This Infographic Sums Up the USAF contribution to Operation Desert Storm

Jan 18 2016 - 15 Comments

The Gulf War in 1991 was the first to feature stealth and space use by the U.S. Air Force.

The First Gulf War kicked off on Jan. 17, 1991.

In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. Air Force has released an infographic that sums up the contribution of the air branch to the war in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

Although several air arms belonging to a wide coalition took part in the Operation against Saddam Hussein’s forces, the bulk of the sorties was provided by the USAF that unleashed its F-117 stealth jets in real combat sorties for the first time (at least publicly).

The figures provided are pretty interesting: they show that the majority of the sorties were flown by support assets (KC-135 tankers and C-130 cargo planes) and that, among the tactical planes, the F-16s, deployed in very large numbers and undertaking a variety of missions, conducted most sorties (almost 14,000).

Click below to download the infographic in hi-rez.

Desert Storm infographic hi-rez

Credit: U.S. Air Force


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  • Lasse

    Interesteing to se that the A10 did 8084+660 sorties and the F16 13087, so the A10 comes up as a good second place in allt the high tech shit that was flying around..

    • WHOHE

      A-10 was actually pulled back from attacking Republican Guard Units because they were taking a beating. They were given the role of attacking less advance/obsolete Iraqi units.

      • Marco

        Indeed they are the perfect for asymmetric warfare with little to no air defense and can be successfully used in moderate/medium risk air campaigns, but they were never intended to be dispatched in the first wave against a fully functioning enemy integrated air defense.

        So while unfit for Tom Clancy’s style WWIII warfare, that is very unlikely to happen, they are the perfect tool for real war scenarios that US faced since 1991.

        • vegass04 .

          But they are also a disaster waiting to happen in a near peer conflict scenario. And believe it or not, you’re more probably going to see that kind of conflict then another COIN. USA are shifting their focus form Middle East (and that is perfectly understandable with the amount of oil US produces on its own + the revolution in green energy, and all that together makes the ME unnecessary cost and risk. Asia-pacific is the place where America is shifting its focus and that is probably Obama’s best foreign policy move. And in that theater A-10 is a sitting duck because I see no possible scenario where it should pick down columns of moving armor or doing CAS on Guam or Okinawa. Pacific is a USAF/Navy theater and nobody will be invading Bejing to utilize A-10 “forte”..

          • Marco

            I still see plenty of opportunities for the A-10 in Africa, Middle East, even South America to be effectively used at a fraction of the cost of anything else with good effect. And when you can keep an entire line in service at the cost of 1 or 2 uber-modern fighterbombers, there is simply no need to radiate them from service.

            It’s like you go painting your house with your Gucci outfit while you have some old unbranded clothes…it’s simply… stupid right?

            As a matter of fact, asymmetric threats are here to stay and the A-10 is the best cost effective tool available as of 2016.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Unfortunately the victory in Desert Storm set the stage for the US throwing out all the lessons learned from Vietnam and the Cold War, and gave us the moral clear mind to steal defeat from the jaws of victory in Afghanistan and Iraq.


    F-4s actually contribute a lot for an old fighter.

  • Marco

    4 F-4E missions?????? really? I never heard any detail about them!

    I only knew about F-4G missions.

    It would be nice to know more details.

    • Don Davis

      Google F-4E and Desert Storm and you will find Clark AFB (3rd TFW/90th FS) sent some to Incirlik. Probably because Turkey had a bunch of them there also

  • EGG

    I’m not sure the C-29 image is correct. Wikipedia gives a different aircraft entirely and it looks more like a C-124 (which was retired by then). The AC-130 also seems to be missing, unless it’s been rolled in with the EC-130.

  • Hawkeye

    C-29 and EP-3 images are switched and, pretty sure the EP-3 did 20 plus spy missions

    • Jan Schmidt

      thats what GIMP or Photoshop are for: fixing errors :)

    • Dishonesty

      EP-3s are USN assets not USAF.

  • Hawkeye

    The EC-130 image a C-160 transall

  • vegass04 .

    First use of F-117 was during invasion of Panama, Operation Just Cause. Even USAF acknowledge that.