General Norman Schwarzkopf
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In 1988, he was promoted to General and was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Central Command. The U.S. Central Command, based at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, was responsible at the time for operations in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. In his capacity as commander, Schwarzkopf prepared a detailed plan for the defense of the oil fields of the Persian Gulf against a hypothetical invasion by Iraq, among other plans.
The Iraq plan served as the basis of the wargame of 1990. Within the same month, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and Schwarzkopf’s plan had an immediate practical application, which was as the basis for Operation Desert Shield, the defense of Saudi Arabia. As overall commander, Schwarzkopf initially was concerned that operational forces in the theater were inadequately supplied and equipped for large-scale combat in a desert environment.
During preparations for Desert Storm, as the result of initiatives by General Schwarzkopf, the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) with Desert camouflage was produced in 100% cotton poplin without reinforcement panels in order to improve comfort for U.S. troops operating in the hot, dry desert conditions. A total of 500,000 improved cotton BDUs were ordered. However, cost concerns caused the cotton six-color Desert BDU to be discontinued shortly after the Gulf War.
A few months later, General Schwarzkopf’s offensive operational plan, called Operation Desert Storm (co-authored with his deputy commander, Lieutenant General Cal Waller and others on his staff), was the “left hook” strategy that went into Iraq behind the Iraqi forces occupying Kuwait and was widely credited with bringing the ground war to a close in just four days. He was personally very visible in the conduct of the war, giving frequent press conferences, and was dubbed “Stormin’ Norman.”
December 28, 2012
Posted in: SpecOps News