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File: aaabm_02.txt
Page: 02
Total Pages: 22


The invasion of peaceful Kuwait by aggressor Iraq may have been a surprise to 
some people, but the intensity of the world's reaction to the Iraqi invasion 
on the night of 2 August 1990, was not a total surprise, and neither  was the 
intensity of United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) involvement in the 
response.  Any contingency on this side of the world means involvement by 
USAFE.  The movement of troops, weapons systems, equipment and supplies to 
Southwest Asia (SWA) would draw heavily on the support of USAFE people and 
resources, but their response was characteristically keen.

The Engineering and Services Readiness Center (ESRC) was hard at work even as 
Saddam Hussein's forces were marching into Kuwait. As an integral part of the 
Headquarters (HQ) USAFE Operations Support Center (OSC), the ESRC is one of 
only two cells manned year around.  On the  evening of Friday, 2 August 1990, 
Captains Steve Rose and Patrick Ryan were finishing the last day of a month of 
shift work at a higher state of alert for Operations SHARP EDGE when the news 
came over the wire.  Captain Rose was among the very first in Europe to learn 
of President Bush's decision to deploy the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) 
from Langley Air Force Base (AFB), Virginia, to Saudi Arabia. Monitoring the 
World Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) for Operation SHARP 
EDGE, he received first notification of the imminent deployment, Operation 
DESERT SHIELD, and immediately notified the USAFE Emergency Action Cell, who 
in turn notified CINCUSAFE. From that point forward, the staff of the ESRC 
and the Readiness Division became the nerve center for all USAFE Engineering, 
Services and Air Base Operability (ES&ABO) activities for the war.

When word came to activate the HQ USAFE Crisis Action Team for Operation 
DESERT SHIELD, the OSC was brought up to contingency manning strength to 
integrate functional activities for the USAFE Commander-In-Chief (CINCUSAFE), 
General Robert Oaks, and his staff.  For the next eight months, the OSC team 
would be the focal point for all USAFE actions, channeling requirements for 
the deployment of over 500,000 troops, their weapons, and support equipment to 
SWA.  their task was large and exceedingly important, for without support 
services the mighty air armada assembling for war could become a giant static 

The HQ USAFE ES&ABO team was lead by Brigadier General John R. Harty, Deputy
 Chief of Staff for ES&ABO, his assistant, Colonel Dabney S. Craddock, III, and 
his directors, Colonel Robert Morris, Engineering and Construction; Colonel 
Daniel Tatum, Housing and Community Services; Colonel Charles hand, Operations 
and Maintenance; Mr Carl Wolfram, NATO Infrastructure; Colonel Daniel Barker, 
Planning and Programming; and Colonel Marlin Kitchen, Air Base Operability.
These officers and the men and women on their staffs would serve as a source 
of action, information, and problem-solving expertise that would be critically 
important to the success of the contingency in the challenging 
months that lay ahead for USAFE.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Smith, Chief of the Operations and Maintenance 
Directorate Readiness Division, quickly organized his team of players. At 
first having to work entirely in secrecy with less than five people in the 

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