 hrs and Lightning Troop by 1406 hrs. Ground squadrons were on PL BUD, the limit of advance for the day, by 1530 hrs with Fourth Squadron screening ten kilometers further north on PL BUSCH. No one reported contact.
David.Gettman December 28th, 2005
The original plan for this day called for the Regiment to rake a Limited advance to PL BUSCH and hold there until G+1, while Marines and allied forces attacked into Kuwait. As coalition forces attacked across the front, however, resistance began folding and Iraqi forces surrendered in large numbers.
The success of coalition attacks accelerated the Corps schedule. With Second and Third Squadrons along PL BUSCH, Corps ordered the attack to continue at 1430 hours. Thus began an exciting afternoon as the Regiment moved over 40 kilometers, taking hundreds of prisoners.<
In the course of the advance Fourth and Third Squadron received some small arms fire. Lightning Troop, in fact, fought nine fire-fights guarding the Regimental flank during the day and into the evening. Fox Troop exchanged fire with an enemy platoon and then accepted its surrender. Generally, there was little resistance.
By early evening, lead scouts of the Regiment had reached Objectives MERRELL and FEUCHT with the main bodies of the lead squadrons generally along PL DIXIE. Continue Reading »
David.Gettman December 27th, 2005
This was a gray, windy day. At 0640 hrs, the Regiment continued its ground and air attack. Everyone continued to take prisoners as Iraqi soldiers gave up with no resistance. Air scouts reported that Objective GATES was free of enemy –but that Objective MAY contained enemy positions. Third Squadron fired artillery on MAY but blowing sand hampered close air support. The Third Armored Division continued to follow closely while First Armored Division trailed to the northwest in its own zone and First Infantry Division completed clearing passage lanes through the penetration area.
The Regiment refueled at 1000 hrs in the vicinity of PL LONESTAR while scouts continued forward. By 1230, the lead squadrons reported their main bodies on PL SMASH and their scouts as far as PL BLACKTOP. On BLACKTOP, 3/2 met and destroyed a mechanized infantry unit in prepared positions, taking a large number of EPWs including a colonel and lieutenant colonel. Continue Reading »
David.Gettman December 26th, 2005
Monday had been wet and chilly. On Tuesday the weather dried out about mid-morning only to be replaced by high winds and a Shamal (dust storm) that obscured the battlefield for the Iraqis but not for the Regiment’ s thermal sights and laser range-finders.
The Regiment, now moving due east, advanced to the 60 Easting line with three squadrons abreast: First Squadron picked up a zone in the south, Third Squadron now moved in the Regimental center. A tank fight developed along the front as 2/2 and 3/2 fixed and destroyed T72′ s which turned out to be security forces of the Tawakalna Division of the Republican Guard. First Squadron met and fought elements of the enemy 12th Armored Division at about the same time. Other Iraqi forces fleeing north out of the 1AD (UK) zone crossed into First Squadron’ s path and were also destroyed.
The Regiment reported that it had reached the enemy’ s main defense and got orders to reconnoiter forward to the 70 north-south line. Continue Reading »
David.Gettman December 25th, 2005
The weather continued to be dreadful but was less of a factor for the Regiment as it continued its reserve role and the divisions carried the fight to the enemy. A small move to the east, to the 85 Easting, was made in the afternoon to keep the Regiment closed up to 1ID’ s rear boundary. The Cease Fire found the Dragoons preparing to follow the rest of the Corps into Kuwait. All told, the Second Armored Regiment fought 82 hours of a 115 hour war.
David.Gettman December 24th, 2005
The Regiment spent the next weeks in Kuwait backing up the rest of the Corps and destroying abandoned enemy equipment. The presence of thousands of unexploded bombs and shells, hundreds of deserted Iraqi vehicles and of numerous burning oil wells made Kuwait an unpleasant and inhospitable place. In March the Second Dragoons moved west to AA VIRGINIA in Iraq and, after a week of recovery and preparation, marched north to the Euphrates River Valley to perform another security mission for VII Corps.
The Cease Fire Line ran south of the river. Civil war raged throughout the valley as the Regiment relieved elements of the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions on the screen line. The mission was to observe a 90 mile stretch of the Line, assuring that Saddam’ s forces stayed out of the US-controlled zone and apprehending individual Iraqi soldiers deserting to the south.
With the screen mission came the responsibility for relieving the misery of thousands of refugees in the area. Women and children, many of them with gunshot wounds, flooded Med Troop from the first day of the relief in sector. Draft aged men also fled As-Samawah, An-Nasiriyah and Suk as Shuyuk. Troopers of the Regiment handled themselves with great poise and compassion under these difficult circumstances. Continue Reading »