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File: 120596_aacxh_42.txt
Page: 42
Total Pages: 53

all XVIII Corps units to their new positions. On 18 Jan 91, poor visibility observed at the Rafha airfield led to MAC aircraft weather aborting back to King Fahd with no further launches. Saudi observers took the Rafha airfield observations, but they were aperiodic. The MAC airlift control element (ALCE) controllers on the ground stated the Saudis were reporting conditions above actual conditions, leading to weather aborts.  To quickly solve this problem, the 101st Air Assault Division (AAD) deployed a three-man weather team on 19 Jan 91 to Rafha to make weather observations and report them through airlift control center (ALCC) channels. The availability of weather observations allowed MAC airflow to avoid weather aborts, and time daily launches to arrive as visibility lifted. Thus the mobile weather team at Rafha allowed successful completion of missions on 19-21 Jan 91 which would not have otherwise been flown. During the three-day period, personnel from the 101st AAD, Hq XVIII Corps, and the 82d Airborne were airlifted to Rafha. During the period, over 1,200 C-130 missions successfully moved over 15,000 troops and 2,700 vehicles. 

	c. CAPT Agnew (USN) and LCDR Summers (USN), both of the JIC, reported another example of weather support value. On 25 Feb 91, weather over the KTO deteriorated rapidly with overcast skies and reduced visibility in blowing sand and smoke. On 25 Feb 91, the Joint Reconnaissance Center scheduled three photo reconnaissance missions. Based on weather forecasts provided by the DOWSR and verified by the CENTCOM SWO, [(b)(1)sec 3.4 (b)(4)]
									The forecast verified with heavy cloud cover, but due to change of collection system, CENTCOM got the required intelligence.  

	d.   The 101st Airborne used weather for a key air assault attack to secure the northern flank during the ground war. An air assault of the 10l AAD 3d Brigade into the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley was originally scheduled for the evening of 25 Feb 91. The mission was canceled due to a forecast of strong  winds. Observed conditions verified the forecast with winds over 30 knots and rain showers. The same cycle was repeated on the morning of 26 Feb 91 with 35 knots observed. At this point the 101st Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence asked for the next good "window" of opportunity. The 101st AAD SWO provided a window covering 26 Feb 91 (1300Z) to 27 Feb 91 (0000Z). Based on the window, the mission successfully flew the evening of 26 Feb 91.  Dense fog formed at 0010Z 27 Feb 91, closing the window as forecast. 

	e.     A final anecdote illustrates the value of weather support when lives are at stake.  On 25 Feb 91, a long-range surveillance (LRS) team from the XVIII Corps was compromised in the early morning near Kaleel Airfield,  Iraq. The compromised team called for an emergency extraction from XVIII Corps.     The actual weather conditions were winds 35-45 knots and visibility at about one-half mile. The XVIII Airborne Corps SWO and forecaster (TSgt Strickland) advised the aviators flying the extraction mission, on the timing of the approaching front and to wait until the front passed, then fly due north to approach the LRS location from the west. As the front passed, winds diminished rapidly. Had the aviators flown at first call, it is unlikely they would have been able to spot the LRS team and safely land to extract them. By relying on the weather forecast, the aviators were able to approach the LRS team from the  


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