Persian Gulf War

 

On 2 August 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded the oil-rich country of Kuwait stopping on the Saudi border. Disruption of oil supplies could be damaging to the global economy so defending Saudi Arabia became the first priority and assistance in it’s defense was given by King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud to the U.S. forces. Desert Shield was the operation to defend Saudi Arabia while worldwide coalition forces began arriving. American military power was being amassed to include the federalization of three National Guard combat “round-out” brigades. By September the coalition forces were capable of defending Saudi Arabia however by November the United States as well as it’s allies had changed its political objectives. United Nations mandates had been approved to liberate Kuwait from it’s occupying Iraqi forces. The 1st Battalion 158th Field Artillery Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) was ordered to active duty and began arriving at it’s mobilization station at Fort Sill, Ok.

MLRS System

Mutiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

 The liberation of Kuwait known as Operation Desert Storm began on 17 January 1991 with massive air strikes to achieve air supremacy. The Iraqi army surprised the coalition forces by lunging down to occupy Khafji, Saudi Arabia. On 24 February after thirty-eight days of continuous air strikes the ground offensive began. General Schwarzkopf unleashed all-out attacks against the Iraqi army. After the dust cleared the coalition forces had defeated the once-formidable Iraqi army, 3,847 of their 4,280 tanks and over half of their 2,880 armored personnel carriers, and nearly all 3,100 artillery were ultimately destroyed and an estimated sixty thousand prisoners were captured. The cease-fire went into effect at 0800 on 28 February nearly after 100 hours of ground combat.

General Schwarzkopf

General Norman Schwarzkopf

At 0300 on the 15th of Nov, 1990, MAJ James Doyle, the Administrative Officer and S-3 of the 1st Battalion 158th Field Artillery (MLRS) received a call from LTC John McReynolds, 45th Field Artillery Brigade Executive Officer. The battalion was being placed on alert for mobilization. All full time battalion technicians, Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and civil service, were ordered to report to their respective armories at this time. Later that morning, 10% of the battalion’s key personnel were ordered to active duty and also told to report in.

For the next six days, these Guardsmen prepared for the arrival of the rest of the battalion. Mobilization files were updated; coordination was made with the mobilization site, Ft. Sill, for billeting, the Unit Status Report (USR) was updated, and a myriad of other tasks performed.

On 21 Nov, 1990, the 1st Bn 158th FA (MLRS) was mobilized for deployment to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield. The battalion had 370 deployable personnel, or 80% of the required strength at this time. During the next two and a half months, the unit would gain 39 volunteers from other National Guard organizations and 54 soldiers assigned from the active Army. This brought the battalion to a total of 463 personnel, which was 99% of required strength. While at the unit armories, the Guardsmen gather section gear and began Preparation for Overseas Movement (POMs) processing.

The battalion moved to Ft. Sill on the 24th of November and occupied barracks which had been vacated by members of III Corps Artillery’s 75th FA Brigade which had already deployed to Southwest Asia. The first order of business at the mobilization site was to complete POMs processing. This included updating financial records, receiving physical and dental exams, inoculations, preparation of wills and powers of attorney.

Upon mobilization, the battalion was rated C-1 for equipment and C-2 for personnel. The 158th FA received 2 each M88 tracked recovery vehicles and 3 each M978 High Extended Mobility Tank Trailers (HEMTTs) fuel tankers prior to rail loading their equipment. During 60 hours of continuous painting operations, the unit had 253 pieces of rolling stock painted desert sand.

On 5 Dec, while the unit was having its equipment painted for desert operations, the 1045th Missile Maintenance Detachment was mobilized. The 1045th Maint., based out of Ft. Sill, was a critical support unit for the 158th FA. The detachment contained repair parts and soldiers with expertise necessary to maintain the 158th FA’s sophisticated rocket launchers. The 1045th Maint. had 21 soldiers who were deployable when they were mobilized and eventually added two Guard volunteers, four brought out of the inactive Guard, and 12 soldiers from the active Army.

On 6 Dec, rail load operations began at Ft. Sill. When the train departed on the 9th of Dec, it contained 235 vehicles and trailers belonging to the 158th FA and 44 vehicles and trailers belonging to the 1045 Maint.

After the departure of the unit’s equipment, the battalion concentrated on polishing individual soldier skills and on Military Occupational Skill (MOS) refresher training. Personnel fired crew served weapons, AT-4 sub-caliber munitions, M-203 and also zeroed and qualified with individual weapons. The Field Artillery School helped in arranging labs for launcher crewman and Fire Direction Center (FDC) personnel to get hands on training on Fire Direction System (FDS) computers and launcher fire control panels. The 3rd of the 9th FA provided launchers and HEMTT’s for each battery to conduct two days of field training. In anticipation of the predicted casualties in the upcoming conflict, emphasis was placed on medical training. Seven medics with MOS 94A were sent to Ft. Stewart, Georgia for an advanced trauma course and over eighty other members of the battalion were certified as combat life savers. Due to the chemical threat posed by the Iraqi forces, III Corps sent representatives to the unit to insure that each member was knowledgeable in the basic Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) skills and had in his possession all necessary individual protective equipment.

The battalion chaplain, CPT Jason Duckworth, was busy as well during this training period, conducting thirteen wedding services for unit members.

Chaplain Jason Duckworth

On the organizational level, the 1/158th FA became part of the 142nd FA Brigade. The rest of the brigade consisted of HHB 142nd FA, 1/142nd FA (8-inch), and 2/142nd FA (8-inch). The brigade with the exception of 158th FA was fielded and trained on light Tactical Fire Direction System (TACFIRE) upon arrival at Ft. Sill. The 158th FA relied on it’s FDS to provide digital communications on fire direction nets. During subsequent Command Post Exercises (CPX) it was discovered that light TACFIRE generates several message formats that FDS does not recognize and is unable to execute. This problem was never fully resolved.

On 15 Jan, 1991; an advance party of 90 soldiers from the 1/158th FA and the 1045th Maint. left Fort Sill for Saudi Arabia. Flying out of Altus AFB, they arrived at King Fahd International Airport on 16 Jan. The 1045th Maint. main body arrived the next day. The deployment date for the main body of the 158th FA moved back several times due to delays at the port in shipping the unit’s equipment. The battalion’s launcher sat at the port for over a month before being loaded aboard ship.

Impatient with the slow pace of the sea lift of the battalion’s equipment, a request came from VII Corps to airlift an MLRS battery into the theater. On 18 Jan, two battalion staff officers and the 122 officers and men of the Battery “A” 1/158th FA left by buses to travel to Ellington AFB to load their tracked vehicles aboard C-5a aircraft. The first of five flights transporting the battery’s nine launchers, four M577’s and personnel lifted off from Ellington on 21 Jan and touched down at King Khalid Military City (KKMC) at 0100 on the 23rd of January. The battery’s wheeled vehicles had already arrived at the Saudi Arabian port of Dammam and were driven North by members of the battalion’s advance party. The battery was assembled at Tactical Assembly Area (TAA) Roosevelt, 70 miles north of KKMC, and placed under the operational control of the 75th FA Bde on the 27th of Jan. On the 31st of January, the main body of the 1/158 FA left Altus AFB aboard a TWA 747 bound for Southwest Asia. The flight stopped at New York and Rome in route to King Fahd International Airport were it arrived at 2230, on the 1st of February. The battalion was then bused to Khobar Village (also known as MGM) Daharan arriving in the predawn hours of 2 Feb. On 4 Feb, the unit conducted a 12 hour road march convoying their wheeled vehicles to TAA Hawg, 18 km north of Hafar al Batin. Their tracked vehicles had still not arrived in country.

On occasion, the U.S. Army was it’s own worst enemy. Vehicle theft became a serious problem. A ten ton HEMTT belonging to the 158th FA was stolen while parked in the MGM complex. It was later found abandoned at the port of Dammam. The vehicles were not even safe within the brigade to which the 158th FA and 1045th Maint. had been assigned. An M-1028 military pickup belonging to the 1045th Maint. was stolen shortly after being unloaded at the port. It was later recovered at TAA Hawg in the 1/14nd FA area. It’s identification plate had been removed and it’s bumper numbers changed so as to make it appear that it belonged to C 2/142nd FA.

As a part of VII Corp’s redeployment to the west in preparation of it’s flanking movement of Iraqi’ forces, “A” battery sent it’s advance party on a 95 mile march across the desert on 13 Feb. This was to prepare for the launching of artillery raids into Iraq. The main body followed the next day. The purpose of firing raids on Iraqi positions was to eliminate hostile artillery prior the maneuver force’s assault and to rehearse the massing of fires. At 1600 on the 16th of February, 1991, Battery “A” 1/158th FA (MLRS), engaged 6 enemy targets with 98 rockets. By delivering 63 each of the M-77 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM) bomblets on Iraqi positions, Battery “A” became the first Army National Guard unit in the war to fire on Iraqi forces. The next day, the battery fired 71 rockets on 4 targets, and on the 20th, launched 48 rockets against 4 more targets.

Steel Rain by Frank Thomas

“Steel Rain” by Frank Thomas

While Battery “A” was making history on the front lines, the rest of the battalion’s launchers finally made port on the 16th and were unloaded at Dammam. The launchers and M577s of “B” battery and “C” battery were loaded on Heavy Equipment Trailers (HETs) and driven north to TAA Hawg, arriving on the 18th of February. Around the clockwork began as soon as the equipment was received. The Self Propelled Loader Launchers (SPLLs) were uploaded with live pods and calibrated, Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) was performed, and digital communications was established within the battalion. Advance parties from “B” and “C” batteries went north to join “A” battery on the following day. While in route to the raid position, 5 of “B” battery’s HEMTTs were involved in a chain reaction collision on a Main Supply Route (MSR). The accident was due to dusty road conditions which severely limited visibility. One soldier suffered a shattered knee cap and was evacuated from the theater.

PMCS in Desert

PMCS

The main body of the battalion made the 60 km move north to it’s forward assembly area on the 20th. Two days later, four days after they had received their launchers, “B” and “C” batteries launched raids against Iraqi targets. Bravo fired 42 rockets on 6 targets at 1310 on the 22nd of February. Charlie fired 25 rockets on 3 assigned targets.

SPLL M-270

Self Propelled Loader Launcher

On the previous night, Alpha fired the first if two Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) missions for the First Infantry Division. In a coordinated night time attack, Battery “A” fired 78 rockets on eleven targets while attack helicopters slipped past Iraqi front-line positions to engage targets in the rear. The battery fired on the positions as the Apaches crossed into enemy airspace and again as they returned so as to suppress any enemy air defense efforts. The mission was successful in that the rockets were fired on time and all helicopters returned safely. The next night the battery fired 88 rockets on the same targets in another coordinated Apache SEAD mission. On this night however, secondary explosions were noted in some of the target areas testifying that a portion of the 56,672 bomblets fired had found their mark. This was to be the last raid fired prior to the start of the ground offensive.

On the 23rd of February, the battalion commander, LTC Larry Haub, and the S-3 were briefed by 75th FA Brigade on the battalion’s role in the invasion of Iraq. The battalion’s final command and staff call prior to the offensive was held that evening. It was anticipated that the unit would receive counter-fire to include chemical munitions when it fired the prep. Instructions were given as to how each unit would handle it’s killed and wounded. After the operation order was issued the meeting was concluded with a prayer and a reading of the 91st Psalm by the battalion chaplain. Once the battle began, the protection promised in the Psalm was with the battalion.

LTC Larry Haub Veterans Day Speaker

LTC Larry Haub

The threat of a Frog-7 launched preemptive chemical strike was deemed to be high. M8A1 chemical alarms were placed within the battalion area to sound a warning if an attack occurred while the soldiers slept. As it turned out, the weather that night and the next morning was rainy and windy. This would quickly dissipate and chemical vapors that the Iraqis might try to deliver.

At 0530 on the 24th, the battalion received the order to go to Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) level one and all soldiers donned their chemical protective suits. At 1000 hours, Alpha, Bravo and the battalion Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and FDC moved forward to occupy positions from which to fire the prep. Vehicles and personnel not essential to firing remained in place so as to minimize the number that would be subject to counter fire. Charlie battery set up firing positions in the immediate vicinity with their movement being on call from the 75th FA Brigade. The M-88 recovery vehicle belonging to Alpha would not start so the Battalion Motor Officer (BMO) CPT Don Thomas, and a maintenance crew from the HHS remained to fix it. The battalion S-4, CPT Joe Arrington, and Property Book Officer (PBO), CW-3 Jesus Salazar, took the two HEMETTs, two fuel tankers, and three water trailers to the class I point to draw fuel and rations. The battalion, led by the S-3’s High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs), traveled in two columns. The battalion’s TOC and FDC M-577s were the lead tracked vehicles followed by “A” battery in one column and B battery in the other.

Earlier that morning an advance party consisting of the battalion commander, sergeant major, CSM Dale Spruill, and the A battery survey section had gone forward to locate the battalion’s prep. position. The battalion formation’s lead element passed through a cut in the 20 ft high east west running berm which had been constructed in the Iraqi Saudi Neutral Zone at 1030. After going through the cut in the berm, the battalion passed U.S. troops who were holding the first of what would be many Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs). The S-3, in radio contact with the battalion commander, proceeded on a heading provided by him. When the formation arrived at the commander’s location, it was quickly discovered that the battalion 7 km too far north. The unit immediately moved to the correct location and set up to fire. As they were occupying, Charlie, which had already occupied the correct location, received a fire mission from the 75th FA Brigade and launched 11 rockets.

In planning for the maneuver’s assault on the Iraqi lines, it had been planned for the artillery to provide a 2 ½ hour prep. By the time it was fired, it had been shortened to 30 minutes. Between 1500 and 1530, Alpha fired 92 rockets on 8 targets, Bravo 81 rockets on 6 targets and Charlie 25 rockets on 3 targets with one Charlie battery launcher failing to fire due to mechanical problems. The 1/158th FA delivered 127,000 M-77 bomblets on pre-selected targets during the firing of the prep. There was no counter-fire from the Iraqi artillery. An observer on the “Divarty” fire net radioed that the effects were “tremendous”. After the prep was fires the rest of the battalion’s vehicles and personnel closed on the forward position.

The next morning, 25 Feb, the battalion moved in a single column through a breech which engineers had cleared through the Iraqi defensive line. The unit utilized lane Hotel. While the battalion was on the move, the grid which it was to proceed to was changed by the 75th FA Brigade. The S-3, who was in the lead, changed direction to move to the new location. The new route, which had not been recon’d, took the column past a destroyed Iraqi gun position. The position had been fired on by MLRS and the area was littered with unexploded bomblets. As the S-3 and the Battalion Operations and Intelligence Officer, CPT Lance Brothers, picked their way through the ordinance, the S-3 called on the radio for all vehicles to stay within the tracks created by his HMMWV. One HWMMV from “A” battery strayed and ran over a sub munition. The explosion blew out a tire and disabled the vehicle’s transmission, however, the occupants were uninjured. Shortly after this incident, while the battalion was still enroute to it’s next location an order was received to detach one battery and send it to the 142nd Brigade to support the 1st U.K. The decision was made to send Alpha which departed the battalion convoy. The 158th FA minus (-) then proceeded to link up with 75th FA Brigade. Prior to arriving rendezvous point, “A” 6/27th FA, an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) capable MLRS battery, joined the battalion convoy. The battalion arrived at the brigade assembly area at 1530 that afternoon. The Battalion Executive Officer, MAJ Thomas Hills, arrived shortly thereafter and was sent to get the S-4, BMO, PBO Bn maintenance technician, SFC David Washburn, and the fuel tankers and other support vehicles that they had stayed behind with. These important members of the staff and the vehicles with them would not rejoin the battalion until after the cease fire was announced.

At 1700, the battalion minus, with “A” 6/27th FA as a part of it’s convoy, moved north as the trail element in the brigade convoy. The battalion moved north as a trail element in the brigade convoy. The battalion moved in four columns abreast so as to reduce the length of the formation. The brigade traveled 28 km in the rain that evening before stopping at 2230 to refuel, perform PMCS and sleep. The 158 minus (-) traveled a total of 60 km that day.

While the battalion minus was moving to the north to join the 75th FA Brigade, “A” battery was headed east to support the 1st U.K.’s push into Kuwait. After leaving the battalion, the battery moved to a point 14 km east and fired a total of 66 rockets on four targets. They then spent the night at this location. The next day, while enroute to their next firing position, the battery came upon a bunker complex where Iraqi troops were encountered. The enemy made no attempt to surrender and was taken under fire by M-203 and M-60 from SGT Bobby Whittington and SPC Glendal Yackeschi. The bunkers were then bypassed and “A” battery moved a total of 28 km from their last position. Here they stopped and fired 66 rockets on 8 enemy positions.

While at this location, the “A” battery Ammunition Platoon Leader, 1LT James Gray, took a HEMTT tanker to fuel point to get diesel for the battery. As he was returning, his MWMMV was approached by twelve surrendering Iraqi troops. The lieutenant stopped his vehicles and with the aid of SFC Joseph Davis, PFC Brian Dodson, and PFC Robert Flieder began a search of the prisoners. When it became apparent that the Iraqis were not going to be shot, another group of twelve appeared from bunkers and gave up. LT Gray was concerned that he and his detail were going to be overwhelmed by surrendering Iraqis, so he returned to the fuel point for help. He returned with a squad of MPs and turned over a total of 55 EPWs to them.

Alpha moved another 23 km east that day and fired an additional 92 rockets on enemy positions. This was the last launching of rockets by the 158th FA during the war. The battery spent the night of the 26th at this location.

The rest of the battalion left it’s position and resumed the march north through Iraq at first light on the 26th. After traveling another 65kms, the brigade halted and was met by the VII Corps Artillery Commander, BG Crieghton Abrams Jr., call sign Red Storm 6 (six). At this point the 158th FA minus (-) was pulled from the 75th FA Brigade and sent to join the 210th FA Brigade which was supporting the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). The battalion moved crossed country, un-escorted, to begin a 100 km march to the southeast. The unit moved with three columns abreast. The march was led by the Liaison Officer, 1st Lt Kerr who was navigating by Global Positioning System (GPS).

Prior to arriving at the 2nd ACR link up point, the 158th FA was informed by Red Storm 6 (six), who was monitoring their movement by UH-1, that they would be moving through an area where EPWs were still being taken. The area was the site of an earlier engagement between the 2nd ACR and the Iraqi 12th Armored Division. The area had yet to be completely secured and Red Storm 6 (six) recommended that the battalion send scouts out to screen the unit’s movement.

As the battalion arrived at the battle site, it passed smoking tanks and other destroyed Iraqi vehicles. Apache helicopters were flying low over the area searching for any remnants of the enemy force. When the battalion reached the rendezvous point, there was no 210th FA Brigade representative present. Monitoring the Divarty radio net, the battalion operation and intelligence section learned that T-72 tanks were reported to the east of their position and that division artillery units were displacing. The battalion requested instructions and were told by the 210th FA Brigade to move to the west. After traveling 5 km, the 158th FA was told to halt and assume a defensive position. The battalion stopped, put out crew served weapons, and dug in. As darkness fell, a tank battle erupted on the horizon and continued into the night. The battalion established digital communication with the 210th FA Brigade and then moved forward to establish firing positions as directed by the 2nd ACR Divarty. The firing batteries received no fire missions that night.

At 0230 on the 27th, the battalion was ordered by Red Storm 6 (six) to proceed 32 km north to join the 1st Cavalry Division in it’s assault on Republican Guard forces on the Iraqi Kuwait border. The 158th FA minus (-) was moving four hours later. They arrived at their release point at 0845 and waited on the “Cav”.

The battalion had traveled 270 km since filling it’s fuel tankers. All of the vehicles in the battalion had fuel, but the tankers were nearly empty. As the 1st Cav arrived, the battalion commander took five empty tankers to refuel. While they were gone, the Cav Divarty assigned “B” Battery the mission of General Support-Reinforcing (GSR) to the 1/82nd FA and “C” Battery went GSR to the 3/82nd FA. HHS fell in with the Divarty headquarters and the units moved out.

The battalion minus moved 30 km east that afternoon before stopping with HHS and 1045th Maint. forming a defensive perimeter with the Divarty headquarters and Bravo and Charlie being positioned by their respective battalions. The S-3 and liaison officer tried to trail the battalion so as to maintain radio communications with both the battalion and the commander. Unable to accomplish this, they rejoined the battalion.

The commander had taken the tankers to the 2nd Corps Support Command (COSCOM) as directed by Red Storm 6 (six). Arriving there that afternoon, he found that COSCOM was out of fuel for non divisional units. The commander left the tankers and went to another fuel point in an attempt to locate diesel for the battalion. He was finally successful and returned at 0500 to get the tankers. They loaded 12,500 gal of diesel and at 1000 on the 28th headed out to find the battalion.

The previous night, at 2100, the Battalion Chemical Officer, 1LT Tony Bullard, was sent back to try to establish radio communications with the battalion commander. He was unsuccessful, and while returning to the HHS position his HWMMV ran over unexploded ordinance which blew out both rear tires and punctured the fuel tank. The hummer limped back the next morning with the occupants shaken but uninjured.

While HHS was trying to locate the commander, Bravo and Charlie batteries set up with their respective battalions and awaited fire missions. They received none and a temporary cease fire was placed into effect at 0800 on the 28th.

Shortly after the cease fire went into effect, MAJ Doyle assembled 1045th Maint. and HHS personnel to brief them on what had happened during the last 100 hours. The Cav Divarty headquarters received a report that a formation of Iraqi tanks was in the area and, without informing the 158th FA, initiated a hasty displacement. As the S-3’s briefing was being concluded, the assembled soldiers saw half of their defensive perimeter fly by them to the west. Realizing what was happening, they quickly followed. The units traveled 2.5 km and established a new perimeter. They remained at this position for the next twelve days.

At 1000 hours on the 28th, Bravo sighted two Iraqi tanks and a BMP at a range of 2500 to 3000 meters in front of their position. The Iraqis were in a destroyed bunker complex and appeared to be retrieving ammunition. The battery did a hasty displacement and reported the sighting to Divarty headquarters. At about the same time, the Chemical Officer went back out with an OE-254 antenna to try to contact the battalion commander. This time he was successful and sent the battalion’s grid to the commander. Unexploded munitions claimed another vehicle as one of the tankers in the commander’s convoy ran over a bomblet and lost a tire. The fuel tankers arrived at the HHS position at 1300.

Two days later, MAJ Hill’s party was monitored on the battalion command frequency. The S-3 and the O&I officer went to a nearby MSR and located the XOs convoy. The vehicles were assembled and led back to the HHS location.

On the 8th of March, “B” battery moved 28 km to the N.W. and was assigned a mission of reinforcing the 1/82nd FA. This was the farthest north any unit from the 158th FA traveled. Alpha made a 77 km march on the 9th and rejoined the battalion. On the 12th of March the 1st Cavalry Division moved south and the 158th FA moved east into Kuwait under the control of the 196th FA Brigade, a National Guard unit from Tennessee. Bravo also moved south with the 196th FA and rejoined the battalion. This was the 158th FA’s 7th (seventh) different controlling headquarters that they had operated under in less than 3 weeks.

The day of the move, the sun was obscured by a heavy overcast of black smoke from the burning oilfield over 20 miles away. It appeared as though it were dusk all day and the temperature was much lower than what it had been on the previous day. The battalion experienced one more day like this at it’s next position.

At the direction of the 196th FA, the 158th FA moved 17 km north on the next day. Unexploded munitions, which littered the area were a constant danger for U.S. troops. Over 120 were killed or wounded after the cease fire was announced. Six members of Charlie battery witnessed and American soldier step on an explosive near the battalion area. SGT Robert Shipley, SPC Derwin Howell, SPC John Bishop, and SPC Preston Mills administered first aid while SGT Michael Banks and PFC Kyle Chalepah went for help. The soldier had suffered traumatic amputation and wounds to the upper torso. He died in the hands of the Charlie battery soldiers.

On 22nd of March, the battalion moved 72 km west and back into Iraq. They also moved back under the control of the 142nd FA Brigade.

The 158th FA began it’s withdrawal from Iraq on the 15th of April. At 12:20 on the 16th of April, the last battalion vehicle passed south through a cut in the berm on the Saudi Iraqi border. It was the same sand berm the 158th FA had attacked north through 51 days earlier. The following day, they closed on their new position in northern Saudi Arabia.

The battalion spent 19 days washing vehicles and packing equipment in preparation for redeployment to Oklahoma. The last battalion move began on the 5th of May when the 158th FA’s tracked vehicles were loaded on HETs and driven to the Saudi port of Jabail. They arrived on the night of the 5th and the morning of the 6th. Washing of the vehicles began on the next day and was concluded on the 11th of May.

Sixty-one members of the 158th FA and 1045th Maint. left Saudi Arabia on the 10th of May flying out of KKMC and arriving at Altus AFB on the 11th.

158th FA Bn Citation for Desert Storm