You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

Desert Shield: 20th Anniversary. 1990 - 2010

From 1990 till 2010



National Guard Bureau
  • Iraq invades Kuwait, Aug. 2, 1990.
  • Operation Desert Shield begins, Aug. 7, 1990.
  • First U.S. forces (F-15 Eagle fighters from Langley Air Force Base, Va.) arrive in Saudi Arabia, Aug. 7, 1990.
  • First Operation Desert Shield-related U.S. death, Aug. 12, 1990.
  • President George Bush authorizes first call-up of Selected Reservists to active duty for 90 days, by executive order, Aug. 22, 1990.
U.N. Security Council Resolutions
  • Resolution 666, Sept. 13, 1990: Establishes guidelines for humanitarian aid to Iraq and Kuwait (13-0-2)
  • Resolution 667, Sept. 16, 1990: Condemns Iraq and demands protection of diplomatic personnel (15-0)
  • Resolution 669, Sept. 24, 1990: Authorizes examination of requirements for economic assistance under U.N. Article 50 (15-0)
  • Resolution 670, Sept. 25, 1990: Condemns Iraq and confirms economic embargo, including air (14-1)
U.N. Security Council Resolutions
  • Resolution 674, Oct. 29, 1990: Condemns Iraq and calls for release of third-country nationals and provision of food (13-0-2)
National Guard Bureau
  • Call-up widened in subsequent authorizations; period of service extended to 180 days on Nov. 12, 1990, by executive order.
U.N. Security Council Resolutions
  • Resolution 677, Nov. 28, 1990: Condemns Iraqi attempts to alter Kuwaiti demographics, (15-0)
  • Resolution 678, Nov. 29, 1990: Authorizes the use of force to uphold resolutions unless Iraq withdraws by Jan. 15, 1991, deadline (12-2-1)
Environmental Exposure Report

Oil Well Fires

  • In December 1990, before the Coalition air strikes, Iraq’s forces practiced their well destruction procedures and experimented with the effectiveness of explosives on six mockups in Iraq.
National Guard Bureau

Related Content


Marking 20 Years Since Operation Desert Shield

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2010 - When Iraqi forces began pouring into neighboring Kuwait, most Americans would have had a hard time finding the country on a map.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to occupy Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990 – calling the oil-rich nation Iraq's "19th province."

At the top of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is a strategic country. It is a prominent member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Controlling Kuwait meant that Iraq would significantly increase its share of the world's oil reserves. Story


Former Air Force Commander Reflects on Gulf Air War

SAN ANTONIO (AFNS), Aug. 6, 2010 - The day retired Gen. Charles A. Horner received the call 20 years ago that eventually launched Operation Desert Shield he was flying his F-16 Fighting Falcon, engaged in an air-to-air training mission near the North Carolina coast with two F-15 Eagles from Langley Air Force Base, Va.

General Horner, then the commander of 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., had expected to hear from Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf since Saddam Hussein moved seven divisions of his army into Kuwait several days earlier on Aug. 2, 1990. But once the call from the Federal Aviation Administration came for him to return to Shaw, he knew instantly what it meant. Story

Additional Menu Choices