Unit History

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam

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Chronology

Gulf War
Desert Storm Phase


The night of 16 January 1991, Colonel Sylvester, Tiger Brigade Commander, called the Battalion and separate company commanders together outside the brigade TOC. He said, "Gentlemen, tomorrow at 0300 the air campaign begins." All that night the coalition air forces could be heard flying overhead enroute north. That same morning A/92d began moving north from the area around Haneedh to positions just south of the village of Kibrit.

There, the Battery was consolidated for several weeks with Tiger Brigade. This was due to the 2d Marine Division still off loading equipment at the Port of Jubayl. The 2d Marine Division had not yet established itself in sector. Since Tiger Brigade was the only viable force in the area, it was given the mission to defend in an unexpected pre-emptive ground attack by Iraqi forces. The likelihood of A/92d being targeted for SCUD missile attacks was extremely low (Iraq had been targeting population centers in Israel and Saudi Arabia). Nevertheless, A/92d scrambled during most attacks directed at Rhiyad because the general flight path took the missile over their sector. Tiger Brigade planned an artillery raid designed to destroy an Iraqi ASTROS (MRL) unit that had been firing into the 1st Marine Division sector. Under the control of CPT Hughes, the raid force included an MLRS platoon, a Bradley equipped infantry platoon from B/3-41 Infantry, a Stinger air defense section, and two radar sections. After completion of planning and rehearsals, the mission was scrubbed several hours before execution.

Another mission required three launchers to reinforce 5th Battalion, 19th Marines, who conducted an artillery raid that fired into Kuwait. Since the mission was counter-counterfire, and no incoming artillery was received, the launchers returned without firing.

The Red Devils link with the 10th Marines (their controlling F.A. headquarters) was not yet complete when Iraqi forces drove south in several areas along the border on the night of 29 January. It was during this attack that Iraqi forces had limited and temporary success in the coastal town of Khafji. Tiger Brigade was alerted, and the Battery was dispersed into positions to support their defense. The enemy forces in A/92d's area were driven back decisively. They remained in those positions until shortly before they moved to their final attack positions in what was known as "The Elbow." The only exception was that 3rd Platoon moved forward to reinforce the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines, who were supporting the covering force in our sector.

The road march to the attack positions was more than 150 miles. By this time the Red Devils relationship with the 10th Marines had been well established. They positioned their TOC and LRP (Logistics Resupply Point) within several hundred meters of their Command Operations Center (COC). Two firing platoons were positioned in the Tiger Brigade sector to the north, and the TOC and one firing platoon in the southern sector with the 6th Marines.


Just three days before the commencement of ground hostilities, the Red Devils fired its first rockets in anger. Companies of the 2d Light Armored Infantry (LAI) Battalion were receiving incoming artillery and mortar fire as they conducted a reconnaissance several kilometers into Kuwait, moving along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. Until 21 February, all counterfire targets were passed to Marine air assets as the Commanding General wanted to hold the MLRS for the ground campaign. Between 1700 and 2200 the Battery fired 31 rockets, silencing four artillery and mortar positions. The following morning the Battery destroyed three more targets with 18 rockets. They fired their final "pre G-day" mission on 23 February, before moving north to their initial firing positions. That mission destroyed an Iraqi resupply convoy. A/92d completed the move to their attack positions shortly after dark (a darkness caused more by black smoke from burning fire trenches in the obstacle course across the Kuwaiti border than by the setting sun).

At 1700, the men donned their chemical protective overgarments and boots. The firing platoons moved forward to their operations areas on the other side of the berm delineating enemy and coalition controlled territory. The ALOC remained in place, and the TOC moved to its forward position in a drainage ditch near the road short of the berm. At 0500 on 24 February, the preparation fires for the division attack began. The Red Devils had responsibility for five counterfire targets deep in the enemy sector, to prevent enemy artillery from engaging friendly forces. Those friendly forces were breeching and passing through the sector's two major obstacle belts consisting of wire and mines. Only two artillery targets were acquired the rest of the day. They were immediately silenced by two Red Devils launchers.

The Battery remained in place that evening as the initial objectives had been taken by Tiger Brigade and the 6th Marines. The Battery was to move south and proceed through the breech once the division had consolidated at Phase Line (PL) HORSE. At 1320 the following day, 2nd Marine Division continued its attack and consolidated at PL HORSE about 90 minutes later. During that time, the Battery fired on three targets. One of these was initially thought to be a 2S1 (122mm SP) battery, which they engaged with 12 rockets. The target was then redefined as a battalion-sized target. The Commander and operations officer selected four sub-targets around the original target and further selected six aimpoints for each target. That target was destroyed with 48 rockets. The 10th Marines then issued the order to move us through the breech and occupy firing positions south of the initial maneuver objectives.

The Red Devils crossed into Kuwait at dusk. The division controller gave permission to enter the breech lane, and they continued with what was to be an 8-hour move. As they approached the first obstacle belt, the Commander was instructed to move the 67 vehicle convoy to an alternate breech lane: not the most appealing directive. The darkness was complete because of the cover of the black smoke spewing from burning oil wells.


They moved to the alternate lane, however, without incident. The unprecedented number of prisoners became a problem in the traffic flow of the alternate lane, delaying them slightly. Once clear of the second obstacle belt, the platoon leaders moved their platoons in a column formation to their OPAREAs and, thus, avoided the craters and destroyed vehicles that littered the battlefield. From those positions they could not range much beyond what they could from their positions in Saudi Arabia. However, it allowed them to continue to move north behind the maneuver units once the attack resumed the following day. As the Tiger Brigade continued its attack the following day, their rapid movement threatened to leave the Red Devils TOC behind. A/92d passed control to 3rd Platoon and moved the TOC forward.

The platoon fired 17 rockets while they were in control. Once the TOC was again in position, they reestablished control and immediately received a mission. A battalion of D-30s (122mm, towed) was firing into 6th Marines zone from the area of the dairy farm west of Kuwait City. They again dispersed their subtargets around the target and fired 12 rockets at each. Again, rocket fires silenced an enemy artillery battalion. Since the 6th Marines progress was significantly slower than that of Tiger Brigade, they had to split the Battery again. The commander left 2nd Platoon in control on the right to provide support from the 6th Marines zone. Second Platoon was having a busy day after having captured and searched 18 enemy prisoners of war (EPWs). The other two platoons and the TOC disengaged and moved forward to ensure they could range the final objective.

Throughout this day the maintenance section was able to repair two launchers that were non-mission-capable (NMC)., The first launcher's engine failed early in the morning. The mechanics replaced that engine with the engine from the operational readiness float (ORF) launcher. Later in the afternoon, another launcher suffered extensive electrical damage when the battery box blew off from the rocket exhaust. Despite a powerful sandstorm, darkness from the burning oil fields, and rain, Sergeant Reid and Specialist Crook were able to repair the launcher within a few hours. Staff Sergeant 'Slade and his team of 27Ms also replaced a hoist assembly and electronic cables for two launchers quickly and efficiently. The efforts of these fine soldiers reflected a true "mission first" attitude.
By the end of the day, Tiger Brigade had secured its final objective and was successfully blocking escape routes from Kuwait City. As the 6th Marines dealt with small pockets of resistance, A/92d prepared to continue the attack north if necessary. They had no idea then that they had already fired their last rockets in the campaign. The cease-fire agreement was finally accepted unconditionally by Iraq. The Red Devils of A/92d had fired a total of 276 rockets over the six-day period. They had destroyed two artillery battalions and several other smaller artillery and mortar units; and, more important, they suffered no combat casualties.


The task ahead of them now was to redeploy safely and effectively. They consolidated with Tiger Brigade in the area west of Al Jahra and immediately began a thorough maintenance program. On 30 March they left Kuwait enroute to Saudi Arabia. They moved in three march units east to the coastal highway, then south to Dammam. Upon arrival, their vehicles were parked along the highway at the southern tip of the Dammam peninsula. The soldiers then moved to a housing development leased by the U.S. government (Khobar Towers). Once individual and unit equipment were prepared and vehicles cleaned at the wash facility, A/92d manifested its soldiers and flew home.
The main body of A/92d returned to Fort Hood 17 April 1990.

An E-mail addition from
Phillip W. Childress
COL, US Army Retired:

I was the last battalion commander of the 1st Battalion, 92 Field Artillery before it was inactivated in july 1986, leaving only A/92d FA (MLRS). I took command from LTC Wayne Motol in July l984 and commanded the "Brave Cannons" until its inactivation. At that time, the battalion consists of two 8-Inch howitzer batteries of six guns each, and the MLRS battery (Charlie Battery). Of course, the most interesting feature of the battalion was the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS). The 92d was the second Army unit to receive a MLRS battery; the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley was the first to receive MLRS. Because of the novelty of MLRS, we never conducted a live fire shoot without hundreds of people, military and civilian, coming to see us.

A lot of interesting stuff happended to us during my two years of command, but the "niner duece" was looked upon as one of the premier battalions in the division during that time period. We were selected to run a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) by the Division Commander, MG Dick Sholtes. This was a big event with thousands of people viewing from the hilltop adjacent to Blackwell Range. The battalion was outstanding, not because of me, but because of the outstanding officers and men assigned to it at the time. Dave Schottel, my XO, later commanded an MLRS battalion in III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill and was promoted to colonel.

I retired from the service in 1993. I currently work with Northrop Grumman Information Technology who has the contract supporting the Battle Command Training Program at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. We run the simulation systems and support After Action Reviews (AARs) for major training exercises for all the active army corps and divisions, and all national guard divisions. We put on a major pre-deployment exercise in Germany in January of this year for V Corps and all its division deploying to Kuwait for participant in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Although I have retired from the military, I have never left it. The job of working with soldiers remains highly rewarding.

Respectfully, Phillip W. Childress COL, US Army Retired

Captain Hughes wrote:
"As we reflect on our success and anticipate our homecoming our excitement is somewhat tempered by an uncertain future. The 92d Artillery Regiment is a proud organization with an extremely honorable history: a history of which we are now a part. We face the sad task of inactivating the regiment as part of force reduction. The task is sad because of the incredible esprit de corps of the unit and its accomplishments in Southwest Asia. It is even sadder because of our unique association with and the enormous support from the regimental organization. We can only hope that we will be remembered with the same respect and admiration that we have for those who came before us: the warriors of the 92d Field Artillery Regiment."


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