Desert Shield. The Anti-Terrorist Section

 

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Aug 17, 1990:

Because of the ever increasing threat our posting requirements were about to expand. Personnel security was of paramount importance, so, with the constant need and influx of personnel to fulfil those requirements, there was a need for an officer in charge. Lieutenant Garneau was selected for the job and officially given command of the AT section. Another NCO who out ranked me (he was an MSgt) replaced me as well which meant that I take up position as Fire team/Security Response Team leader. I am okay with the change because this thing is growing fast. So, I took my place as fire team leader and began making my rounds checking on the post. At about 1330 I was at the hospital compound checking on the men and we heard the temp had reached a scorching 137 degrees in the shade. I can’t remember who was posted there but he dropped out because of the heat – he was very dehydrated.

As the days moved on we continued to increase in personnel.

DESERT SHIELD:

Aug 18, 1990:

Today the official “Desert Shield” began. President Bush, and the UN Security Council, implemented this first phase of the operation in preparation for what they know is inevitable. The massive buildup of troops and equipment continued to pour in, as the huge transport planes, C-5’s, C-141s’, and contracted commercial planes were landing now around the clock. It was the most awesome sight. Also today, for reasons that can’t be explained, we sent 28 personnel out about 30 miles north to an undisclosed location, and as we try to keep up with our daily task of beefing up our defense we wondered about that.

THE ANTI-TERRORIST SECTION:

Capt. Stavaski- New Leader

TSgt Moyer, (TSgt Solie will relieve him)

TSgt Craig

TSgt Fulbright (Me)

SSgt Dennis

SSgt Archer

SSgt Simmons (shorty)

Sgt Smalls

Sgt Fellin (rumor control)

Sgt Stark

Sgt Hamlin

Sgt Baker

SrA Bennett (Good at learning the lingo)

SrA Snelgrow

SrA Martin

SrA Rogers

SrA Iwaskiewicz (Hammer)

A1C Jay Wagner (GI Joe)

A1C Espinoza (Espo, a very funny guy)

A1C Whelchel (Mr. Crazy)slide_28

What a crew. And as bases deployed their Security Police to our location Col. Pack used them to strengthen our perimeter. We didn’t see it at the time, but that was the reasons for the additional post. The situation dictated his actions. As Desert Shield progressed we would eventually have 484 Security personnel assigned, with about ½ in the A/T section.

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The year is 1985: As Jake looked out into the darkness the hairs on the back of neck stood up and a cold chill ran straight to the bone, the enemy was danger close. When he was a boy he could feel when trouble was near, in Vietnam he was given the name “Spooky” because of it, and now here it is again.

January 1985 as the US and the other nations prepared for what they knew was an inevitable war with North Korea the US Air Force did their part by establishing another, of many, communications sites near the DMZ, call sign “Rebel Station.” Their mission, monitor all radio traffic coming out of North Korea. Providing base defense were two 44 man Security Police air base defense teams. Commanding this unit was the newly arriving Captain Shawn Beckman. However, in spite of the reports and warnings that a war is imminent, he chooses not to believe it stating that the new Great North Korean leader was acting like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum.

Jacob (Jake) T. Anderson, US Air Force combat veteran lived through the nightmare of Vietnam and now, 18 years later he is in it again, but this time with North Korea. He does however have an air of excitement about him. Part of his excitement was due to the fact that another war was about to happen and part when he learned he was being reassigned to a remote site just 50 miles south of the DMZ call sign Rebel Station. But that excitement was about to have a damper put on it when he encounters his first obstacle, or opposition.

Shawn Beckman, an inexperienced, self-pitying Captain with an inferiority complex a mile wide. These are just a few ways his men described him, and they were correct. However, his only reasons for being here, was one, to make Major, and two, he was ordered to, the latter he resented. But the flaws in his character made him ill prepared for the new arriving Sergeant and the events that were about to follow.

After meeting the Captain and learning what he did, Jake resolved that his men were not about to die here, even though it seems that, that was the Captains intensions. Jake knows the rules, he knows the regulations and he knows just how far he could bend them, but now, if he was going to survive, he was going to have to break them, and maybe even change the rules of engagement. In order for his men to come out of this alive they will have to become something he was well acquainted, death, the destroyer of men – his nightmare.

Will Jake be able to convince the Captain that war really is coming? Will he be able to prepare his men in time, or will they all become the next occupants of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

These Books are written for Security Police, by a Security Police.

Desert Shield: Routine for the 1st SPS started to set in.

As the days went on routines began to set in.

Aug 15, 1990;

The Anti-Terrorist (AT) section picked up 3 augmentee’s and lost 3. They were just being rotated.

This is generally how my day would go before all the changes.

—I am posted as, before the new changes take effect, Golf Eight.

—I make sure all personnel are posted, and start the pick-up of off going.

—I then start a battery replacement run and check communications.

—At about 14:00 I pick up MRE’s and begin delivery and post check.

—At 1700 there is an “O” group meeting at BDOC and I attend for updated information and to brief the commander on the day’s activities.

—After we dismiss I make another post check and report security status.

—At the end of shift I meet with oncoming and brief them on the day’s activity.

—I go get a shower and climb into bed for a much needed rest and up again in eight hours to prepare for the next duty shift.

Aug 16, 1990:

Operations are now speeding up and getting to be very hectic and saying that, I didn’t get much sleep from the night before and I was up at 06:15 and picked up at 06:30, man was it hot, I believe the temp was somewhere around 110, maybe hotter and because I am the NCO of the “Pack”, I was always posted on Golf 8. We gathered around outside BDOC where I briefed the men on their post and what intel we had.

“Alright gentlemen, suspect everything and trust nothing. If it even looks suspicious, call it in. Monitor your radios and keep a watchful eye.”

I don’t remember the time but I got called in and informed about an additional two man patrol, call sign, Golf 2.

Today I worked until 23:00, that’s about 17 hours and man was I tired. But I guess that’s what we have to expect when you are trying to get everything established before anything significant happens.

The 1st SPS continue To Prepare for Desert Shield.

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Aug 10, 1990:

Our Supply section found a good location and set up their playing field bringing with them their motto as it was at Langley, “Nothing is too good for the troops and nothing is what they get.” To me it was like pulling teeth.

Aug 13, 1990; 

So far we had been sleeping in the Saudi barracks and as of today we officially moved in. It had two floors and air conditioning. Each room was an open bay type with not more than 20 beds. It was a lot better than the “tent city” they were putting up where the other cops from the other bases would have to live. We said first come first served.

As of today I am still assigned as security NCO for BDOC, but that was about to change, I am happy to say. At the “O” group this morning I was informed that we were organizing the first elements of the Anti-Terrorist section and that I would be taking over the duties as NCO. Lt. M____who would later go to Alpha sector, was going to be in charge of the day shift portion while Lt. G_______ to the night portion. The Col. did have another plan and that would take place as soon as he could get the man-power. These are the first critical post as defined by OSI.

LOCATION:                                                                 CALL SIGN:

–Pilots quarters,                                                       Golf 7, 7a,

–Army Chow Hall                                                     Golf 4, 4a,

–Senior Officers quarters                                       Golf 6, 6a,

–Hospital,                                                                   Golf 9, 9a

–Two man Security patrol,                                     Golf 8. (Supervisor)

NOTE: ALL THESE CALL SIGNS WILL CHANGE AT OFFICIAL IMPLENTATION OF DESERT SHIELD.

Other than me, the others were temporarily assigned until the 17th.

 

Dharan: Operations Begin For the 1st SPS

 

Aug 9, 1990:

Now, with both teams on the ground, our commander went ahead with his plan to divide our “AO”, area of operations, into two initial areas, Alpha, the flight line, and Bravo, the fighter area. Charlie sector will come a short time later as the man-power grows, but until then the largest part of our men went to establish a secure area for the fighters; then the ramp, and then a small group for the hanger area. The gates continued to be manned by the Saudi guards already in place. What was really funny to us, as we found out later, was that they had MP-5s but with no ammo. The only one who did was their sergeant. I guess they really didn’t know who they could trust.

With just 116 men on the ground, that’s; two 44 man teams (88) and the rest divided up between, S-1, Command, S-2, operations, and S-5, supply, spread us out pretty thin. But, and we were positively confident that even if the enemy was brave enough to make the mistake of attacking us, we would have given them something to think about. We were the “Air Soldiers” of the First Security Police Squadron and, well, you can guess the rest.  Oh yea, notifying their next of kind would have been left up to their government.

The first days were rough and we filled them with every activity we could think of to insure, not only our safety, but that of the flight line and our air assets. In the process of finding drinkable water we found out that we couldn’t drink it because it hasn’t been tested, so, bottled water was a must.

The flight leader for “Viper” sector went in search of a tactical location for his sector’s control center, “Viper Base” as it would be called later. He found the perfect spot near the old air plane bone yard and where some of the revetments were located.

Meanwhile, the command section had located a suitable place for BDOC, base defense operations center, (Desert Base), which turned out to be the Saudi Police station. Once there, communications, along with command and control were established and we were a go.

Later on that afternoon some transient aircraft (C-141’s) began coming in and off-loading some incoming troops and materials for war. Our Commander, acting on current Intel reports from OSI and using the situation at hand, was putting together a plan to establish and activate the Anti-Terrorist section which would be “Charlie” sector.

 

Our Arrival for Operation “Desert Shield”

NOTE: According to the time frame, documentaries, and of course the fact that we were there watching them get off the plane, The Army (101st AB) were the first combat units to respond. BUT THAT IS A BIG NO. The “First” responding combat units were, and will always be the 1st TFW/1st SPS.  Wed. Aug 8, 1990: Our fighters, F-15 eagles made the trip, getting some midair refueling and upon arrival in Saudi Air space, set up shop and established the control of the air, allowing us to land safely at “Dhahran”. At about 0930 Saudi time, the pilot made the announcement of our approach and soon we touched down. We could feel the reverse thrust action as the plane began to slow down. Everyone got ready. After we taxied to our spot in the middle of the ramp and the pilot went through the engine shut down procedures and then lowered the ramp. We were already standing as it opened up.  The blast of the, 120 degree, heat rushes in and just about takes our breath away.  “Ho man that’s hot.” Someone said as we approached the ramp. The sweat immediately poured out of our pores, but as quickly as it poured, it evaporates.  We were told that here the heat is a dry heat and when you sweat, you don’t feel it, that you can dehydrate very quickly, so we needed to carry at least two quarts of water with us everywhere we went. The advance element of 28 men and one woman grabbed our weapons and a-bag and made our way down the ramp and onto the tarmac. We formed into two columns and walked across the tarmac heading for the hanger that we would use as our initial HQ. Security, being the first order of business, was established, and after another hour, we were checked in and had our first war briefing. We were all very tired but the adrenaline that flowed kept us moving along. All of us knew that the first few weeks will be vital and each one of us wanted to get going and get it done. The Col. addressed us, “Gentlemen, we are here to protect and defend the U.S. military assets assigned to and coming through this installation. Terrorist and special forces are our enemy. They will do whatever it takes to disrupt and destroy this base. There has been no declaration of War, as of yet, however, we will be ready for it. We will be at 100 percent. The other half of our contingency will be on the ground soon so, be on your toes. Our first order of business is to establish a perimeter around this structure and a 24-hour guard on all equipment, “Let’s get to it.”  I was part of the security element so I fell under his command. We didn’t know it at the time, but Dhahran was in the process of a shutdown of all air operations. With the request for the U.S. military assistance for a “Desert Shield” and the war (Storm) that would follow, a complete reverse of that was implemented. The priority now, for airfield management, was making the parking ramps and hangers operational to start receiving the massive influx of inbound personnel and equipment that would begin arriving in the next couple of days. For us, being the Security personnel, as said before, we had a lot to do before the other half of our contingency arrived. We had the business of securing the area around the hanger, conducting sweeps and looking for the best place to conduct a defense if needed. That would be difficult, especially with only 21 personnel. Sleep, was a luxury, and that is only if you were fortunate enough to get it. We could not afford it, so we didn’t indulge. As a matter-of-fact, as of this day, I haven’t been asleep since I left Langley, so I was really operating on pure adrenalin. It would be six days total before I did get any sleep.
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