DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
XVIII AIRBORNE CORPS
FORT BRAGG, NORTH CAROLINA
US ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
WASHINGTON, D. C.
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
Oral History Interview
DSIT AE 112
COL Gerald R. Harkins
Commander, Dragon Brigade
Interview Conducted 26 August 1991 in Building 2-1133, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Interviewer: Dr. Robert K. Wright, Jr., XVIII Airborne Corps Historian
OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM
7 August 1990 - 15 May 1991
Oral History Interview DSIT AE 112
DR. WRIGHT: This is an Operation DESERT STORM interview being conducted on 26 August 1991 in Building 2-1133, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The interviewing official is Dr. Robert K. Wright, Jr., the [XVIII Airborne] Corps historian. And sir, if I could get you to give me your name, rank and social [security number]?
COL HARKINS: My name is COL Gerald Robert Harkins, ***-**-****, and I'm the commander of the Dragon Brigade at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
DR. WRIGHT: How long have you been in that duty position, sir?
COL HARKINS: I assumed command of the Dragon Brigade on 28 June 1990, so it's about fourteen months now.
DR. WRIGHT: At the time you assumed command, what was the concept behind the organization of Dragon Brigade and its functions?
COL HARKINS: Dragon Brigade has been the headquarters command for Fort Bragg--given the name of Dragon Brigade for closer association with the XVIII Airborne Corps.1 It has over the years kind of contracted and drawn down in size and in function and scope--kind of depending on the corps commander, in terms of what he had in mind for what would go on within the brigade.
When I was notified that I would come to Dragon Brigade the mission the brigade itself was to provide the administrative support and the garrison support for both the Corps and for the garrison staff. There is, and was at that point in time, one combat support battalion assigned to it: the 2d [Battalion] of the 52d Air Defense Artillery. But the major function, the major activities, the major direction of the brigade all centered around a TDA2 role in terms of supporting the post and supporting the Corps.
When ... my job previous to this was at Fort Benning, Georgia. And I was Director of Training and Doctrine down there [at the Infantry Center and School]. We put together the training literature for the Army, etc. As I looked into the Army and into the future of the Army, it became pretty evident that most of the bill payers ... or any time there is a reduction in the Army they are going to be from the TDA side of the house.
There was rumors prior to my coming up to Dragon Brigade (in about March of 1990) that the brigade would be closed down because of some TDA spaces, etc. And we discussed it--or I discussed it--with MG [William] Roosma and the decision was made at that point in time, or before that point in time, that Dragon Brigade would stay in effect.
But as MG Roosma and I talked, there were some guidance that I needed to kind of look and see if there were other things and roles that the Dragon Brigade should be performing. I went to ... to [Fort] Leavenworth, [Kansas], and I spent some time out with some of the folks from Leavenworth trying to look at who does what functions within the corps in a ... in a role for combat. As we looked through the roles of the AirLand Battle scenarios or that the Corps might be involved in, obviously the deep battle was being controlled by the Tac[tical Command Post] and by those assets it had at the main battle area. The actual planning and execution of combat operations was being done by the Main [Command Post].
The thing that had not been looked at and resolved in terms of combat functions, etc., was who really handles and controls the rear combat piece. So that was kind of the start or the genesis of looking at 'does Dragon Brigade have a role to play within the rear.' I went back into the Corps structure and tried to look and see, well, how does the Corps organize and how does it fight, and how does it go to war? And at about this time is when most of the fallout with [Operation JUST CAUSE in] Panama was coming. Most of my discussions were with members of the Corps, Corps staff, etc., indicated that the Corps had really functioned with one headquarters and the whole ... one headquarters controlled everything. As you looked into the road and you looked down at the future, and as you talked to people within the Corps, there were about four or five things that kind of were at the fringes and maybe not tied down as well as it could be or should be.
The first piece is ... and I'll say to you even before that, that when you look at the roles of rear battle, that being terrain management, the security aspect (or what we ended up calling in Saudi Arabia more of a force protection mission), the synchronization of movement within the rear, and then the synchronization of the sustainment effort.
The first two are the two bigger pieces that you've got to ... become very hard to pin the tail on somebody's donkey, that really is the one who is responsible for doing that. And that's kind of where we started to look at the formation of a headquarters to take care of those four doctrinal functions.
If you understand an airborne operation: you jump in with an element, you expand an airhead, it eventually gets into a lodgement, and then it moves on out into the scope to go accomplish the tactical objectives and the operational objectives that were laid out. There's a time period there that when the tactical commander on the ground needs to get at his objectives, his terrain objectives outside the air head, and get away from the trained management inside that air head, and also get away from the force protection, if you will, the synchronizing of that within an area.
As I looked down through the headquarters and talked to people about our envisionment within the Corps headquarters, we really didn't have anybody to pin the tail on. The loggy3 guys--COSCOM4 had kind of been doing that role. My belief, at least in terms of what I had read and what I thought I understood, the ... it sounds good on paper that COSCOM will do that. But when it comes time to executing those roles, COSCOM is pretty tied up with trying to execute their logistical role and their sustainment role. And most of the times doesn't really focus on that other piece, so, therefore, it either doesn't get done or it doesn't get done well.
And once again, that's the piece ... to try and describe who owns what terrain and to flow things in and out of air head. I think that if you went back into Grenada5 you'd see a perfect example of where we didn't do that and do it very well. We really tied up the airfield and we really kind of botched the whole thing up. At least the assessment that I was able to make out of those programs.
DR. WRIGHT: As I look at the evolution of this issue it really starts with Grenada. Especially if we think in terms of contingency operations ...
COL HARKINS: Yes.
DR. WRIGHT: ... for this Corps. Grenada does a lot of things wrong because it's the first time in recent memory [that] we tried to do them. Panama, we cleaned up most of the problems; but, Panama for this Corps is a very special case because we fell in on an in-country structure that we would not normally have.
COL HARKINS: Well, I think even when you get the past the emotionalism of Panama and you talk to some of the people that were done there, there were some relationships that could have been better established in terms of who was working for whom in the support arena. The combat roles I think were pretty well laid out. But in terms of what headquarters was directing and controlling, divvying up the space, the security for the headquarters, and those type things there were some murky issues even in Panama.
But that ... that ... there was a role there that I saw that talked about when the air head expands to a lodgement, that the Corps headquarters is a player in that. Corps headquarters is the one that needs to describe and define where the terrain or how the terrain is distributed and how that air head is protected. It is then a Corps responsibility and not a divisional commander responsibility or not a brigade commander of the 2d [Brigade] of the 82d [Airborne Division].
So, scenario speaking, you could jump a brigade in, seize an air head ([a brigade] from the 82d Airborne Division) and land as we did in some cases on [Operation] GOLDEN PHEASANT6 and some of these others 7th Infantry Division troops in behind them. So the Corps has got an active role to play in that to describe how that thing is broken up.
My ... my assessment was that the logistician was not the one to do it. The logistician tended to look at it strictly from the perspective of how to best logistically support the operation. And sometimes there has got to be some take and give between the logistical side or the combat side or the tactical side. And we didn't get that.
DR. WRIGHT: The other doctrinal solution that had been posited to this problem is the use of RAOCs.7 But we have a problem with that in the sense that those are all RC8 units ...
COL HARKINS: Yeah.
DR. WRIGHT: ... and you lose a great deal of team building no matter how good a CAPSTONE trace9 you have, they're not here 365 days a year. They don't know who the players are and things like that.
COL HARKINS: Well, as I looked at this thing at Benning, just trying to describe in my mind's eye where I wanted to try and convince the Corps that I thought that there was a need--because you've got to, first of all, convince folks that there was a need. That was kind of where we started out first of all.
Secondly, I talked to people up here: Bill Wolters, Larry Brede, Larry Cousins--all colonels that work with the XVIII Airborne Corps Headquarters. Brede being the 16th M[ilitary] P[olice Brigade] commander; Cousins at that time being one of the Deputy G-3s; and ... and who else did I say?
DR. WRIGHT: Oh, COL Wolters.
COL HARKINS: Yeah, Bill Wolters (I'm sorry) who was the G-2.
While there was planning going on for the execution of the operations in Panama (I think that they were in the [Operations Plan] BLUE SPOON mode at that point in time), [Hurricane] Hugo came through and devastated several of the Caribbean Islands. And the Corps on a very short notice got a phone call and said, "get somebody into St. Croix.10"
What that caused within the headquarters then was a very quick throw-together, come-as-you-are staff that really had no definition, no direction, no purpose. [COL] Jim Frederick11 eventually got tagged to be the guy on the ground there to try and put it together. But the point being that there was nobody that the command structure could turn together and say this is a coherent staff, a command and control element. You go and you execute this mission and execute the staff. And as a result--once again, it was all done and done well down in St. Croix; I don't mean to imply that nobody didn't do well--but just from a contingency aspect and having a perspective on being prepared to execute contingency operations, we had kind of a hole over here.
You couldn't pull out an infantry brigade or an artillery brigade headquarters and go do it. You had nothing to turn to that was already set forth. So I felt that there was another mission there that said for special operations that the Corps commander had to do, that we could do it. There was a case also in Panama, while the Corps was operating in Panama, where things in Nicaragua were getting a little bit perky and funky over there. And the Corps staff was required to back out some people and do some other contingency planning of "oh, shoot, oh, dear; what happens if we have to go also into some other area on another contingency operation?" And that was tough to unplug and undo, because there was no Corps staff element there that was prepared to do a command and control piece for that.
So that was the second piece that I looked at and said gee whiz, you know, the Corps commander deserves somebody he can turn to and say go execute something. As I went down through Grenada and as I went down through Panama and looked at headquarters that didn't have a home. In many cases a lot of these things were attached directly to the G-3 or to somebody (and some of the definitive relationships were not real certain).
But, you know, you mentioned RAOCs. You bring a RAOC on. Who do they belong to? Those really shouldn't be a Corps combat support group's RAOC. It's a Corps commander's rear area that he is trying to manage. Not necessarily, you know, a Corps support group out of the COSCOM or a division, etc. He's concerned about his whole rear area, but yet he gives up everything and dumps it right into a division or a COSCOM lap, and loses all visibility and concern over it.
Chemical battalions that come in without a ... an O-612 host, if you will. They get dumped onto the Corps. For example, in Saudi (and once again, I'll get into it a little bit later), they had three of them over at different points in time that were assigned to the Corps. They ended up being assigned to the Brigade because that was the logical command and control headquarters that you could pin the tail on and say you take care of the administrative, you take care of the housing, and even the tactical employment of these types of units.
Ordnance units that came in. All the explosive ordnance teams. The EOD13 teams that were rounding around ended up kind of in our back pocket.
If you go on a contingency operation and you take an air defense battalion or you take an engineer battalion; you don't take the whole engineer brigade or you don't take the whole artillery, you know, whatever else it might be. There needs to be some type of command and control structure for these units to operate under, if nothing more for UCMJ14 and for some of the other actions that are out there.
It appeared to me that in O-6 level headquarters called Dragon Brigade or something like that then serves to be able to do that type of a purpose. That being the third major task we looked at.
The fourth major task was, for example, when we deployed into Saudi as we kicked off we still had the contingency corps responsibility. And MG Roosma directed me and we started standing up, now, another contingency corps staff to back fill. So there was another need there.
So as you looked at it and I tried to determine what does a Dragon Brigade do. My assessment was that if it didn't do something in the war fighting, then more than likely it was expendable to the Army. And if it didn't do something with contingency operations it was more likely to be expendable to be expendable to XVIII Airborne Corps. You don't need a brigade headquarters sitting here at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with an O-6 and a staff and everything like that, that's responsible for only the TDA spot ... support side of the house. There are some nuances in terms of, you know, how do you handle it at the O-6 level discipline at this point, if and when this headquarters goes away. And there are functions that's what you've got a post commander for who is an O-6, etc.
But we tried to outline those things that I thought we could do for the Corps. And as I came in, I went to brief MG Roosma and [COL] Tom Needham. MG Roosma was Deputy Corps Commander [DCG] at that time and (now) BG Tom Needham was the G-3. Briefed XVIII Airborne Corps; and sat down and talked through the roles; and talked to LTG [Carl W.] Stiner before he left.
And, you know, LTG Stiner is the one who told me, he said, you know, "if I'd had had that headquarters I could have used them in St. Croix. You know, I could have done that. I wouldn't have had to have put together a kind of throw-together staff." Because, as I understand it, they were restricted in the grade level that they could put somebody into there. It couldn't be greater than a brigadier general so, therefore, it was kind of where ... where was all your staff? And ended up using (I think) BG Dick Tragemann out of [XVIII Airborne] Corps Artillery was down there for a while. And I'm not sure if BG [Edison] Scholes went down as the Chief [of Staff] later on.
DR. WRIGHT: BG [Bruce] Moore was the Chief then. He went first, and then he was relieved by BG Tragemann.
COL HARKINS: But it was a throw-together staff underneath those guys to try and go down and execute that.
So in June, late June, MG Roosma really got excited about it. And we started talking about various roles and missions that we could play. And we started discussing an upcoming exercise in the latter part of July called INTERNAL LOOK. MG Roosma and ... well, the brigade had a responsibility to do the 33d Separate Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy on the[ir] Reserve Component [annual] evaluation. So we ran and did that from the 5th of July and I think that we got back around the 22d or the 23d. If I remember correctly INTERNAL LOOK started about ... .
DR. WRIGHT: It kicked right about then or a couple of days sooner.
COL HARKINS: Yeah. So we went out and we looked at what they were doing in the rear battle piece. And it really was an attempt by myself and my staff to try and figure out what the heck rear battle was all about. We had a couple of players from G-3, the most prominent being a MAJ Bob Simons.15 We had some RAOC people from the 251st RAOC (LTC Wilkes and MAJ Gary Street and a MSG Herbert) that were up playing as part of the rear operation cell.
Now the rear operation cell was a very small cell. It was a part of the COSCOM headquarters. COSCOM had been given the role to do something in rear battle stuff. You know, just kind of go do it. It was not very well defined. We sat and we looked at maps and we started to generate requirements like, okay, where will we put in logistical facilities and what are the critical nodes that we need to put our hands on. You know, how much command and control for sustainment. And started working our way down through the four functional areas that the DCG saw us doing.
And as a matter of fact, he added one more. The functional area of terrain management. When we looked at the exercise we found that we had all of our missiles in ammunition supply point [ASP]--"oh, shoot, oh, dear"--and so, therefore, we need to spread those out. The movement control piece was how do you get convoys organized and get them up and get them back into the main battle area. That was the movement piece. The terrain management was an attempt to try and divide up and put everybody where we wanted them. Before I talk about that, the force development role--or force protection role, excuse me--one of trying to put in defenses. And kind of, how do we do this type of things. No problem, we're going to put together an SOP.16
And everything I talked about to people was, "yeah, we're working on that" or, you know, "gee whiz, we haven't gotten around to that" or "we haven't worked on that." And the biggest thing that came out of INTERNAL LOOK, I think, was the fact that the Corps headquarters had not been in the field for 18 months. And I can recall MG Roosma, BG [Edison] Scholes and Tom Needham all talking about the Tac C[ommand] P[ost]. And there was kind of a look of bewilderment with people--"we don't do it that way here."
It became apparent on the planning of this exercise that there was a need for a Tac. There was a battle to control up there. There was a planning headquarters that needed a function called the Main. And then somebody else had to take care of this rear. There was once again running around, trying to pin the donkey, put the tail on everybody. MG Roosma asked us to sit down and prepare a paper that laid out the roles. And, as I said, he added one more thing to it. He said "you know, the other piece that we haven't looked at is the Alternate Command Post for the Corps has to be the Rear, because that's where the Deputy Commanding General for the XVIII Airborne Corps resides. That's his function. That's his role. It must be capable of assuming the responsibilities of the main battle area and be able to function as the Corps headquarters." So we ended up with five missions then instead of four.
DR. WRIGHT: Now at this point, Corps traditionally in our approach to contingency op[eration]s--because they have usually been on the smaller side--at least since [1965's Operation POWER PACK in the] Dominican Republic. We've tended to skate by with oh well, we just need to kick CP out and then sort of notionally the EOC17 back here at Fort Bragg is sort of the rear. And that isn't necessarily a solid base to be developing your doctrine on.
COL HARKINS: No, and as a result when you start looking around who manned "the rear" it was kind of a bunch of finger pointing around because nobody knew. Where is the communication equipment? Where is the thought piece behind it? And there was nothing there. What MG Roosma had laid out for us--and he said "well, look, why don't we do this?" This once again, was in the July time period. By the time it was over the early part of August.
He said put together a seminar and kind of a War Fighter,18 if you will, for Rear CP [and] rear battle in the November time period. We'll bring all the divisions in. We'll have all the divisions and separate brigades kind of lay down how they would do their piece for the rear. And then we'll build it from that, and we'll do a series of exercises culminating with a trip in 91, the summer of '91 to the LOGEX19 exercise.
DR. WRIGHT: Up at Fort Lee, [Virginia]?
COL HARKINS: Right. And try and go play in the LOGEX so that we can go and test it out on the ground and see how we were doing. So we started down the road, and then all of a sudden Saddam [Hussein] entered into the picture in Iraq. And it was ... it was very interesting when the balloon went up initially. The night that we got the call, everybody kind of walked around and it was kind of, "oh, shoot, now what are we going to do?"
You know, we had deployed out EDRE20 teams a thousand and one times to evaluate other people flowing out of here. Now all of a sudden the Corps headquarters was going to go. Quite frankly we were kind of running around a little bit like chickens with our heads cut off trying to figure out what the heck we were going to do next. But the decision was made that we would send in an Assault CP "Plus."
Now when you're looking at the dialogue of Tac, Main and Rear you don't see anything called an Assault CP. So if you don't see anything called an Assault CP, you see don't see anything called Assault CP Plus. So there were no definition to what that really was.
The intent with the Assault CP had been from LTG [Joe] Foss and LTG Stiner21 was [that] some command and control
element that would jump in and do the command and control piece for the Corps. Needless to say we were in the ... as the airplanes were getting cranked up we were in the throes of putting that sucker together and getting it off the ground.
Their mission, somewhat unclear, other than: go to Saudi, put the line on the ground, and then more to follow. It was kind of a fast-breaking thing as we tried to put the whole piece back together. We started talking to the G-3 folks and MG Roosma. We opened up what I called a little Rear CP cell upstairs [in Building 2-1133] which we started working with COSCOM, the military police, and some of the other people that we had found through INTERNAL LOOK that we had to be close to. We found that we needed to be very close to COSCOM. We needed to be very close to the military police because they are the ones ... they are kind of the executors of our battle plans, if you will.
As things got more and more complicated in Saudi and as we moved in through the month of August and we were pushing people out of here, the ... the ... it became apparent that we were going to be there: A, for a long time; and B, that the distances were a whole heck of a lot longer than any we'd experienced on any exercise.
And that there were areas that you needed to have influence over that, right now, expanded beyond the capabilities of the corps headquarters. And what I kept trying to pitch, and what MG Roosma kept trying to pitch, was that, you know, let the Main stay focused on what the Main has to do. That's plan and prepare the Corps for battle. You need somebody to take care of the day-to-day kind of running of the security, if you will, and the force protection, and the terrain management, and get people into places and stuff like that. That was becoming quite a drain on the Corps headquarters. Once again, Larry Cousins as a deputy G-3 had gone over to be kind of the terrain manager, if you will.
DR. WRIGHT: The Century 2122?
COL HARKINS: Yes, the Century 21 office. And that ... we loose contact ... on exercises we plan on putting it here tactically because it makes sense, and here tactically because it makes sense. What we found in Saudi is sometimes maybe it didn't make tactical sense, but it was the only piece of land we could get or either rent or use or the Saudis would let us use, etc. So we had to ... we didn't really have a clear vision of what we wanted, even though we had done it on exercises. We hadn't done the other step of finding out can we really get this area, that piece of terrain, this building. And we had none of that. So we went in kind of shooting from the hip.
DR. WRIGHT: Well, some of that (as I've heard it from other folks) is, for example, during INTERNAL LOOK doing everything as a map ex[ercise]. You sit there and you say "okay, well I'll put it at this facility." And then you get their eyes on the ground and you realize there is, you know, methane gas all over the place. I cannot put that welding shop in that place.
COL HARKINS: Well, it ... and it even got to the point where we had asked for critical locations, and we had asked for several things to be identified by CENTCOM23 and some of the other headquarters in the exercise. And they never got done. So when we got over there we had nothing to go from. And I'd like think that in contingency planning that we'd have a little bit more, but we didn't. So, therefore, as you say it was really kind of whatever you could beg, borrow or steal.
As I talked more and more over rear battle, I went to see LTG Luck and laid out for him what I thought we could do for him (as we talked about before). He said "it sounds good to me. Let's go do it."
Then I got rumors and heard that the 10th Mountain [Division] was coming down [from Fort Drum, New York]. And MG [Peter] Boylan came down to headquarters to make a pitch that the 10th Mountain Division would go execute this mission. And the intent was they would take a brigade out of the 10th Mountain and the divisional command and control structure. And MG Boylan laid down a pretty good argument--discussion--if you will, for: comm[unication]s already in place, and command relationships [are] already in place, and the capability of doing static guard's already in place. And all this stuff--within a brigade structure, within a divisional headquarters structure. And I kind of walked out uneasy. "Well, shoot, this means that they are going to go do it."
The old man came down and he said "no, Bob, you're going to go do it." So therefore, we packed up bags and I sent over [LTC] Bob Seaver, my executive officer. And then about three days later I followed with my S-3 and small staff out of the brigade headquarters. Understanding that we were still pushing with 2[d Battalion], 52[d Air Defense Artillery], everybody out of Bragg. And the decision was that we would pick up the Corps staff (G-1, -2, -3, -4 and -5) once we got into country over there from the Corps staff. As I looked down through, you know, the TOE of the Corps Headquarters Company--part of the brigade--trying to identify who was in the Main, Rear and Tac [CPs]. We had never got to that point. So it became somewhat of a begging session if you will, trying to get people identified. It was very much a thrown-together staff.
DR. WRIGHT: As ... as I observed it from my end (and particularly focused on the [G]-3 shop), because we traditionally go out with Assault CP or a CP on a deployment, sort of everybody's focus was, well, I belong in the Main. And ...
COL HARKINS: As well as all the functions belong to the Main. That became kind of a hard habit for us to break: that not all functions belong in the Main. When we got to Saudi there was a little place off of the [King Abdul Aziz Royal Saudi] Air Base by about two miles--actually just across the street from the air base--that they eventually gave us, which became Dragon City, Dragon Main or Dragon Compound. One of several names. But it became the Corps Headquarters. And everything kind of dumped into there.
[LTC] Dan Ross who is also part of the brigade as a deputy brigade commander and the Headquarters Commandant, you know, had a Headquarters Commandant [for] Corps Headquarters that was 2,600 people at times. And everybody came in, came into Dragon City, and set up there, and said, "okay, now we're in Saudi and now we're ready to fight." And there was an awful lot of frustration by some of the senior leadership. In particular the Chief of Staff, BG (now MG) Scholes, that everything was sitting in damn Dragon City.
And a classic example was the mail room and all the mail came into Dragon City. Well, you know, it is a tremendous amount of stuff that came in and out of Dragon City every day. It became a very, very great sense of frustration that the Corps Headquarters was nothing more than, you know, a transient overstocked place. And it was really kind of confusing. So I think that BG Scholes became more and more convinced that stuff needed to get the heck away from the Corps Headquarters.
DR. WRIGHT: Well, you were also dealing at this point too with the vulnerability issue that--especially either from SCUD24 attacks or terrorists attack--all eggs in one basket. It doesn't make much military sense.
COL HARKINS: No. And, like I said, we had been used to doing it all out of one building and all out of one headquarters if you will. Our redundancy in command was nonexistent. Our survivability was less than tremendously by being all in one place. I sent Bob Seaver over. And we had worked, as I said, a little bit upstairs with the MPs; a little bit with COSCOM; the artillery ... Corps Artillery had given us a cell. We had a cell out at the air defense artillery. A couple of guys out of the G-3. We picked up a couple of guys out of G-2. And it was growing. It was a very, very incoherent staff. And there was nothing--there were no SOPs. There was no equipment set aside. It was really kind of a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants type operation.
My guidance to Bob Seaver going over was "go, get with the MPs, find us a building and put in the headquarters." And he reported in, told BG Scholes. And BG Scholes had called for us. And COL Zannie Smith (who was BG Scholes' G-3 in country at that point in time) and had really convinced BG Scholes that they needed to get to the business of planning combat operations and get out of the housekeeping operations, if you will. And I think that's the major thrust behind getting us over there.
Finally on the 4th of September I deployed and reported in over there. BG Scholes' mission to me was go unscrew this place and get the rear areas unscrewed. And with very little guidance from either he or LTG Luck it was just go do what you've go to do to get it under control. There was a movie theater in the compound that the MPs had (which was the McDonnell-Douglas compound later called Camp Brede after Leonard Brede, the MP commander). We moved in there with the MPs. We set up and we went in and boarded and sectioned off, and began to define what the Rear Command Post was going to do. We published an operations order. We began to publish, then, a rear defense SOP. We began to put together then staff briefings; and starting to do some of the analysis that ...
DR. WRIGHT: Get into the shift mode and ... ?
COL HARKINS: Yeah.
DR. WRIGHT: ... twelve [hours] on and twelve off?
COL HARKINS: And trying to be ... acting like a headquarters. And understanding that we thought we would do five separate missions. That being, once again, the terrain management, the force protection, the movement synchronization, the sustainment, and the fifth being the Alternate CP. Now, the reason that I keep coming back to that ('cause that's always the tentacles of trying to bring the headquarters back into) is where are we on all these things today, and what have we done, and how are we helping out the Corps commander.
The Alternate CP. I didn't worry about comms, because my requirement to the communicators of the world was that I had to have a redundant communication system that the Corps Headquarters had because we an Alternate CP. Early on this became kind of a thorn in the side of some of the senior staff officers up in the G-3 because their comment was "no, Corps artillery does that." I said "no, doctrinally speaking the Rear CP does that." And we got back and forth. And finally a few of them, [COL] Julius Coats being the best one of the operators [said] "you know, you're right, I read the doggone stuff that you're talking about, now, and you are in fact dead sober." Once that happened, we had our comms package set. We were now set and ready to stand up then as the ultimate CP.
DR. WRIGHT: And that all comes out of the 35th [Signal] Brigade?
COL HARKINS: Roger, that. And 35th Brigade had to then cycle around and figure out where the comms were coming from. And it became a very great planning factor for them--and the rest of the operation--to understand that wherever the Rear CP went, wherever Harkins went, if you will, there had to be a comms package go along because that was where the Deputy Commanding General went.
I used to put out a little sign out there: Reserved For The Deputy Commanding General, you know, BG Scholes. Or ... MG Roosma was still back here in the States, but "when's he coming over?" "Soon." You know. And we really tried to make sure that people understood that it was in fact not Harkins' CP. And it got to be very confusing. People kept talking about Harkins' CP, and it's really not my CP. It's the CG's and the Chief's and the DCG's CP. So the Alternate CP role then forced the G-2 and the G-3 then to provide planners out ...
DR. WRIGHT: Cells.
COL HARKINS: ... and executors back and operators back to be able to take care of their function. Because it was pretty easy to stand up and say "I can't do this because of that." The non-players in the whole CP role pretty much throughout 'till the bitter end because of G-1 and G-4.
The G-1 was just obstinate. [COL] Frederick never really played the part of the G-1. He played more of the Deputy Chief of Staff most of the time. And [LTC Ray] Fehrenbach as the [Deputy] G-1 ... he wanted to do everything out of the Main. And as a result the G-1 stayed at the Main and never left except for when we were at KKMC25 for a little while. They kind of rolled in there for a few days. But they never played at all. It was very, very difficult to get them to play. The G-4 played a little bit.
DR. WRIGHT: Now just to follow-up on one point then. In terms of SIDPERS26 backup and stuff like that, did you have low-level people that had that capability? Or did we have any redundancy in our SIDPERS and cas[ualty] reporting and things like that?
COL HARKINS: We picked up the casualty reporting redundancy with [COL] Gary Gresh27 out of the Main into the rear area when we went up to KKMC once we started the actual air war. But before that ... and I mean everything once again was done in the Main. All personnel accounting. I had an E-5 (I think) down there from the G-1 shop--actually out of the AG.28
The G-4 which was handled strictly by a Reserve lieutenant colonel out of COSCOM. Once again, until we really started beating on people's heads. Once BG Scholes took over the Deputy Commanding General role in mid November and we started going north, it became a little bit more ... it was very difficult for Harkins sitting back there saying I need part of the Corps staff back here to put this headquarters in for a general officer who isn't there. And it was very easy, if you will, to blow off the O-6.
DR. WRIGHT: To get blown off, yeah.
COL HARKINS: Yeah, and not worry about it. But, you know ... . And I went to BG Scholes once he became the deputy and said here's my problem. My problem is [that] you're not here. Without your presence back in the rear area things can't get done.
The terrain management piece, I've talked a little bit about. We started picking up the responsibility for the Century 21.
DR. WRIGHT: When it displaces out of Dragon City back to Camp Brede?
COL HARKINS: Yes. Then it became mine.
DR. WRIGHT: And at that point is that when COL Cousins gives up being the head of training management?
COL HARKINS: That's correct; that all came back to me. As I said, it isn't the terrain management role that one would like to see in terms of really divvying up land. It was more management within Saudi. But later on, then, when we moved into KKMC and we moved up to Log[istical] Base CHARLIE, and as we moved into northern Iraq.
DR. WRIGHT: Then that is a doctrinal dividing up of the battle?
COL HARKINS: And that as a doctrinal mission for the Rear CP. But if we hadn't have gotten into it before we wouldn't have stumbled into how to do it and how to manage it and how important it really is, I don't think.
DR. WRIGHT: As that buildup takes place, particularly through November, and as we start looking at "oh, my god, VII Corps is coming in too," and you've got ARCENT SUPCOM29 growing by leaps and bounds, terrain management becomes a difficult problem in those last two months in the south before the war kicks off. 'Cause now at one point, I believe, we were up over 100 bases and ... .
COL HARKINS: Well, what happened was as we went back and went into the rear, LTG Luck told me that I was XVIII Airborne Corps rear commander and ARCENT. And he and Pagonis30 meet and the deal was that it was, yeah, there was a SUPCOM back in the rear, but it was XVIII Airborne Corps ground that they were on and they would operate under the direction of the XVIII Airborne Corps Rear CP for all things having to do with force protection. Which gets over into the middle of one of those roles. So what we were able to do then was to define all the measures, all the protective measures.
We had synch[roniz]ed up within that whole theater, if you will, all the way down to Riyadh. Everything that happened in the rear kind of operated off of one SOP. It was SOP that we built on the ground over there to try and get people to do, you know, the same: the same way of inspecting vehicles; the same guard for ... you know, uniform for guard; the same procedures that were used to report in; the same procedures that were used to report incidents. And all that stuff all got synched up under the Rear CP headquarters.
So we went ... initially we had about five or ten bases. We had two or three [base] clusters. We eventually ended up with about 125 bases and about 19 different clusters. Some of which were Army, some of which were Navy, some of which were Air Force. Some of which were ARCENT, some CENTCOM, some Special Op[eration]s, some XVIII Airborne Corps. But that whole package was all under one control. And it was under ... you know, I was the executor for the CG.
But there was one standard addressed. There was one standard of the way things were done. And everybody had to march to the same tune. There was one set of rules of engagement. There was one established criteria for which you could discharge ammunition in the city or put weapons in ... rounds in the chamber, etc. And it really gave us then a mechanism as we defined more and more the force protection issues. The CG didn't have to worry about it, if you know what I mean. He knew he had a system in place. And we then were able to go through and make certain that this base had in fact ... would have been able to protect itself.
There was that time period in October, November, December when our biggest worry as there was turmoil at home, cause for concern, and debates on whether or not we should or should not go to combat or should or should not be there. What happens if another Lebanon happens? Another Beirut bombing or something like that? What would that do to our will, our resolve, our national support? Our sensing was that it would have been very, very devastating and as a result had we ... we had to maintain a very high posture and give a very strong appearance that we were very, very defensive in nature. We're the ones that went around and inspected every base to make sure it could not be penetrated. We had a series of agents that went around and looked to make certain that we had done a smart thing.
DR. WRIGHT: I understand one of those (from talking over there) one of those little agent tests convinced LTG Pagonis that his personal security was a little less than 100 percent?31
COL HARKINS: There were several times when some things went wrong; people got into the wrong places that they shouldn't have gotten into. That convinced people that we needed to do things smart. But that whole time period was just a real attempt to try and make certain that we ... while we were building up we didn't do anything. So from the force protection issue we became very doctrinally sound in terms of what we were doing.
The terrain management issue. As you say, when VII Corps came in it was XVIII Airborne Corps ground that they were in on. And you guys, until you get out to your area out there, you will do things the way that XVIII Airborne Corps says that you'll do them. And the Rear CP will tell you where you're going to go. We would then, you know, ARCENT tried to get themselves involved, but ARCENT stayed out of XVIII Airborne Corps business. We managed our own; they had one point of contact. Every base reported to us and there was a system to get things out. So Pagonis stayed out of our hair. BG Ken Guest became just an absolute prince of a guy. A great supporter of what we were trying to do and really a helping hand.
We ... yeah. So there's three of the five missions that we dealt ... well, more like, you know, Polish mine detectors32 plodding along. But we had worked the system in and we felt very, very comfortable with it. So by this time, then, the development of the Corps defensive order is being worked on and finalized.
I want to say in September I took a trip all the way up through [Forward Operating Base] BASTOGNE and then came back down through the center area where we were putting in the 24th [Infantry Division]. And I drove it, you know. There were helicopters available, but you needed to drive it to sense: A, the heat; B, the distance; and C, just how far things were spread apart, etc., to get a better understanding of the battlefield. I came back in and I sat down with the guys and I said "okay, now listen, here is what we're going have to figure out--how is this defensive order going to work?" Well, there is one road up through the center which became a highway called [Main Supply Route (MSR)] MERCEDES. And that was going to be where we were going to counter-attack up that road. And it was a corps road over which corps units had to move divisional sets. And the same way was up another one called TOYOTA and AUDI. And roads that became very, very vitally important to the Corps commander.
DR. WRIGHT: Because there were very, very few roads?
COL HARKINS: Yes. There was like I said, two north/south roads, one along the coast and the other one in the interior. There were two east/west roads. One going down to Riyadh and the other then going on out to KKMC and going up to Hafar al Batin. Outside of that, there's nothing out there, just dirt. And dirt: some dirt you can drive on and some you can't drive on.
So the concern that I had when I looked at the role for movement synchronization (I saw that as a role for the Corps Rear CP) was, okay, with these roads out here, how does the Deputy Corps Commander synchronize the movement during the defensive operations in the counter-attack role? Where does he stop? Where does he begin? When does it cease becoming a rear battle thing and a tactical thing in a main battle area? We sat down and we discussed it with the G-3. And we asked a lot of questions in terms of who flows here, who has priorities, who is CinC-ing33 this up, how do you protect this road, who is in control here? And quite frankly, the more we asked, the more questions we got back in terms of, well, what do you think?
So with the discussions with the G-3, what ended up was that for the counter-attack and for the defensive operation, the Rear CP would do all movement synchronization within the main battle area and the rear area. We then sat down and (we being the G-3 section from the Rear CP) sat down with COSCOM and all the players and took all their movement plans and then synchronized all the movement plans in terms of timing and when things had to happen, etc., so [that] we knew we could travel up and down the road and we could move the [1st] Cav[alry Division] up to do the counter-attack mission, etc.
We put a command and control organization, again, on the ground that the G-3 could then have the Corps commanding and controlling (through the divisions) in the forward movement and the rearward movement of folks during the defensive operations. I felt a heck of a lot better after we had spent about a month or three weeks on this process. And [had] then gone down through brigade level and battalion level in some cases ... how things would move. We had planned a CPX34 in the December time period to run it. As a matter of fact we got part of that done and we just got overcome by events. But I felt awful doggone good in the November time period that we knew how we were really going to execute the plan we had written. It almost came back to what you talked about on INTERNAL LOOK. We drew it on the map and you go here and you go here. It all sounds good. Good, we're out of here, and we're good to go. It is only with a lot of help from the G-3, a lot of help from the G-4 (you know, COL [Niels P.] Biamon) that we really got people beat up side the head. We really made them sit down and give us movement plans.
DR. WRIGHT: Realistic movement plans?
COL HARKINS: That when, you know, as the covering force came back, when can we get them back, and off the roads in time to have the 1st Calvary Division come north and be able to execute its counter-attack. As I said, we're talking one road and we're talking about not wanting to move, you know ... we're talking about wanting to move the armored vehicles with HETs [heavy equipment transporters] or lowboys and saving the maintenance and wear and tear on them--on the vehicles themselves. So we were trying to synchronize that whole movement up and where all the vehicles came from, etc.
Now in this whole process, understand COSCOM (and I would really try to be very, very sensitive to the fact that when you start dealing in movement, when you start dealing in synchronization of tactical operations) you know, every time you turned around you were on somebody else's turf. And when you start talking to them on exercises here they flap their arms and say "that's mine and I should be doing it." Well, what I found in Saudi was people were knee-deep trying to survive. You know, any help that we could give COSCOM, once you got past their pride and their morale thing (you know, "ooh, I'm in charge of movement"). "Okay, what have you done about it?" "Oh, we haven't gotten around to it yet." "Well, we can't afford to wait for you; you've not got six more months to get around to it." There was an awful lot of willingness to let anybody help that could help. But there was a ... there was a resistance, there was a resentment that you're on my turf, and there's ... .
DR. WRIGHT: That's more a function of that ... that we're just creating this approach, whereas, if we had to execute another operation tomorrow you wouldn't have that same kind of [learning] curve?
COL HARKINS: No, I think you're absolutely right. And like you said, there was ... on exercises there was a lot of people running around being just hoo-ah; "I do this and I do that." And when it came time to really go out and execute it on the ground there was a feeling that I might fail. What happens if I'm wrong? "Oh, shoot, oh, dear, I'm in over my head." Because, yeah, I understand how many trucks it takes to move a corps but I'm really not for certain that I can do all this stuff and make it come in a tactical sense.
And everybody else was busy planning a lot of other things. I mean it was ... you had to really spend an awful lot of time speaking to COSCOM on it. An awful lot of time just figuring out how in the hell to plan how to get the water up today to live today, let alone what happens if we had to execute another contingency operation that says, a counter-attack up the road here.
I tried to look at the way we had laid out ... so the fourth mission there, the movement synchronization I think we understood. Again, that the defensive operation made the Rear CP understand how you synch up movement. Because unlike the logisticians we looked at it from a tactical sense, in terms of how do you support the corps commander.
DR. WRIGHT: Yes, it's one thing to draw a movement table but it's another thing to translate that (at least in your mind's eye as a planner) into what is that going to look at ... at Hill 325 as the serials come by. Will it work?
COL HARKINS: And does it really support the old man's intent. Logistically it makes sense to do it this way, but tactically any way you want it to. So we had a good opportunity to look at it from that aspect. So four of the missions I felt that we were really executing and I felt very proud of.
The fifth one was the synchronization of the sustainment feature. I would tell you without the two star general back there you're really fighting a losing battle. Because then you are into somebody else's turf. I looked at all of our rear bases for example. Does this make sense--us doing this the way we are? There were cases where we found that it made absolutely no sense at all.
For example, the 32d MEDSOM35 had every bit of medical supplies and all of our bandages and blood and all this stuff; it was all in one frigging warehouse. Not to mention the security of the damn thing really didn't sail. So we worked on it. But, you know, I went to the COSCOM commander and I said "you can't do this; sustainment of the Corps says [that] you can't have all the medical supplies in theater in one building." And, you know, there were a lot of reasons why: we couldn't get another warehouse, we couldn't ... "oh shoot, oh dear, oh shoot, oh dear."
But it took beating by me trying to work with [COL] John Zierdt and his staff [in the 1st Support Command] to go find another place, to give battle. It was, once again, an emotional issue because "Harkins, why are you asking me these questions? This is not your job." I said "it's not my job, but it is a concern of the Corps." And it is the job of the Rear CP and the Deputy Corps Commander to be able to understand. So I said ... I got BG Scholes to come look and, you know, come look at all the aviation sitting over here. Come look at this. From a sustainment viewpoint of the Corps it's not right. We can't do these things.
DR. WRIGHT: Yeah, there's the dynamic between what's easy to ... say from AVIM's36 standpoint to get everything onto the one hard stand at [the Dhahran] West Helipad versus dispersing the asset. And it's really a logistician versus tactician perspective.
COL HARKINS: See, but nobody in the Corps had looked at it from that context. Everybody had ... before had said "that's the logistician's domain." You know, their job is to 'logistate' (whatever) and I'm a tactical guy and my job is to 'tactate' and do it over here. And nobody had been able to sit back from a perspective, not that I've got any greater tactical perspective or understanding than anybody else, it's just with a group of people we were able to look at it from the aspect of "okay, logistician guys, you're saying it's this way and tactical guys you're saying its going this way--that doesn't make any sense." Or "yeah, okay, that's a good fit."
So we then ... we started doing more. We started looking where all of our ammunition was, where all our munitions were, etc. And it got to be ... and I would tell you that there were some real turf battles over there. When you go in and you tell the COSCOM commander that the places that you've got your ammunition dumps in stink; you've got to move them. You kind of got blown off a few times. But the point still had to be made that we were doing some dumb things and putting a lot of our eggs in baskets.
DR. WRIGHT: All MLRS37 pods in one ASP38 or something like that.
COL HARKINS: Yeah, and if it went then, well, shoot, we're in trouble. But I think that--a real credit to COL and now BG Zierdt--he was willing to work with us and listen to us. There was frustration on everybody's part of wanting to do it right, but maybe because of [a] restriction on facilities or time or whatever it was they weren't able to get it done. It made for, you know, some very interesting days over there as 'Harkins went against the establishment,' if you will.
DR. WRIGHT: To talk about the ... through all five of these functions, now, you've been picking up smart folks from the different staff sections and whatnot to plus you up. When you start out what kind of a staff structure do you have in place within Dragon Brigade that you could take over with you?
COL HARKINS: Well, as we stand right now we've got a TOE. Number one, it's a TDA headquarters so, therefore, when you start looking for the TOE aspect to go along with it, it's not there. We've got a recommendation in right now to convert the headquarters to the TOE to pick up the roles. There ... I've got a major as an S-3, a Leavenworth graduate. I've got a small staff up there of a couple captains and a couple ... three senior noncommissioned officers that can start that role and start that role going very well. The same way in the [S]-1 business, I've got a major as the S-1. I've got a major who is the executive officer for the headquarters. I've got an S-2 lieutenant.
DR. WRIGHT: So you do have ... in fact you were able to create an "S "staff?
COL HARKINS: Yes, but we had to then build a G-staff on top of the S-staff. But we had the structure there. We've got PAC39 for example; we then pick up the personnel side of the house and started accounting for those things. The G-4--the S-4--within the brigade is a civilian, and as a result he stayed here. And I would just tell you that's okay because that kept all of our property and all of the supply functions back here at the home base going. But we have a deputy S-4 who is a lieutenant--captain. And he was able to step in then and build up the combat role.
DR. WRIGHT: Also during the phase when you talk about the problem of pushing out ... during the month of August and early September ... that--just saying pushing people out is a real understatement. That was a considerable effort to get this Corps headquarters displaced. And at that point is also when we start discovering that over the years the distinction between [Headquarters Company, US Army] Garrison and headquar[ters] ... and Corps Company40 has gotten awfully blurry and nobody really knew whose slot was really being done by what?
COL HARKINS: Yeah, and not only that, when you start looking for people to fill functions ... like I say, when you're talking about an Assault CP 'Plus' and you went down ... you start taking personnel that you thought would execute a mission. I took garrison people with me. Corps staff took garrison people with them. We had the Joint Deployable Task Force that was kind of a FORSCOM41 headquarters outfit that deployed with the Corps. To which I think that they should grin and apply to some of the people of FORSCOM when they found out that our Joint Deployable Task Force Headquarters had already gone over there--and there was no "joint task force" requirement.
But, yeah. Yeah, you built whatever you could out of the staff. We had not inculcated within the Corps, hey, this is a tac mission. We know who the people are in the tac and you go do it; you train that way. Or this is a Main mission and you go do it in the Main. And the Rear.
The G-5, we haven't talked much about the G-5. The G-5 didn't play with me initially, so I went out and got a bunch of civil affair guys. I kind of built my own G-5 shop. My G-5 shop throughout the course of the whole exercise was very active and very good.
DR. WRIGHT: Primarily out of the 96th [Civil Affairs] Battalion?
COL HARKINS: That's correct. We had some Active [Component] folks and eventually fell in with a bunch of Reserve Component folks. And the G-5 section functioned very well for me.
DR. WRIGHT: [The] 2d [Battalion] of the 52d [Air Defense Artillery] is, I guess, the last of the elements based here at Fort Bragg that will actually get to deploy the majority of its people over.
COL HARKINS: On DESERT SHIELD this is true.
DR. WRIGHT: Yeah, in other scenarios a different story.
COL HARKINS: The difference being they were in the process of changing equipment--unit type. There was a phase upgrade of all their systems that we got caught right in the middle of. And that has to do with some of the ability to engage missiles and stuff like that. So we had to hold them until that got done. That did not get done to the November time period. And as a result 2-142--I think it was 2-1 out of Fort Stewart, [Georgia]--then falls in to really be the mid to high [HAWK antiaircraft missile] coverage for the Corps headquarters. Although 2-52 provided the ...
DR. WRIGHT: The Stinger43 teams?
COL HARKINS: ... Stinger teams, 2-1 really ended up doing 2-52's mission.
DR. WRIGHT: But it's also a burden on 2-52 because at one point they are post details. I mean, they're the only people left back here to pull post details. And that's ... that had to be very distressing for the battalion.
COL HARKINS: Well, it did. And it was about from, I'd say about mid-October--well, no, it was the September time period they picked up, before I went over; until January when they went, that they were the post detail unit. At the same time they were phasing. At the same time they were trying to get themselves trained up and ready to deploy; and then finally to deploy. It's a real credit to [LTC] Ted Bittner and the battalion over there to be able to do kind of those three things all at the same time and do them all very, very well.
Unfortunately the relationship between the 11th [Air Defense Artillery] Brigade and XVIII Airborne Corps and ARCENT and CENTCOM all got kind of clouded over there in kind of who was working for who. And 2-52 never came back to us. And I would just tell you as kind of a sideline we ... as we have done their TOE, we've unplugged them from--taking away some of their direct support maintenance, and tied them back into the Corps. The only trouble was is [that] they were unplugged from the Corps then and plugged in some place else. We're still trying to recover from their lack of maintenance and parts and direct support and everything like that, that they lost when they went away from Corps. So from a doctrinal point of view we've really got to look and make sure that we've got that unit well enough to stand alone if it's not going to deploy right away, or if it comes into another theater or another Corps. There are some real holes in its organizational structure.
DR. WRIGHT: Throughout the phasing--say late October, November, December--do you still have an element back here that is trying to do some of the 'push-package' things to get key and essential stuff over to the Corps?
COL HARKINS: The garrison headquarters remains here the whole time, and I'll say that--the garrison company (CPT Charlie Andrews stayed here with the company). And the company runs about 700 people on any given day. A lot of the people that were not medically deployed stayed here and fill out the ... not medically deployable stay here.
Plus there is a role in a mission called transitioning in the Reserve Components. Whenever we brought in a Reserve Component into the Corps, then it was assigned to HHC, [XVIII Airborne] Corps. And then the garrison command, the Garrison Company that I had here, really became the ones then that stood them up and sent them out. And we were concerned about what we had left behind in terms of rear detachments and how we would function with that.
A few years ago there was a special troops battalion. That special troops battalion was done away with, once again in the space saving means, because it was unneeded, etc. And what I did was form up a Special Troops (Provisional) under the command of LTC Curt Knight who is a commander of the U.S. Army parachuting team, The Golden Knights. And used him, then, as the Dragon Brigade rear commander. He took care of all the O-544 level of administration, and discipline, and guidance and orders, etc. Then COL Bill Garrison, the garrison commander, became then the O-6 level to arbitrate the O-6 level of administration of justice and everything. Curt with his people then did the Reserve Component roll-up, working with the Reserve ...
DR. WRIGHT: DRC45?
COL HARKINS: DRC folks and everything like that. And if they were going someplace else, [COL] Elmore and his folks pushed them on out that way. But the supply people--Carl Steinmetz--and everything was in place to take care of that role. So I think we were able to satisfy the role of the garrison commander as well as execute the wartime missions at the same time.
I've got to put in one other plug, if you will, about back here in Saudi--back here at Fort Bragg. We ... when we first started deploying people over we formed up a family support group. There had not really been one before. There had kind of been--during Panama, once again, it was quick and dirty--not quick and dirty, but quick in and quick out with the Corps headquarters. The headquarters provided some information and kind of had some meetings, etc. But I would tell you that my wife really was able to pull together a team; put together a very, very strong team. Curt really supported that team. We got a lot of support out of MG Roosma. A lot of support out of Mrs. Ellis Scholes, BG Scholes' wife. And I think that if you go around post and if you talk to people about our family support [and] family support activities, I'll tell you that the Dragon Brigade family support activity program was a very, very good program. And it kept a lot of people informed and did an awful lot for the Corps headquarters.
We tend to think down at the battalion level that that support will be taking care of companies and squads, etc. There's also a need even to Corps headquarters to have a good solid structure there to keep families pulled together. And I think that we were able to do that with an awful lot of support out of the O-6 wives down at Corps headquarters. Everybody just kind of falling together as a real team. But from the brigade headquarters, once again, it became the channel, it became the facilitator for a lot of other things that went on back here.
So as we rolled through and got the defensive scenario done, it became pretty obvious that we weren't going to go home from Saudi until Saddam left Kuwait. It became pretty obvious that Saddam was not going to come south. As a matter of fact there were those days when we kind of really wished that he would. Let's get on with it. We've got to go, come on down south. We're in pretty good shape and we can take care of you down here. That wasn't going to happen. As a matter of fact you could almost say that once the 24th arrived if he would have come south he would have been in trouble. Once the 101st was on the ground, really big time in trouble. With our air power and with the capability of our weapon systems from the 101st and the 24th.
DR. WRIGHT: Pretty much by mid- to late-October, a feeling that he might make this ... .
[END SIDE ONE, TAPE ONE]
DR. WRIGHT: Okay, resuming on Side Two. His ability to project power against our capabilities just didn't match. I mean, he just wasn't going to dislodge us.
COL HARKINS: So the question came as, okay, coach, now what? And I can recall sitting in the Rear CP Headquarters where we were doing our briefings. You do your informational briefings. And you spend an awful lot of time with the young staff who is not together, trying to get them to function: on thinking about war; understanding the Battlefield Operating Systems; understanding AirLand Battle46 and the tenants of AirLand Battle; understanding how you develop intelligence; understanding what operations are all about. Liking history, you know, you beat them "upside" the head about historical examples, and make them read. I think we--from my perspective anyway, and you might not get a hell of a lot of people that agree with me--but we had a pretty good educational environment going on in the Rear Command Post. As I mentioned, we had done--I had done--a lot of work down at Benning in the light infantry, heading up the light infantry task force. There is a lot of historical work we have done on how you build that piece. A lot of looking at the various elements of war. Plus we had an opportunity to define the training doctrine through the infantry, or it's kind of fallen out to be the training doctrine for the Army. And with that, then, there was an understanding of how we need to go about training ourselves to get to where we needed to go.
So we had picked up the 139th RAOC in September, mid- or late-September. The 139th RAOC is out of Raleigh, North Carolina and commanded by LTC Gurry. Good people. They were good in doing exercises. They did work very closely with the 82d Airborne Division. They thought that they were going to be involved with the 82d Airborne Division and they were kind of disappointed when they had to go all the way up to Corps. Kind of shocked that they were in combat. Very, you know, very exercise oriented: in order to accomplish this thing called terrain management, all I have to do is get out the little sheet of paper that says I know where all the bases are. Okay, that's it. The only thing that I could do to fill out this thing called force protection is go out and get a fill-in the blanks type of defense plan. Okay, that's it.
And as we looked--as I looked at the organization in terms of how the Rear CP should function, what I did is, is I took the RAOC-ians or the people from RAOC and I did them ... or made them responsible for the monitoring of terrain management and the monitoring of force protection. I took the G-3 and G-2 planners and forced them into the Rear CP synchronization [of] movement (the bigger pieces, if you will) for the Corps.
DR. WRIGHT: The more complex pieces?
COL HARKINS: And forced the RAOC, if you will, on current op[eration]s and forced them out into the--where we would be in the future, and what we were doing up in the main battle area, etc. And, you know, you'd hear reports every night: "well, we visited 27 bases today." Base Defense Liaison Teams, BDLTs. The only thing that I could think of any time anybody mentioned BDLT was a sandwich, you know?
So I kept asking, you know, what are we getting out of all these liaison visits, you know? "Oh, we're building!" And I'd go down and I'd muck around and look at some of the plans. I said this is sickening. So I put some of my guys on it--my night shift. I said "Rick ([MAJ] Rick Newton worked on the night shift on the G-3 Ops)," I said, "Rick, I want you to review all the plans that we've got (base defense plans that we've got) and I want you to do some communications tests to see"--this was back in the October or September/October time frame--"and see how we communicate."
Well, we were appalled ourselves. And so I kind of did away with the Base Defense Liaison Teams because what I wanted was every time [that] I sent somebody out to do some work for me, I got something kind of back in return. And what we started doing was base defense evaluations. And it was a team that went out. They'd meet you on day one when you came in, and they said "okay, here is the XVIII Airborne Corps SOP. Here is the kind of OPLAN you owe us, here is the reports you owe us. In 48 hours we're going to be back to see if you're doing this stuff."
I didn't think that we had the time to sit around and drinking coffee with the boys and girls throughout Dhahran and enjoying life. I was concerned, once again, that we not allow ourselves to get in the position where anybody would do anything to us that would cause us to compromise our public support, etc. So the point being is the RAOCs: good people but the RAOCs weren't used to really executing. They were used to planning on exercises. And it was, you know ...
DR. WRIGHT: It becomes very, very hard as you try to define how does a RAOC get to do those real-world tasks in a peacetime mode with a 48-training-days-a-year type ...
COL HARKINS: Right. Well, when they come out to an exercise, you know, they start on basic ... base defense planning. Well, who really puts in a full base defense during a CPX? The answer is nobody. So therefore what they do is what they have been used to and that was ...
DR. WRIGHT: Give us a piece of paper and we'll train.
COL HARKINS: Here it is and that's it. And then their expertise ... they did not have and I talked a little bit about the training defects. We took their mission training plans over. I have those with me, so that I'm able to say to my G-3 guys, okay, when you start talking about a base defense here's what it looks like. Here's the way you build a range card. You know, here is how you do this. Here is how you do that. Here is how you put a reaction team together. We were able to go through and define that in an SOP. I was able to send, quite frankly, combat arms officers out to check it. And it wasn't somebody who was a quartermaster guy. It was an infantryman, it was an artilleryman, it was an engineer going out to say, let me see how you do these things.
DR. WRIGHT: And that's another critical point, then. In terms of CSS47 training on rear defense in a peacetime mode especially in the RC. You have very limited training time out in the field. You have all kinds of restrictions. Well, you can't dig a lot of holes [and] you can't do this. There is a tendency if you don't have cross-fertilization from the combat arms guys, you get some pretty sterile solutions to problems that, you know, just somebody takes a look and goes "how comes you have all your automatic weapons right there?"
COL HARKINS: Good--hands down. And also it was the "well, in Europe, you know, we normally do it this way because the gasthaus." We're not in Europe, you know. And we're not any other place than in Saudi, and we've got to look at the environment we're operating in Saudi and how do we do these things. The Saudi government got upset with us at times because we looked too military. You know, we had barbed wire; we had guards up; and we had things like that in there. There was constant arguing back and forth between representatives of the Saudi government saying "listen, you know, we're not at war." You're not in war and we're going to make damn certain that we're not.
And it was kind of--we had to talk ourselves through a lot of those things. We do stupid things like that. We put guards up on top of towers looking down into homes of Saudis with binoculars. Well, that's very, very offensive to them. So we had to make some adjustments to those types of things. But, once again, with one headquarters being there then you took the flak for everybody. If the Marines go off and do something, you got hit for the Marines. But at least you had one central headquarters you could come back through. You put combat arms officers out there that had done defenses, that had done this, that and the other. But it was amazing the things that we never thought about.
The things it was tough--getting teeth pulled to really do, you know. I've got a chemical battalion--the 2d Chemical Battalion out of Fort Hood, Texas. The battalion commander was .... he kind of sat around the area. And I told him I wanted him to develop a rear area chemical defense plan. And, geez, it was like pulling teeth; I mean, we had more valid reasons why somebody else should do it, etc. And I remember in December, and I'll jump back and forth to kind of give you some examples. I think it was on December 2d when the first SCUD was launched. It was Sunday morning. And we had been working on trying to get the chemical defense plan done, etc., etc., etc. And when that happened it was really kind of, you know, if you want to thank Saddam for one thing, I really thanked him for that training exercise. Because all of a sudden it was something that was Corps-wide and it was felt in the sensation of everybody, "oh, shit, we'd better get serious about this stuff."
DR. WRIGHT: It focuses the attention.
COL HARKINS: It helped us with the chemical folks. It helped us with the engineers. It helped us with the medical people. All of which we were really pulling teeth. Now understand also that Dhahran is growing and changing on a daily basis of new units moving in and moving out and going here and going there.
And it was really difficult to get things pinned down to how we were really going to do a mass casualty exercise. We had some sketchy plans. We really didn't have it down. What I wanted to know was: every base, where this guy goes if he gets hit; where this guy goes for a routine sick call; and how do we cover them. Where is the helicopters? And how do we pull them in? We really pulled teeth getting that.
We did the same thing on the chemical. But that attack by Saddam Hussein really forced us into exercising. The battalion commander kind of spoofed me a little bit in terms of [that] they had exercised some stuff, and [really] they had exercised squat. We really flat exercised over the next month every damn system, up one side and down the other. So you need to doctrinally define those plans for the rear area. Chemical defense plans in terms of where you're going to decon[taminate]; where you're going to refit, where you are going to marshall up before, during and after. It needs to be rehearsed.
When you're in a city of several hundred thousand people it just isn't out in the desert. Where are all the automobile carwashes in Dhahran? If that's what we want to use, and we might as well use them if they're there. And they are there. Where are the fire stations where we can get fire hydrants and pressure pumps and stuff like that out to help us? You know, how much stuff does it take over the city of Dhahran to really--to where we're going to be able to continue to function or not function? And we hadn't worked a lot of those things out.
And the same thing with the medical side.
The critical facilities list. We asked and we asked and we asked for a critical facilities list. They wouldn't give it to us, so we said the hell with it and developed our own based on our best guess of what we thought was really important around the city: the desal[inization] plant, the electrical plants, some of the port facilities, etc. We then ran exercises on how we'd defend these. We then, within the Rear CP, wrote up the defensive instructions that we wanted. We brought in battalions from the 82d and said "okay, you're job is going to be protect the desal plant." We had a booklet prepared for them complete with pictures. We had their air package worked up for them. We had all the targets in for them.
A kid by the name of Maslow, SSG Maslow, from [Corps] Artillery worked with the C-130 gunships. And we had gunship training going on. He had worked with all the units: the MPs, all of the 82d units like that that would come in to be part of the tactical combat force to protect these facilities. We ran those programs over and over and over again.
We took over responsibility for the guard, the guard security in the ammunition dumps. And once again did the same thing with the perimeter defense: helicopter flights, lights, quality of life provisions for those troops out there.
The medical thing I mentioned in terms of splitting it out and getting it diversified a little bit more.
There was, you know, just every day there were just new things. "Oh, shoot, I hadn't thought about that." There are sometimes you feel very, very smart. But most of the times you feel very, very ignorant because your crystal ball just isn't good enough to look at.
I got a call on a Sunday morning about 5:00 on the morning of "oh, shoot, oh, dear, we just spotted two Palestinians" (there were always Palestinians, PLO members) "on the water tower that leads into the British compound and one of our American compounds and we think we've got problems because we've now tested the water and we've got cyanide in the water." That's okay. Number one, stop drinking water. I thought that was pretty smart. Number two, get somebody else down there to test it.
But number three is, what are the water sources for all 120 compounds? Is this something city wide? Do we have a means to call up and say, send out the code words, everybody test your water? Do we have a base line on all the water going into these compounds? Do we know and can we test to see if someone is varying it, because as you know there was an awful lot of threat of chemical and biological warfare from Saddam Hussein. What happens if he got it in and was able to get in the water system within the rear area and contaminate that? How will we ever know that?
And we didn't have a lot of good answers. We kind of had a lot of people standing around and saying "oh, shoot, oh, dear." So we had to then go through a process by which we knew. It took us some time and we figured out where every bit of water came from that everybody drank. Where all the fruit came from. We figured that out and so forth. Where--what the baseline was on all the water. You know, how the food was transported and where it came from.
Those are things that I just hadn't gotten around to figuring out that I'd need to know as a rear area commander. But somehow in the process you have to go in and set up this environment, you know, somebody needs to be smart enough to advise that rear commander that he had better get a base on all this stuff.
We'd get reports of there's a car, you know, at a camp taking pictures. That's when we'd call the Saudi police; the Saudi police reacted several times and sometimes we reacted or over reacted on our own. But the Saudi, you know, write in Arabic so, therefore, the license plate on a car is written in Arabic, you know.
We finally taught our guards to write down below the numbers there on the license plate is ... you have to read the numbers in Saudi Arabic. But in our guard instructions we started presenting to them, you know, the Arabic alphabet and the Arabic numeral system so that they could sit there and they would have a reference. We had signs and kind of key phrases, you know: stop, this is an American compound, you may not come close; written in and little signs prepared outside of our compound written in, you know, Korean, Filipino and Arabic. So we thought we got the majority of the people that were from the third national countries that would come into our compounds.
Some other things. We found out that it's really not a good, smart thing to do to have a female guard outside on the gate. That became a very, very attractive thing for having people come watch and see what the American females were doing. We just stumbled through a lot of things like that.
You know, you'd go ask your guy on rules of engagement "okay, what happens here?" "Well, sir, if he comes up here and da-da-da and he runs, I'll holler halt three times and then I'll shoot him." "How do you say halt in Arabic?" "Sir, I'd say halt, halt, halt." "I'm sorry, I'm from Saudi Arabia--I don't understand halt, halt, halt." If you can't ... so we were trying to teach people then and acculturize people on how do you say halt, or how do you say what are you doing. And try to force people through this?
Particularly as the city is kind of growing and contracting with Americans going all over the place. You know, if you go into the port, the port has really been--most of the time is a pretty big ammunition dump. Scary what we had stuck in the port. And it wasn't coming through. We ran some EDREs, if you will, within the port to make sure that we could defend ourselves. Or, you know, how do you close down the port--because there you're talking Coast Guard, you're talking Navy, you're talking Marines, you're talking Army, and you're talking Saudi, and you're talking Britons, you're talking French. All these people coming in and out of that port there. And there was just a whole number of people that were involved. And when you start talking about protecting that port--but you had to protect it.
The same thing with the air base. You had the Saudis and you have the Brits and the French on the air base; and the Air Force and the Army. Once again, we drew the responsibility to try and synch that up. There was a lieutenant colonel by the name of Tom Pack over there who did that as the air base defense commander over there. He was in a very, very tough position because his boss was a little horse's rear end. And his boss only cared about planes. He didn't care about really protecting the perimeter, etc. A tremendous perimeter.
DR. WRIGHT: A huge, huge expanse of air base. And with population crowded right up on it on the one side.
COL HARKINS: Well, actually on about three sides. The Saudis had done, as they have done many times, put in an elaborate defense system before we came, or something like that. They've got everything, so you thought--you felt pretty good and you walk in this little control room there and there's, you know, television sets all around. We have 120 cameras; 60 of them are working. And trying to get things like that fixed, trying to get the authority to sandbag things in. And what happens when a SCUD hits? You know, some of the stuff that they eventually had to exercise when that one SCUD did hit down there.
It all came out of the questions that we kept asking ourselves. And what I tried to do--and the point of this whole diatribe is--I tried to sit down and beat myself and everybody else up side the head and say, okay, now we're here and we're kind of--we've got some rudimentary things going in terms of terrain management, in terms of synchronization, and force protection, and the Alternate, and the sustainment package. Now what are we missing? Let's go back through and let's ask ourselves a question. How do we know what's going on?
We developed a data base, for example, that we were able to manipulate and look at all license plate numbers and find out who did a show up here, here and here. Why is this guy hitting three different bases--there are reports of his car sitting around looking at. And we started feeling a lot more confident in terms of our ability, then, working with the military police--Larry Brede right then in the same compound and his headquarters and mine being interchangeable. He put liaison downtown within the city and we were able then to work with the Saudi police a lot better to find out what was going on.
Went up and we made contact with the Marines in [Al] Jubayl we started an exchange back and forth between the Marines. And once a week I would either go up to Jubayl (there was a Marine Rear CP up there). Walked through everything that they had and get a dump from intel[ligence]. They would come down to our place and do the same thing down there. We'd dump back and forth--intel--everything we had or whatever was going on in each other's major terrain. So the joint aspect of it got to be very, very important. As I said, we worked close: we worked Air Force, we worked Brits, we worked French, we worked Marines. And so we really expanded ourselves out. I'm pretty doggone proud of the kids there. And we kind of grew into these things and kept trying to learn more and more about what our responsibilities were in the rear area.
And that took us up into the November/December time period when it became pretty obvious that we were going to go west. The question [that] came up then in the course of that was, okay, how do we do the movement out west? How do we do the famous end run of XVIII Airborne Corps? What headquarters commands and controls that during movement?
And the Tac was now in place. [COL] Jeff White48 and [COL] Zannie Smith had gone up to the Tac and the mission was to kind of keep the Tac a very local outfit, so when it went forward it would have not the great signature behind it. The Tac by this time had transitioned to [from] bread trucks and were now in tracks.49
The Main was busy at Dhahran or at Dragon City. And the Rear was back at Camp Brede. I say back at Camp Brede but if you look on the map really the Rear was further north on the day we started out with. We kind of stayed that way throughout the whole exercise. The bottom line was that the Rear CP was given a role to do the movement synchronization out west. We would get people into the tactical assembly areas, up and down Tapline Road.50 We would plan the exercise in Dhahran and we would then move KKMC. And we would 'pull' from KKMC. The Tac would move (relatively early on) on up to its assembly area; the Main would then displace to Rafha. I would leave an element from the Rear CP in Dragon [City and] take over control of Dragon Main and Camp Brede. In all the guidance that the CG gave me were don't give up Camp Brede and don't give up Dragon City.
DR. WRIGHT: Because we'll need them at some point for redeployment?
COL HARKINS: That's right. That's the way that the Corps Headquarters would come back out. Find a couple of other compounds here, bring them down to the minimum number, and make sure that you've got force protection. An element of mine of the XVIII Airborne Corps [was] to control any bases that we've got left in Dhahran and [ensure that] we've got everything locked down in Dhahran. It's all reporting through one channel so I don't have to worry about that here. And they pushed supplies out. I did that. And I took Mike Daddy (my S-1); I left Tim back there in Dragon City.
DR. WRIGHT: You would leave LTC Ross as the ...
COL HARKINS: That's right.
DR. WRIGHT: ... the [Headquarters] Commandant?
COL HARKINS: And I left part of a RAOC--the 25th RAOC which came in late in the scenario--in Dragon City for him to have as a staff to execute, then, the synchronization of the rear battle functions back in the rear: force protection and that thing. I took the majority of the headquarters forward about the 7th of January. I had ... by the 12th of January I had everybody up north in KKMC. We weren't allowed to go west of KKMC until after the bombing started. So I took the 251st RAOC (out of South Carolina) forward with me also.
DR. WRIGHT: The 251st and the 116th [RAOCs] had come in in mid-December or late December?
COL HARKINS: Yes, now once again, there was a big discussion about what do you leave behind in Dhahran. I convinced LTG Pagonis and LTG Luck that we ought to leave the 139th behind. And it was easier for me to take the 139th with me. We've been working together, understand each other. But what I wanted to get through and understand, and once again a doctrinal point was [that] the RAOC belongs to an area and not to a command.
DR. WRIGHT: They're like an ASG51?
COL HARKINS: We had done a tremendous amount of work to establish where everything was. And it didn't make any sense to me to pull these guys out now and put them in some other place, because that would leave uncovered Dhahran, as you will, without some guys who had a tremendous amount of knowledge. It just didn't make a lot of sense. It would have been less of a burden for me as a commander, because I wouldn't have to start over now again with another RAOC or as it turns out three new RAOCs; I could have done that a lot easier. But we left the 139th back in Dhahran. And they then went to work for the 593d ASG under the command of COL John Riddle and were the executors for the 22d SUPCOM of rear battle, then, for the real rear area.
As I said, we moved forward early on with KKMC and set up a Rear Command Post at KKMC. We then took on the same roles that we had there. We took all of the terrain management functions and put people in: anybody that came in, that moved in, that belonged to XVIII Airborne Corps and put them under the responsibility of XVIII Airborne Corps with the Rear CP. Kind of gave our SOPs and all that stuff to the ... I forget which ASG was up there; whichever one was at KKMC, I just can't think of it. They kind of gave them our SOPs, etc., and brought them along in terms of how things go in the rear piece.
We had many, many meetings both in Dhahran and after we got to the KKMC on how we would logistically support this. One of the major meetings we had at KK ... at Dhahran before we went up: we briefed our plan. And our plan was to have two routes. One route that went up the six-lane highway up the coast and then out Tapline. We would use that route to move most of the HET and lowboy, because it was the shortest turn around. The other route: we'd bring a lot of the wheeled vehicles out of the 82d and the 101st down through Riyadh and then straight up MERCEDES, if you will, right into KKMC and then out that way.
The critical piece was that from the Wadi al Batin, from Hafar al Batin on west, XVIII Airborne Corps would own that road and we would own that road 24-hours a day. From that point east, we would have 16 hours that we would own the road. Eight hours would belong to VII Corps to do their movement piece into their's [assembly areas] coming out of the port and also to SUPCOM to do the sustainer piece to us coming out. We had developed another road around the southern part of KKMC and out to Log Base CHARLIE that we were trying to pushing the logistical package on. Additionally we were building a road parallel just to the south of the Tapline road that we would use then to backfill and run one-way traffic down Tapline road going to the west and then backfill everybody coming back to the east on this other dirt road.
We ... as we put it together and put the operations together, I forced my people to go down through the Battlefield Operating Systems and to plan everything in accordance with Battlefield Operating Systems. For example, fire support. We had a fire support plan that allowed us to provide your aerial (with either gunships [or] [A]C-130s [Combat Talons]) or ground (tube artillery and MLRS) all throughout the route. That plan was in effect. Air defense coverage the same thing. We had HAWK, we had Patriot, we had Stinger coverage, the whole route. It was all synched up through the Rear CP. We had engineers. And we had engineer companies and engineer teams that had the responsibility for the parts of the road. If the road went out [they] had to go fix it. We had them all lined up and ready to go. We had medical coverage the same way.
The question came after we laid out the plan--the big argument. My plan called from the beginning ... was taking the corps support groups [CSGs] and putting one on the southern route and one of the corps support groups on the northern route. Augmenting it with the engineers, augmenting it with chemical guys, augmenting it with air defenders, augmenting it with whatever. And they would be the commanders of that route. It came basically out of my studies, anyway, of how the Russians had moved into Germany. They had route commanders that owned pieces of the dirt and roads, if you will, and they said when people moved and whatever. And, you know, we're talking an average distance here of about 460 or 480 kilometers. So we needed to have command and control nodes along that route. We needed to have people in charge to talk, to tell us we've got a problem here; we've got a chemical attack here; bombs have been dropped on this part of the road; we need to fix it or whatever else it might be.
A tremendous argument with the COSCOM. COSCOM wanted the G-3 staff officers to be in charge. I wanted someone who was a commander in charge. It went back and forth. [COL] Frank Akers [the XVIII Airborne Corps G-3] sided with me very strongly as did the Chief of Staff, COL Mather, Walt Mather.52 And it was a big pissing contest. I can recall sitting in on one of our sessions that we were laying this thing on. And two O-6s from COSCOM literally hollering and screaming about "what do you mean, you want us to be in charge of this, you know, we're logisticians; we can't be in charge of this--we're not trained for this, we don't have the staff to do it--it's got to be some combat arms guy so get somebody from the G-3." I remember sitting there and saying "gee, you've got to be kidding; you guys are commanders just like--this is what you get paid for doing." The bottom line is we won out and ...
DR. WRIGHT: We used an ASG to cover the northern route and an ASG to cover the southern route?
COL HARKINS: CSG. We used [COL Eugene E.] "Sparky" Wilson, [Jr.,] out in the 46th [Support Group].
DR. WRIGHT: The 46th?
COL HARKINS: As CSG on the southern route. And then the 24th [Infantry Division's supporting] CSG, the 171st [Support Group] on the northern route. And they were sitting right there. I mean it wasn't, you know, they had to move. But what they had to understand was that there were some other assets involved. We never really got total control of the whole thing as much as we wanted to. But from a planning aspect and putting in the convoy support centers [CSCs] and putting in the maintenance and putting in the medical and putting in the ...
DR. WRIGHT: The Wolfburger53 stands and the ...
COL HARKINS: And the whole nine yards. It finally started to come together. So we ran a MAPEX down at the Rear CP. The night before I pushed everybody on full. And it was ... we ... you know, there had been a bunch of things that the SUPCOM had said that they were going to do, ie., the maintenance, ie., the fuel, ie., the Wolfburgers, ie., sleeping tents and everything like this along the route. And when we went over it and you started pinning the donkey ... the tail on who is doing these things, you got an awful lot of pointing back and forth. So we had about three meetings with, you know, [BG] Guest finally flying in and saying okay, do this, do that, do this. If BG Guest did not force people to get it done it did not get done.
But we finally went far enough along that we were down a point where we were arguing about who, you know ... they would come to me and say "okay, how much fuel do we need?" I said "I don't know how much fuel you need, I would tell you I've got 28,000 vehicles a day and they're going to travel in groups of 24 and they're going to travel for us 16 hours a day for at least three weeks; now you tell me--it's a lot, you just keep filling the crap up until ... ." And then we'll be ready. I said "you've got some guys out there that can figure that stuff out; I don't have time to worry about it--that's your job, your job is to put the fuel out."
So at this great MAPEX the first thing that we talked about is I kind of went through the classes of supply. And Battlefield Operating Systems was the way we did the MAPEX. Then we talked about how we would do command and control. It didn't take very long until COL McGarsky from the SUPCOM stood up and said "well, l don't have enough ROM54 kits so, therefore, oh, well we can't go." "What do you mean you can't go?" And so--I'm sorry, that had had happened at a meeting about two days before that. So we went out and we took ROM kits from the [1st] Cav[alry Division] and everybody else and put ROM kits on the ground. As far as I'm concerned Corps had now done its piece to solve an ARCENT problem, not a Corps problem. It was an ARCENT problem because it was not only us but it was the VII Corps and it was all the ARCENT's logistical sustainment.
But McGarsky stands up to me and says "well, I'm sorry we still can't execute this plan." It was kind of like, well, because I can't solve my problems the war is not going to go. And I remember, again, looking at BG Mather,55 and I guess BG Kerr56 was down there, and BG Scholes was there--but it was kind of one like "you've got to be shitting me! [LAUGHTER] What's your problem now?" "Well, sir, I don't have enough people." "What do you mean, you don't have enough people?" "Well, sir, I'm short people to man all these sites." "Well, how many people are you short?" "Four hundred and seventy-five." And I couldn't ... I'll never forget ... if I could have had a round, you know, where somebody would not have held me accountable I would have shot him right there on the spot. I mean here we are we're two days or three days away from going to war and we have this ... what kind of people are ... .
Once again, we got it done in about two days where you would take people out of the Corps and put them in there to back up the system. But it was just kind of that Reserve attitude of 'yeah, we did it on paper and now you're telling me that you want me to execute; I hadn't really thought about really executing it, I just planned it.' You know.
The bottom line is we moved into KKMC and I never will forget the night before the air war started, one of the O-6s from SUPCOM--it would have been the night of the 16th [of January]--said "well, I don't see any reason why this plan won't work." I said "wait a minute, you're crazier than snot, you know; I can see a thousand reasons why it won't work." The only thing that is going to keep it from, you know ... the only thing that is going to make it work is if we're awful lucky and we execute awful lucky. 'Cause there was ... I mean we had stuff coming off the ships at the same time. We had Saudi vehicles, we had Egyptians HETs, we had French HETs, we had U.S. HETs, we had stuff coming in from Czechoslovakia, we had West German crap. I mean there was just a myriad of things.
You know somebody asked the question, said "oh, shoot, oh, dear." You know, some of the vehicles have been running on JP[-4], jet fuel, others have been running on diesel. If we're going to have to have both diesel and jet fuel out there it's going to cost us X number of thousand gallons and it's going to cost X amount of time to refuel and more tankers on the road, etc. And, you know, we went back through it and tried to ask the question then back to Stateside: what's going to happen to us if we run this way, you know, we run one system or the other system? We finally agreed to accept the risk that we could only run one type of fuel on the road and everybody else would go ahead and use it. But we hadn't thought through those things. We just hadn't looked at those things.
We had very bad weather, and I talked about the one road that we were going to go south to KKMC on and then come up and dump into Log Base CHARLIE. It was going to be our logistical support. That road got washed out and the engineer were never able to get that one. So that meant more traffic into Rafha and out the Tapline than we wanted up through Hafar al Batin. We talked about, also, a road that would be the backfilling road that we had ... that, once again, it got washed out. So therefore, we had to put two-lane traffic on the Tapline. It was never our intention to do that.
DR. WRIGHT: It wound up a lot more than two lanes at times. There were five lanes going down that two lane hardball.
COL HARKINS: Yeah. But we had accidents on there that could have been prevented if we could have got that other road in. But the weather just prohibited us from doing that. But it ... my recollection was that at about 1:15 in the morning of the 17th I had a flash message in saying that many Navy Tomahawks have been launched to Baghdad.
I had permission at 3:00 that morning to then to move; to permit people to start moving to Log Base CHARLIE. We executed that. I sent out a Rear Command Post to Log Base CHARLIE. Their mission was to go there. Rick Newton headed it up; he took people from the 251st RAOC. We went in and we did the terrain management piece for Log Base CHARLIE and we divvied up the land and we ...
DR. WRIGHT: Which was a pretty substantial problem without landmarks.
COL HARKINS: That's right.
DR. WRIGHT: And with everybody trying to fight for ... get as close to the road as you can so you don't have to get all torn up going back and forth.
COL HARKINS: We did the force protection side of the house up there. We even set up the Rear CP and immediately started putting in for the whole Tapline Road the rear area protection piece. But those are all things that we had learned coming out of Dhahran. Somebody really had to go do and go do it in a very proactive way--that I'm in charge and we're going to do this piece. We then put the other ... started moving the other CP into Rafha.
So now we've got Rear CPs at Dhahran, I've got one at KKMC, and I've got one in Log Base CHARLIE; and one way back in Fort Bragg. But we're doing the doctrinal missions. The Alternate CP remains at KKMC and then BG Scholes is there with the Rear at KKMC.
Our job was to push everything out. It was very, very frustrating dealing with the truckers. The truckers and the transportators dealt on individual trucks. I sent a truck here and a truck there and a truck here and a truck there. Within about a day and a half I had lost control of where in the hell the trucks were. And Scholes and I were both under the impression that you needed to deal in units: a platoon when a section. Some leadership takes a group of trucks here and brings them back. We had a lot of people that didn't give back our trucks. So therefore, we lost control of where our trucks were and what the hell we were doing. As a matter of fact the gal that captured up in ...
DR. WRIGHT: Khafji?
COL HARKINS: ... Khafji was one of our trucks that was working for us in trying to move the Corps. They kind of drove up there to make a telephone call. That had been going on or at least part of that sensing we were losing control. It's a logistical attitude, if you will, versus the tactical attitude. Hopefully we got that changed around up there.
But we pushed out into Log Base CHARLIE, built Log Base CHARLIE. I didn't build it. I understand that we did that as a Corps. We kept the supplies flowing. I recall being up there on Day 2 and we started putting in the bags57 at Log Base CHARLIE and then watching on several nights at Log Base CHARLIE when I was up there. You know, the requirement was 400 tankers a day. Four hundred 5,000-gallon tankers a day to put fuel on the ground to try and keep up with our ... we anticipated our consumption rate would have been about 2.1 million gallons of fuel.
We had terrible weather. It rained, it was cold and it was miserable. We had sandstorms. There was an awful lot of reasons why that operation shouldn't have worked.
We moved an awful lot of equipment in a very, very short period of time. And quite frankly we were ready to go to war. Once again we moved everything up by HETs which meant that all your CULT58 assets, your common user assets, all need to be managed from Corps headquarters. Now there's a doctrinal argument going on right now that the, you know, the Movement Control Center59 (the MCC) in XVIII Airborne Corps was a part of COSCOM. They stay linked together because of the association of repair parts and transportation assets. The only trouble is that the Corps--the COSCOM commander--can be solving his logistical problems ...
DR. WRIGHT: At the expense of the tactical.
COL HARKINS: ... and more than likely, better resolution for movement control is that [it] be under the Corps headquarters and the MCC guy (John Race, LTC John Race in this case) be responsive to the Corps Commander and the Corps staff and not be working through COSCOM. And as a result, John Race had a lot of bosses to satisfy.
And, you know, I felt [that] when I spoke to Race, I spoke with the [authority of the] Deputy Commanding General. And the Corps Rear CP was in charge of the movement north and that anything and every ... every truck would be accounted for and would be accounted for through the Commanding General--Deputy Commanding General--through the Rear CP. And that was a very, very tough thing for people to understand who were used to having and always going through COSCOM. And COSCOM being able to give trucks over here, and trucks over there, and trucks over here, and trucks over here. And then taking care of the other stuff.
And I don't mean to be negative towards what COSCOM did; they had a lot of things to do. It was just a very, very difficult command and control relationship for John Race. [It was] a very, very frustrating time period. And doctrinally (more than likely), we really need to take a look at whose responsibility is it to move within the Corps. It gets the Deputy CG's ... not the COSCOM.
DR. WRIGHT: Now from your perspective you tend focus particularly heavily on problems that come up ... and need to get those solved so that we can move on and deal with the next problem. From the point of view of the folks that were doing the move, the troops that were being moved, the whole movement is one of the greatest success stories in military history. That things just were--as one who did as 780 plus kilometer run on the southern route--just flabbergasted: never ran out of fuel; never had any concern; vehicles broke down in our serial, no problem. Got MPs on them, got maintenance on them. It just seemed remarkable.
COL HARKINS: I don't mean to be negative, but I'm just saying we (from the Rear CP) were constantly asked how many gallons of fuel do I have at each one of these places? Oh, shoot, we're getting low on the fuel. Where is the fuel coming from? You know, SUPCOM, do you have fuel coming into here? Well, we won't be able to get to you 'till tomorrow. Wrong answer, moose breath, we've got to have it today.
But it took ... it took a headquarters that was really dedicated to managing that sucker. You know, BG Scholes and I would go over in finite detail, three times a day, what's our maintenance status? Do we have enough repair parts in? Have we got enough food in all these places? Or, we had a lot of rain, do we have warming tents down there for each kid? What are we doing about being able to fix taillights or windshields and stuff like that? Some of it we didn't have answers for. We just kept going back and beating for the answer. At the same time they were moving a thousand helicopters overhead out there too. Did we have the right fuel setups to get those guys out there? So I guess a testament as to how smoothly it went (at least for the guys that flew out) was that there were an awful lot of people that day-by-day were pulling their hair out and saying this sucker isn't going to work. And it worked.
We moved by air. We moved ...
DR. WRIGHT: ... well over a thousand sorties of C-130s.
COL HARKINS: Yeah, into there. We went out and we put--we didn't, [when] I say we as the Corps and COSCOM and the Rear CP--put in the C-130 strip out there. We took part of the road and did that.60 I came back in from Rafha one night and bam, there we were, we were right on the strip. By this time we put vans across there and say guys listen we've got to get some lights out, license lights, blinker lights. The next night I came back from Rafha again and there was a truck that had stuck itself into the side of our truck [so] we didn't do that. And if we take a road that is a major thoroughfare for, you know, everybody in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, you know, you take and mark that sucker and block it up.
But there was just an awful lot of phenomenally well things that were done out there. People. [COLs] Al Sullivan and Steve Garrett in building Log Base CHARLIE were just phenomenal.61 [COL] Bobby Flowers' engineers.62 You talk about the unsung heros of this operation--those engineers, you'd just see them plowing up and down the road with their bulldozers and all that stuff. There were just a tremendous amount of great things done that got everybody up on the Tapline. When we got to the Tapline, we then ... you know, at the same time my focus was getting everybody to the Tapline. Once we got to the Tapline I moved the Headquarters out to Log Base CHARLIE. And we started thinking what about the rear protection for everybody up and down the Tapline. Once again we put together a CPX. We put together rehearsals in terms of what happens if ... . And we then put together on we would sustain and how we would synchronize the movement into Iraq. If you recall TEXAS went up this way, kind of VIRGINIA went across that way, and GEORGIA ...63
DR. WRIGHT: GEORGIA.
COL HARKINS: And then the 3d ACR64 was over here [on the extreme east flank]. Now what I was ... what I was convinced was that Corps had, because once again because of the limited number of MSRs, that there really wasn't going to be any road out there that the Corps didn't have to have good control over. And that just to say that this is in the division sector and they'll do what's right for the corps is the wrong frigging answer. So I put together three teams: one to go out to TEXAS, to the corner of TEXAS and VIRGINIA; and one to go up to GEORGIA to be up at Log Base OSCAR; and the other one to go out to ROMEO, I think it was, on the offensive and be out to the right and support the 3d Cav and 24th Division when they moved out to the right-hand side. And I took part of my RAOCs and put with each one of those guys. And I took a cell--put an element out of G-3--and the intended outcome was that they were going to be Rear Command Post (Forwards) and would go into Log Bases OSCAR, ROMEO and ...
DR. WRIGHT: And Objective WHITE.65
COL HARKINS: Yeah.
DR. WRIGHT: It was really just short of there.
COL HARKINS: It was short [of] there. Go into those locations and they would do the terrain management. They would do the force protection. And they would do movement synchronization for the Corps. And, you know, that was a ...
DR. WRIGHT: The three potential screw-up points.
COL HARKINS: Where I felt we needed folks on the ground controlling them. What I saw a lot of times, you know, was branch parochial stereotype approaches to problems. I'll give you a good example. Day one [24 February], as we pushed into Iraq I went to what was going to be the ... the 82d and the French went at 4:00 on the morning. I was out that at about 8:00 in the morning to the Corps Assembly Area which was south of Iraq by about eight or ten kilometers and was going to be the place ...
DR. WRIGHT: Just short of Rafha where you started up TEXAS and we marshalled?
COL HARKINS: Yeah, on the right-hand side.
DR. WRIGHT: ... on the right-hand side as you went up.
COL HARKINS: But the intent there was to have a place where you could feed drivers and cloth drivers; you could refuel; you could do any maintenance you could. But to pull in all the Corps logistical assets, not only from Corps headquarters, but [from] the 24th and everybody else. Form up there and then take them up into Iraq, up TEXAS and across VIRGINIA as the combat situation permitted.
Well, when I got up there, the first vehicles were supposed to go that afternoon by the original plan up into Iraq. There is nobody in the Corps Assembly Area and the road is 82d Airborne Division and nobody's moving. So I got a little excited and went on down there, and I went into the Corps Assembly Area there. I said "what the hell is going on?"
The MP said "sir, I'm the MP and I'm responsible for traffic control inside of the Corps Assembly Area." "Who's in charge here?" "Sir, that's somebody else." "Well, what's your?" "I'm the commander of the 7th S&T Battalion. I'm responsible for setting up this assembly area and to help provide fuel and rations out here." "You've got nobody here." He said "that's not my job; my job is take care of them when they get here." [I said] "okay, MCC, where is everybody?" "Sir, I don't know; I'm responsible for movement from here on north." So you had everybody there in their little technical branch, once again, and there wasn't anybody there who became ... . The master controller said "holy crap, we've got a problem here."
The 82d has got the road blocked. Nobody can move, therefore, we've got a problem. So the Chief of Staff Walt Mather flew in about that time and he and I talked a little bit. And it was kind of "Bobby, get the placed unscrewed and get the 24th up here; I want them to run parallel to the 82d Airborne Division down this road." And we're talking about going through the desert. A little bit of rain but it was good enough that we could do this. So I drove back down. There was a place where a road came in from the right-hand side and a road came in from Rafha like this, and there was like a little fork right there.
And the 82d MPs had blocked the road. Under the command and control of the DISCOM Commander, COL [Boyd C.] Bryant. I went down and I said "okay, guys, here is what has got to happen--82d, the 24th Division is going to move beside you; what I want to do is cross my end of ... ." The 82d is not moving. They're stopped--period. Everybody is out cooking chow and all like this. Because the French are moving slow and it was all backed up. I'm going to break the column right here and I'll be the 24th ... thirteen kilometers down and put them in the Corps Assembly Area. Let them get refueled up and everything like that so when they're ready to go--because the 24th is now moving north. We've already kicked them off.
DR. WRIGHT: Move out this area here.
COL HARKINS: We're going to ... the DCG called me and told me to go move them. So we need to get the 24th's logistical sustainment package up front, hospitals and all this stuff. And I said, you know, as we start moving we're curve ... we'll push the 24th or the 82d on. You guys stay on the road and we'll make another road here and I'll guide them on down there and that's what we'll do. So Bryant said "no, you can't do that." I said "wait a minute; you don't seem to understand, this is the frigging Corps commander talking to you, colonel." "No, I just can't let you do that." I said "well, it's kinda not your option, you know?" [LAUGHTER] "You go get all your generals and I'll go get all my generals, and we'll stack it up, and the bottom line is he is going to go or I'm going to go on the right and you're going to go on the left." And so we went back and forth.
And I'll tell you I've never been so unhappy--disappointed--in a fellow officer as I was that day up there. As we've got soldiers going into combat and somebody is being an obstinate asshole because his division has priority for the road. "Well, your priority on the road ran out about eight hours ago; you guys haven't moved." "But that's the French fault." "I don't care; we're not holding up the frigging war because of you."
And this is the kind of pissing contest ... . Bryant is about four foot taller than I am so I said "okay, give me some MPs here; [WHISTLE]; guys, here is what we're going to do." So Bryant moves his MPs down and blocks the road and puts his MPs all around me. I mean we're ... . I'm standing there and I'm saying "I can't really believe that this is really happening; son, have you ever been to war before?" So I finally found some bigger MPs than he had. And the bigger MPs finally told the little MPs get the hell out of the goddamn way; Corps has got control of this thing. We got ... the Corps Chief of Staff has told the 82d Airborne Division to get off the goddamn road and do what the hell Harkins tells you. But we just don't want to do this. So here we got ... we're going to war and we're sitting there arguing about who is going to be first down this damn road.
I'm sure Bryant would have a different perspective, but I tell you, it was a very, very disappointing day to me. I thought it very, very narrow minded ... a very narrow minded approach by that officer and by that ...
DR. WRIGHT: But it becomes ... it become with limited assets in terms of lines of communications, I saw over and over and over again, maybe not that starkly, but you become so tunneled visioned (and that's sort of the same side or a different side of the same coin as the branch parochialism of this and that).
COL HARKINS: Yes.
DR. WRIGHT: Is one of the key things here maybe the use of combat arms officers who tend to think combined arms, at least when you get to the field grade? Are they thinking combined arms?
COL HARKINS: I think that's absolutely ... you have to look at that aspect. We've been grown up in school by looking at a broader perspective. What you're trying to do is you're trying to put together a logistical package to support a Corps commander's operations plan. Whereas as a logistician tends to look at it [as] the movement of a commodity of supplies. You've got to have that guy. He's got to be able to do that or, you know, the function of repair or something like that. But just narrow vision is different and when we were able to finally get some bigger guys there, as I said; move the 24th, get them in, get them refueled, get drivers to sleep (because everybody is laying in their daggone vehicles alongside the road). And we were then able to push a package into the 24th that really helped them win the daggone war.
DR. WRIGHT: Caught them ... caught [up with] them by making the hang down VIRGINIA.
COL HARKINS: Yes. That's right.
DR. WRIGHT: Caught them as they came by, and were in position ... .
COL HARKINS: We would have really been in a trick bag there only because we had a lot of obstinance there ... of people not using their head and not thinking about the bigger picture.
DR. WRIGHT: There again, it comes back to commander's intent. What is the Corps commander's intent? Where is the priority of ... forget who owns the road from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., where is the priority of effort in the big plan?
COL HARKINS: But I think that, you know, the piece was that there was nobody out there from the G-3 (because they were basically back at Rafha). As a matter of fact, G-3 was controlling this move, but he had nobody on the ground. I had guys on the ground. I had guys up in Iraq. I had guys telling me what the hell the roads were like ...
DR. WRIGHT: Oh, yeah, because I ran into your group. I ran into MAJ Stu Coker in ...
COL HARKINS: Yeah.
DR. WRIGHT: ... OSCAR (OSCAR or ROMEO, I forget which it was). I tripped over him when I swung into to get--to find out where somebody was in the log base that I wanted to talk to. And bang, I walk in and here is this gorgeous van. They've got the full layout sitting right on top of them; could tell you who moved: when [and] where.
COL HARKINS: Once again we stumbled into that degree of planning and that degree of organization, if you will, from what we had done back in the Rear CP in terms of how would you control a defensive move? And understanding the concept of rear is supposed to be in the rear, but the concept of the rear doing the force protection, the terrain management and the movement synchronization as units passed through the rear and the rear just pushed forward. You've got to get somebody up there. So doctrinally the missions are all sound doctrine. They work and they work well. It's just ...
DR. WRIGHT: The old technique of execution.
COL HARKINS: You don't get enough practice in terms of execution. Let me tell you, when we came out of Iraq--when we ran that operation up there--the kids I had up there, great officers--we could flat control the move. We had our finger on where they were going, what they were doing, how they were doing. The G-3 planned the movement. Well, as you said, we ended up down in VIRGINIA there but the G-3 then planned the movement bringing them back out of Iraq.
But once again, the G-3 turned to the Rear CP and said you move--you plan the movement, you're the executors of the movement off of Tapline Road back to Dhahran, and Dhahran back to the States. The Rear CP then turned around and brought everybody back into Tapline, got everybody off the Tapline, got everybody back into Dhahran and planned all of the ...
DR. WRIGHT: The moving, the load-out?
COL HARKINS: ... downsizing, the turning in of ammunition, the cleaning of vehicles, all of the stuff in the redeployment that we hadn't even thought about. We thought we had a few more days to worry about it. The war being over of course was purely fantastic.
When we did the planning, the initial assessment we wanted to make on the planning was that Dhahran and SUPCOM was not ready to get our heavy forces out there yet. We didn't have the ships; we didn't have the plane capability. They were a lot more complicated to get back down there than with the light side of the house. So what we wanted to do was bring back the 101st, bring back the 82d. And get the 82d out of the country; get the 101st out of the country. People-wise it's easier to do. It had a big impact on getting folks out of there; get equipment back. Give them a little bit of time to get the wash points and all that stuff put in and then be able to hose them down and send them on home.
DR. WRIGHT: Another factor on that, too, is that the 82d and 101st have far more pressure once they get back to be able to resume contingency status.
COL HARKINS: And the 82d, you know, we kind of wanted 'first in, first out' concept too. GEN Schwarzkopf made the decision, though, it would be the 24th to be the first ones back. And I will tell you that may have been an emotionally sound decision for him to make, but it was a very bad decision to make for the 24th Division and the 3d ACR.
We pulled them off of Tapline as we told them to do ... brought them back into Dhahran and the 24th from Dhahran right into the Port of Dammam and dumped them in the port. And it was a mess. It took us a hell of a long time to clean the pigpen up. They came off of Tapline very, very poorly. We did the same thing down in Jubayl with the 3d ACR. These guys had been fighting in trucks and tanks and crannies they had been living in for six months. The intent was to bring everybody back from Iraq and be able to clean a lot of that crap out. And clean a lot of it out, turn in a lot of it, and get things under control. We didn't do that. We just kind of turned the horse loose on the farm and said, go home. And poor Doug Starr up in ... up in Jubayl--I sent my chemical battalion down there to help clean up his vehicles. That's all we had up in Jubayl until we could get more stuff put in. Because it was rough.
DR. WRIGHT: Especially early on as the agricultural inspectors and the customs guys ... we tried to figure out what is rules.
COL HARKINS: Yeah, every day the standard would change. And every day the rules would change. And the frustration point was high because we were under a lot of stress to get some people out of country in a big hurry. And so we had some real conflicting demands. By the time that we got out of there, and VII Corps was rolling in, things were running smooth. You know, you'd hear VII Corps kind of belch about and whine a little bit about things ... and they didn't have any complaints at all. Things were running very, very smooth.
We ... we were able once again to use one of our RAOCs back in the rear to help us manage all ... . We would ask the question: okay, where are all my critical points? Obviously the port of Dammam, obviously the port of Jubayl, obviously the airfield at Dhahran, obviously the wash points. So you put teams out on each one of those: to manage each one of those; and to control each one of those; to flow through, etc. And the same thing with log[istical war] gaming. And the staging areas became a very, very big part to pick. We had to find out where all the staging areas were that might fit, because you have sterile areas to put things in.
We stayed there. We pushed as much out as we could. We stayed behind and kicked out the last part of it, and then came on back home.
We did not do a good job, relatively speaking, of cleaning out our areas off Tapline Road. Once again, it was a very, very hard thing to slow people down once everybody got oriented on going home. We had some loose ends there we had to clean up. And things left behind, and things destroyed that maybe shouldn't have been, and that kind of stuff. We pulled that stuff on out of there and get it cleaned up and turned back in right. The same thing for the Port of Dammam. And it kind of left some bad taste in your mouth. We just got very sloppy in the end, getting out.
We had some live fire ranges that we didn't close down right, and it caused us some problems. Even down to when I left on the 7th of May, we had to close those suckers out as well. Because we fired some munitions there that we shouldn't have fired. And what happens if you put cluster bombs into a training area that is not really a dead training area for the rest of its life. Now you're telling nomads that they can't go in there anymore; this is bad, they don't understand. That was a bad situation that we got ourselves into. We had some damage in some of the compounds that we had to go back through and fix up and clean up and paint up and turn over. And we put together a program to do that. And by and large did very, very well with everybody.
DR. WRIGHT: When did you ... when did you anticipate that particular problem? Did you have any warning? Or was that just as the first one started getting turned in, did you send somebody over to eyeball it and ... ?
COL HARKINS: No, we put together a thought process that said, okay, now, guys here we are. Here's the things that we did coming in. How do we do these things going out? And in many cases we got other U.S. units from VII Corps or ARCENT to sign for our compounds; got them off our books. And others we turned right back into contractors etc. We took Stu Coker and said, okay, you guys were doing the terrain management piece before. Now let's do it reverse. How do we get everybody cleaned out and cleared up.
And just did not want to leave any entrails of Corps back. My responsibility to LTG Luck--or to BG Scholes--was to make sure that the Corps came out of there in pretty good shape. And people couldn't go back and say XVIII Airborne Corps screwed this up, or we didn't do that right, etc. There are some things that didn't do right, but I will tell you that we made an honest effort to make sure that we did. Once again, all of our piece parts were covered. That we had done agricultural inspections as best we could. That we had done the custom inspection as best we could. Some people cheated on us. And some people got caught, and that's their problem. But it wasn't because we didn't do it. It was because there were some people who wanted to violate the law. You've got guys that are putting weapons to bring home into big drums of oil. I don't know how in the hell you're going to catch that, if you will, and send them back.
DR. WRIGHT: Well, getting back to Vietnam. I was just amazed at how well we did on holding down on that, given what we both came of age watching Vietnam, which was the incredible stuff guys tried to bring back from there.
COL HARKINS: And I think that you'll hear a lot of criticism of the 24th, for example, or the 3d ACR, or the initial ... what we called the 'Glory Brigade' that we brought back home. But we picked those guys up out of Jubayl--not Jubayl but Jalibah Air Base [in Iraq]--flew them into Dhahran and put them on the airplane the next morning. And we were surprised when they had ammunition and grenades. [LAUGHTER] Now we hadn't bothered to collect the crap up beforehand. "Oh, what do you have?" There were some real foot shots there that we ... some real lessons learned of let's do things right the next time.
A lot of sense of frustration in terms of trying to deal with the Navy in terms of: what ships are where; and when are you getting them here; and how do you get them here. Once again it became ... the Rear CP was the inter-actor and the voice for XVIII Airborne Corps with SUPCOM and MTMC66 and all the other forces. It was, once again, a staff that was set up and able to function, with BG Scholes as the Rear CP. We were the guys who kicked everybody out and then sent them on home.
So I think, from a historical perspective, the Rear CP was able to push people out of here. Was able to get in relatively early and do the five functions. Was able to assist in the execution planning, if you will, for the defensive operations. [We] really did the movement execution going out to the western side. I think synchronized very daggone well the movement of the sustainment packages into Iraq in the combat mode. And then was able to pick up everything and bring it back down home and then do the reforming back home.
So, I just feel, above all, lucky as the dickens that LTG Luck let me go do that mission. I think it was going to be done and done well and we have some very good people. I think it was to the point where he didn't have to worry about stuff. He knew that there was somebody back ...
[END OF SIDE TWO, TAPE ONE]
DR. WRIGHT: Okay, just to resume on the third side. You were talking about the overall series of accomplishments that Dragon Brigade did from start to finish. My question to you would be, now coming back and sitting down and looking at Dragon Brigade--you had eluded early on to trying to develop a TOE. What do you see your TOE looking like if you could have your wish?
COL HARKINS: What ... while we were in Saudi we developed a new TOE. We kind of went through and said, okay, here's the functions [that] we're doing. Here is what it looks like and here is what we've got to do. We took that to Forces Command. Forces Command said, you know, we were talking about a long ways out in terms of being able to do this TOE. Why don't you take the rear area operations TOE that we've got built for Reserve Components and see if you can use it.
Well, we then pulled our paperwork back and we looked at that and we said, yeah, okay, that solves the intelligence piece and it solved the operational piece. But the administrative and logistical piece which are there--you know, that the headquarters needs to be able to do, have to do--we don't have so we're going back in now and try to modify that one more time. I see this headquarters as being a tactical command and control headquarters for the Corps if you really want to slice it up. And he ... this headquarters ought to be here for the Corps commander. If he wants to put together anything he ought to be able to turn around to whoever is sitting here and say you command and control that organization.
DR. WRIGHT: Based on that METT-T67--modify it based on that METT-T?
COL HARKINS: And he would task organize for whatever he wanted in this thing. During the time period that we were in Saudi and in Iraq, I always had one infantry battalion on guard in Dhahran, working for me, out of the 82d or the 24th or one of the battalion. I had at least one battalion while we were down in the Dhahran area that was part of the TCF.68 It was OPCON69 to me under specific circumstances. When we went into Iraq I had one battalion from the 82d and one battalion from the 101st that were OPCON to me. If you're going to do that, if you're really going to make people believe that the tactical combat force role and the employment of their soldiers into combat is a real probability or possibility, you can't have a logistical headquarters do that. You've got to have a tactical command and control ... an infantry headquarters, if you will, that can think across the Battlefield Operating Systems, and think through the classes of supply, and think as a real combined arms team in terms of how these people are going to survive.
If I thought as a division commander for the 82d Airborne Division that, you know, the deputy assistant to the COSCOM commander was going to be the one that was going to put those boys--my boys--into battle and for say cleaning out the ammunition supply point after a terrorist attack, I would not be a real happy camper. I would be very concerned about that. And I'd more than likely over power or overlay my own command and control structure on top of that. And that's kind of what the 10th Mountain had advocated at one point in time. But I think that if you build this as a tactical command and control headquarters, an infantry brigade headquarters if you will, then you augment it from the Corps staff with those specialties in terms of the G-1 through [G]-5, I think we've got, you know, you're in very, very good shape.
DR. WRIGHT: Yeah, that also ... arrangement gives you the ability to pick up the OPCONs not only as the TCF battalions but also the chem battalion or ...
COL HARKINS: RAOCs, subordinates.
DR. WRIGHT: The ADA battalion if that's all you've got.
COL HARKINS: Like you said, if an engineer battalion came in you may have the whole engineer brigade. Or ... if, you know, a classic example in XVIII Airborne Corps: the 1st [i.e., 3d Battalion] of the 73d Armor. The 1st of the 73d Armor is the Corps commander's armor battalion. But it is a very emotional issue. It has been buried with the 82d Airborne Division and it has always been thought of as being the 82d Airborne Division's armored battalion. [INTERRUPTION] That more than likely means that if the 101st goes somewhere to war and they need a tank battalion, those two guys have never worked together. I won't say whether it is right or wrong but maybe that battalion out to belong to a headquarters like this so it can train with the 101st this month and the 82d next month if, in fact, it is the Corps Commander's asset. Now if it's not, then we ought to quit saying that and say it's the 82d's and go find something else for the 101st. Right now the 101st has got nothing if they needed a ground tank battalion.
So, you know, the capability of that headquarters--this headquarters--functioning for the Corps commander I think is a real combat multiplier. I would look for this headquarters to be the BCTP70 guys, if you will, for the Corps commander. Now the Corps staff can't maybe walk and play in every exercise. We had a paper through here in the last couple of weeks saying, you know, who wants to play in what exercise? I sent it back to G-3, and I said "wrong approach." What it should be is everybody's name in the Corps Headquarters has either got a T or an R or an M beside it. And the Tac, the Main and the Rear run various exercises. If you're going to do a BLUE FLAG exercise [that] the XVIII Airborne Corps is going to participate in it, [then] this year the Tac CP will do that. And we know who is the CinC Tac CP is--it's the Deputy G-3. He's got the responsibility to put together his Corps staff out of his Tac CP staff that's identified. They train and they go to war.
The same way with the guys sitting over here ought to have all the guys identified in the Rear CP. I would think that the Corps commander ought to hold me responsible to develop a training program and to make certain that staff is ready to go execute wartime contingency ...
DR. WRIGHT: That exercise is the staff teamwork angle?
COL HARKINS: That's right. Because what we do now is we go out and we do an exercise, we do an EDRE, and we walk away saying "oh, man, that was really great, we EDRE'd this guy out of the 82d Airborne Division." And we did that; that's good. But the Corps staff got nothing out of it because we had kind of a 'hey you' throw-together team go out as the EDRE team. But there was no Corps staff in there to define the role of the Corps.
It would seem to me that you could take this headquarters here, and even if you rotated them around, at least have the headquarters here kind of be responsible for the continuity (if you will) of the Corps staff. Or the Chief of Staff, or the DCG. Then you've got someone to turn to and hold them accountable for ... and if the Corps headquarters is not going to play in full as a headquarters, then you've got the representative of the Corps commander to go off and execute whatever he wants to execute as the Corps. And then I think then the Corps staff starts to get something back from these exercises, in addition to giving to the various divisions. If the 24th Division wants to run a division CPX, there is no reason in the world that the Corps (from this brigade) cannot put a Corps headquarters down here to be the Corps headquarters, and to do, you know, make his division report.
If we're still at the point of thinking that a division can go out and train itself, it's kind of naive. Or a battalion can go out and train themselves--you can't. You've got to have the upper echelon to force your staff to report to, and to execute. Therefore, you've got to have some players that will enforce that role as you go along. We don't do that very, very well at all.
DR. WRIGHT: In terms of what you have beyond the manpower, and what you think you need. Do you need aviation assets that you can keep a fairly tight string on?
COL HARKINS: I don't think we need the aviation assets. But I would tell you that when we went into--I mean here at Bragg--when we went into Saudi I had aviation assets. I had five helicopters most of the time that we were in the ground war. And those were used to move things within the rear area. They were also part of our lift if we had to move any part of the TCF. Is five the right number? [I] don't know. Three may be better; or two might be better. I don't know but you need to do the re-sight on it.
You need to have ... we came fast under the realization that you're not going to have tube artillery or MLRS. I understand only under extreme circumstances you're going to have it. TCF if you come further along the road. But we still need fire support and that's the reason we went to the [AC]-130s. And felt that that was a more surgical, clean ... and less collateral damage would come from the use of the C-130 gunship and therefore we trained the snot out of it. We had people flying over and we had people on the ground. Every night we were working back and forth with those guys to make sure--in Dhahran.
DR. WRIGHT: Yeah, I remember that the exercises never happened in the day.
COL HARKINS: Right. We got in trouble sometimes because we were flying in Saudi air space they didn't want us to fly in. But ... the chemical pieces needed ... this Corps for example, does not have a real identified chemical battalion that it really, really aligns to. We need that. There is a function and role out there for them. It may only be in cleaning up vehicles and sending them home, but we ought to be able to say, yeah, we're going to do that piece. If the chemical defense planning is being done by the Corps chemical cell out there is nice, but the execution of that was very, very difficult and we need to practice that a heck of a lot better.
The EOD side of the house ... I would see this brigade picking up all the EOD guys running around out there. Right now you pick up guys who don't have the slightest idea how you operate, and you're trying to give them to divisions. There's a great sensitivity that if you haven't worked with the 101st and the 82d, it's tough to come rolling in and say "hi, guys, I'm here for the war." And as you know, we had a lot of people killed from friendly munitions and ordnance after the war was over. We're hoping to work on some better solutions to some of them. As a matter of fact, my head ordinance guy (a major--I had MAJ Zeugner71) was killed in Saudi [i.e., Iraq] by rifle fire. He evidently got lost and turned left when he should have turned right, and went into an Iraqi village and got shot. And he was killed as an attachment to one of the brigades in the wilderness.
The RAOCs. There are all these RAOCs running loose throughout this country. I'm not certain what the heck the role they really serve other than maybe being some EOCs or state National Guards and stuff like that; they play a very important role there. But we've got papers floating right now trying to get control of my RAOCs, that are really the responsibility of this Corps to train and to keep proficient in what we're doing. And to overcome this responsibility ... this thought piece: if I'm doing it on paper I'm good to go. But to really push them towards the execution side of the house as war fighters. We think that there ought to be (whether or not it is a training relationship or a partnership or whatever) that somehow we ought to be able to go down and tell the Corps Commander [that] if you're doing this exercise you take this RAOC and you take that RAOC. Here, give this one to the 82d; and do this, that and the other stuff. Because right now there is just a piece in there that's missing in this little exercise that's not done well.
The other thing that I hesitate to do is to give everything down to the positions and give them the RAOC. Because I take you back to the way we found that they need to be area oriented as opposed to unit oriented. If you get them unit oriented, then it's really hard to unplug them from the 82d and put them over here, because "gee whiz, you know, what's the matter, doesn't the 82d like me now?" There is a lot of emotionalism there that you just need to ...
DR. WRIGHT: Well, even more than emotionalism there is just a sense of, okay, all my stuff goes down the road and anything that is mine goes down the road with me--without asking are they supposed to come?
COL HARKINS: And it just ... it just made a lot of sense to keep things in place and ... if I have the responsibility of starting over again every time I turned around.
So I think that, you know, the Corps Headquarters itself are in a learning process right now, and kind of figuring our what goes, equipment-wise, with Tac and the Main and the Rear. And kind of laying that stuff out, if you will, and calling ... coordinating, and somehow indicating what goes in which. As you know, we have tracks for Tac, and the expando vans,72 and we have trucks, and we have tents73 and everything like that for the Main. We're trying to sort all that--those pieces--out.
We found that the support structure within Headquarters Company to support the headquarters is not there. You know, the Commandant has five people to run: nine headquarters, three headquarters, pick your number. That's the reason when we opened up all these Rear CPs they ended up coming out of the Dragon Brigade staff and Dragon Brigade assets, if you will, to run all these Rear CPs. And it made life, you know, very dicey there as we were trying to stretch that out.
But mess teams. The Rear CP mess team was supposed to be satellited off of COSCOM or off of the MPs. And we were able to solve all the way through ... but quite frankly we ended up begging for food most of the time before the operation. You know, this is the Deputy Commanding General's Rear CP, it isn't mine; I'm just ... you know, the DCG is not real happy with saying "well, sir, I'm hopeful that, you know, maybe COSCOM will feed us this week." And the Main has got a mess section with it. The Tac doesn't have any mess section, and they should have one. The old man got very sick of eating MREs and MOREs.74 In fact he'll talk to you about that. So we needed to go back in and relook at that TOE.
We used to have an engineer element that was within the Corps headquarters. That went away. We need to go back and look at that because I will tell you that the construction and plumbing and electric and if you will, of the three headquarters, became a vital, vital thing for us. Just trying to keep generators up and trying to keep light sets going and all that stuff was a full-time job for people. We ended up ... we were trying to take some initiative and keep some engineers, and we got an agreement with the 20th Engineers for a squad of engineers to do that. Yeah, once again, a three-star general and his headquarters--when he wants something fixed he would kind of like to have it fixed. He wouldn't like for "sir, well, I'll go ask the engineers to come over and fix this thing." I mean, in our small army, a three star or a two star and a one star have all got an understanding that it will happen overnight, but I don't think so.
We had difficulties with ... with vehicles. And a lot of our trucks were moved once again by TOE changes down to COSCOM with the promise that they'll always be there. Well the trouble is that ...
DR. WRIGHT: Their promise is given to six other people.
COL HARKINS: That's right. And it wasn't for seven months. It was kind of we'll go over on a mission for you and we'll come back. And all of a sudden you say "no, they're staying here, because they belong here from now on." But there is a whole bunch of things in there that just need to be flushed out.
DR. WRIGHT: The same way with the comms to make sure that that redundancy in the comms isn't cut in the name of peacetime efficiency?
COL HARKINS: That, and not only the Alternate CP redundancy but, you know, we ended up with some brick75 radios and stuff like that that we just needed to go buy. Secure sets for Vincents76 that we don't have that we needed to go scrounge. A lot of things that we kind of said "holy cow, we don't have enough VRC radios to net down with other people." So we had to do an awful lot of chasing around to get those things done.
We were able to get contracting officers out of the Corps headquarters. That's who I requested to purchase things by. But once again, there is none of those liaison-type folks or people around, so it all came out of hide again. Which meant that somebody else was doing their job. And we started talking about an E-777 and officer. There was just not a lot of those extra guys laying around. It cost us all, not just the Rear--Dragon Brigade. It cost us all. My problem was I had three or four sets of those depending on where we were. Some in Dhahran, some in KKMC and some up in ... and everywhere you went you had to have another set of them to take care of that liaison function.
I tell you, as I said a little bit earlier, it was just a tremendous opportunity to go do something. It's a part of the Army that I've never really been real fond of--the whole rear piece. My backbone is not that way. And maybe that was good and maybe that was bad, you know, there were a lot of times that they kept saying you've got to walk in our shoes and I don't understand how you're doing it. But it really was an educational process for me and I think a lot better understanding of what goes on in a war and how war really takes place and what it really takes to fuel that whole system.
DR. WRIGHT: I think that the whole extent of this exercise [in] taking it up to the high intensity end of the spectrum, and for the extended period of time I think probably everybody learned, geez, war is a lot more complex than I ever thought it was. Where do the socks come from? Just watching--trying to get the fight over who's going to get the desert boots. A thousand and one ...
COL HARKINS: There you are in September, it's 120 degrees. And you start saying, okay, you know, it's going to get cold. Where is the stove and where is the long johns. Fortunately we were able to do some pre-planning and force some issues on that and get those things coming back over to us. If we hadn't done that we would have been dead meat.
DR. WRIGHT: Did you get involved at all in having to provide the manpower to help try to solve the mail distribution problem?
COL HARKINS: I got in an argument over it. I never really understood why they come to me and ask me to break down the mail when you've got thousands of mail folks--hundreds. Oh, by the way at Cement City on any given day you had a thousand people sitting around waiting for their equipment to come in and be picked up, or others down at Khobar Towers.78 I said to them "why don't you take those people and get them out of there?" There is nothing worse than coming in and feeling sorry for yourself and sitting around Cement City. Take them down and let them break down the mail.
DR. WRIGHT: In terms of the threats, sir. Early on the threat is ... when we're down in the Dragon City, Dhahran area, the potential of SCUD missiles or terrorist type attacks. As we get into Phase Two (the movement), what do you perceive as the prime threat?
COL HARKINS: In the Dhahran area we knew that we had those Shiite79 problems, some threats. I think that we ended up with about 260 reportable incidents around our compounds that we felt could have been terrorist or terrorist-related or something to do with things that just weren't right.
As we moved north, you know, we were under an air umbrella from the Iraqi ... should they attempt to exercise that. At all times. So we thought that we had an air problem. We knew also that while we were taking care of many of his aircraft, we weren't taking care of very many of his helicopters. And we always had constant reports about some special ops and special forces folks that he had that conducted airborne assaults or heliborne assaults, etc. And that became kind of a concern and particularly when we started looking at the Log Base CHARLIE area. It became less and less feasible as time went along.
Then you started worrying about once you went north. We started to go north ... the stay behind elements that would wander down south or just, once again, terrorist groups or local sympathizers that would come after you and try and go after the logistical piece. And particularly if you figured out that you're really out at kind of the end of the tether logistically. You know, if they blowing the fuel point up at Log Base CHARLIE or the ammo point or something like that or even the chow point, it would have been a long tough road to recovery. We would have recovered but we would have to slow down an awful lot.
Once again, when we came back down here a large concern that I had was making sure that we didn't let our guard down and then that we got hit then by some other terrorist group who was pissed off about this outcome and wanted to make a statement about coming home, of a retaliatory nature. So even up to the bitter end it was still kind of that awareness.
DR. WRIGHT: That Beirut syndrome?
COL HARKINS: Don't get caught again. And that was a tough one to fight. Everybody acted like the war is over, the soft hat is on. [LAUGHTER] Then dah, dah, dah. No, the war isn't over yet. And, you know, when we started coming out, we still had people up in Iraq and it was still kind of touch and go for a long while there. So it wasn't just one of these pack your bags and go on home.
DR. WRIGHT: In terms of your folks here in Dragon Brigade. The way you spread them all out. Was there any point at which you would sit there at night and go, geez, who do I have left? Where are they? You know, am I spread so thin over so many different locations that you felt nervous? That you were starting to come unfrazzled?
COL HARKINS: There were times when I was nervous and particularly ... we had three teams up in Iraq. We had one team at Log Base CHARLIE. I had another team back at KKMC and another one back at Dhahran. So I had six active rear headquarters going; the Main headquarters in Rafha being seven; and then one back at Bragg being eight. So we were ... we were pushing eight different headquarters at one time. And at the same time, we had a bunch of new RAOCs that came in and we were trying to train them up. And that was kind of like trying to talk to that wall there. Trying to get some of those guys in.
But it, you know, there is just a great credit to a bunch of majors that came down from Corps headquarters that had the broader vision to be able to sit down and really kind of grasp ahold of the logistical side and the combat service support side of it a heck of a lot better than I thought they would. Coming out--during that point we didn't have a hell of a lot of help from the G-4 or the G-1. Then coming out we had a lot of help from the G-4 in terms of putting the packages together to come on home.
What we tried to do coming home was get the kids on out of there and the Corps headquarters ... when they came out of Rafha came back into Dragon City, packed their bags and went home. And I told the old man, I said "I don't need you to come back and re-establish the Main CP." We're here and we're working at it right now. You guys just need to come in and get the hell out of our way. I don't need you to say well, I would have done this and I would have pushed this over here and ... we organized as best we could and we're going to execute it. An awful lot of O-6s hanging around the Corps headquarters. I didn't need a lot of help at that point in time. You know, Jim Frederick and all the boys came back and I said, hey, you're done, go on home, get out of here. [LAUGHTER] And make sure everybody is on time tomorrow morning. All the good guys go home.
DR. WRIGHT: You've alluded to the ... the experience that you had down at Benning in the doctrine development--really helping you to prepare for all this. Anything else in your service career that ... that in retrospect really was maybe a key thing in preparing you for executing this mission?
COL HARKINS: Well, I think that another piece that ... off of that. The doctrinal development, the light infantry task force, and training piece was very significant. I also spent two years in Turkey as a NATO staff officer and part of the joint requirement. And I don't know how much it helped, but I would just tell you that I worked with Navy and I worked with Air Force and I had worked with Marines and I had worked with Middle Easterners. And I had worked with Muslims. And that gave, you know, I don't think that I got as frustrated about things getting done in a hurry as ...
DR. WRIGHT: Inshalah80 didn't get you as much.
COL HARKINS: Nah. I was there those two years. Nor did I believe when they said "no problem, no problem." I knew that there was more than likely a problem. [LAUGHTER] Whenever anybody says no problem, I wouldn't take care of that. You'd better check it. So I think that really helped.
But I really believe that the biggest key to the success is LTG Luck and BG Scholes. Letting us run and letting us do our jobs, and having the faith that we're doing it right. And supporting us when we needed support. And finally just sitting back and letting us go.
DR. WRIGHT: That Corps philosophy that extended through several commanders now of power down, you know; don't tell the guy how to suck eggs. Let him go do his job.
COL HARKINS: It does. It was very refreshing. I know that, like I said, it was frustrating at times trying to get people interested in what you were trying to do because everybody was busy doing whatever they ... there was nobody sitting there and saying, let me see if I can be an obstruction to this. Nah. It's just that when you talk to somebody it was kind of "okay, there is one more thing that I've got to do and I don't really want to be doing right now because I'm trying to solve my own problems here."
You know, and they're good friends and I understand that, but the relationship that we established with Larry Brede on INTERNAL LOOK with the MPs was very, very, very, very important to us. The support out of Corps Artillery in terms of a team to go in there. I took over a team out of the 2-52 for air defense. We had our own radios. We were up on the air defense frequency. We could get ... we had seven minutes to broadcast from alert time, and we could (by and large) with telephones and radios get that out in the rear area. And you wouldn't have a hell of a lot of time to react, but you would know that something was in front of you. That came from, you know, taking along some air defenders there and putting them out there.
I think that the opportunity to have some time in Saudi to sit there and figure out what the heck we were doing was good also. We've got a good SOP now. We've got a good file of lessons learned that we're working off of. We've got a good base defense SOP. We know how to go in and protect ourselves. We've got a lot of historical information on our side that we're trying to capture right now and put into documents. I've got a young captain going to spend the next year just working those types of issues--[CPT] Dennis O'Brien. Going through all the Corps contingency plans right now and looking at the rear piece and saying how do we really do this? What do we need to have in there?
And hopefully that will then solidify that piece in there; that we've got that function taken care of. I think that we've missed the G-3. I think that we'll get some exercises now that we'll be responsible for and we'll go execute some exercises. It will be rough the first time around but we'll get through it. And I think that if we get it transferred over to the TOE unit and give the Corps commander some options, then I think that we will have done a service to the Corps. It's been fun.
DR. WRIGHT: Anything else that you can think of, sir?
COL HARKINS: Gee, I think that's about got it. I appreciate the opportunity to pass along the thoughts.
DR. WRIGHT: It was my pleasure sir.
COL HARKINS: Thank you very much.
DR. WRIGHT: Thanks a lot.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
1The shoulder sleeve insignia of XVIII Airborne Corps features a dragon's head.
2 Table of Distribution and Allowances, rather than the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) applied to permanent units.
4 1st Support Command (Corps).
5 Operation URGENT FURY (1983).
6 In Honduras in 1988.
7 Rear Area Operations Centers.
8 Reserve Components.
9 CAPSTONE is a program to identify wartime chains of command in peacetime to foster training relationships.
0 The October 1989 deployment was Operation HAWKEYE.
1 The G-1.
2 Full colonels have the pay grade O-6.
3 Explosive Ordnance Demolition.
4 Uniform Code of Military Justice disciplinary authority.
5 From the G-3 Plans Directorate.
6 Standing Operating Procedure.
7 Emergency Operations Center.
8 War Fighter is a series of command post exercises (CPXs) run for division and corps headquarters by the Battle Command Training Program (BCTP) from Fort Leavenworth.
9 Logistical Exercise, a major annual CPX conducted by the Logistics Center of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
20 Emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise.
2 By Operation DESERT SHIELD, LTG Gary E. Luck commanded XVIII Airborne Corps. His two immediate predecessors were LTG Stiner and before him LTG Foss. Both were full generals by the time of DESERT SHIELD.
22 The original terrain management office set up at Dragon City in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, by COL Cousins had a home-made sign identifying it as Century 21 (a nation-wide real estate firm). Throughout the operation that nickname stuck to the individuals tasked to carry out the function, and was used in official correspondence.
23 United States Central Command.
24 Iraq had imported and domestically manufactured variants of the Soviet SS-1C SCUD surface-to-surface missile.
25 King Khalid Military City.
26 Standardized Installation and Division Personnel System.
27 Corps Adjutant General and Commander, 18th Personnel Group.
28 Adjutant General's office.
29 US Army Central (ARCENT) Support Command (SUPCOM) later became the 22d Support Command.
30 MG (later LTG) Gus Pagonis commanded the SUPCOM and served as the Deputy Commanding General for Support for ARCENT.
3 One of the test teams penetrated at night into LTG Pagonis' sleeping quarters and woke him up in his own bed.
32 In an old Army joke, a Polish mine detector is a soldier stamping his foot on the ground to see if anything explodes.
33 CinC ('Sink') is commander in chief.
34 Command Post Exercise.
35 32d Medical Supply, Optical and Maintenance Battalion, the medical logistical element of XVIII Airborne Corps serving under the 1st Support Command's 44th Medical Brigade.
36 Aviation Intermediate Maintenance.
37 M-270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. Rockets are contained in six-round canisters called pods.
38 Ammunition Supply Point.
39 Personnel Administration Center.
40 Headquarters Company, XVIII Airborne Corps.
4 US Forces Command.
42 2d Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery.
43 Both battalions are equipped with HAWK (Homing All-the-Way-Killer) long-range missiles for area defense, they also have teams armed with the short-range Stinger missile for point defense.
44 Lieutenant colonel is pay grade O-5.
45 Directorate of Reserve Components.
46 See Field Manual (FM) 100-5, 1986 edition.
47 Combat service support.
48 COL White was the officer in charge of the Corps Tactical Command Post, just as COL Harkins had charge of the Rear CP.
49 For the first time, during DESERT SHIELD, XVIII Airborne Corps acquired M-577 tracked command post vehicles and other related mechanized equipment for its Tactical CP.
50 "Tapline Road" or MSR DODGE was the Trans-Arabian Pipeline Road.
5 Area Support Group.
52 COL Mather assumed the duties of Corps Chief of Staff on 15 December 1990, with BG Scholes becoming Deputy Commanding General.
53 Convoy drivers were fed hot dogs and hamburgers cooked at mobile fast-food trailers orchestrated by CW4 Wolf from the 22d Support Command. These facilities were very popular with the troops and bore "Wolfburger" markings.
54 Refuel On the Move.
55 Between redeployment and the time of this interview, COL Mather was promoted to brigadier general and reassigned.
56 BG R. Dennis Kerr, Assistant Division Commander (Support), 82d Airborne Division.
57 Fuel bladders.
58 Common User Logistical Transport.
59 330th Transportation Center.
60 The Forward Landing Strip (FLS) in Log Base CHARLIE was created by diverting traffic from a section of Tapline Road.
6 COL Steve Garrett was Deputy Commander, 1st Support Command; COL Julian Sullivan was Commander, 507th Support Group.
62 COL Robert B. Flowers, Commander, 20th Engineer Brigade.
63 MSR VIRGINIA ran east-west; MSRs TEXAS (on the west flank) and GEORGIA (on the east flank) ran north-south.
64 3d Armored Cavalry commanded by COL Douglas H. Starr.
65 The As Salman area, the final objective for the 6th (French) Light Armored Division.
66 Military Traffic Management Command.
67 A planning device to analyze Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops and Time available.
68 Tactical Combat Force to react to large rear battle threats.
69 Under operational control.
70 Battle Command Training Program.
71 MAJ Thomas Zeugner of the 543d Ordnance Detachment was killed by small arms fire on 27 February 1991 in the sector of the 6th (French) Light Armored Division.
72 During DESERT STORM the Main CP also received for the first time expanding shelter vans mounted on 5-ton trucks.
73 Also during DESERT SHIELD the Main CP received modular tentage. Traditionally, the Main locates in a building (called a "hard site").
74 Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs) were the standard combat ration. While trying to build a reserve stockage during the final months of DESERT SHIELD, Meals-Organizational-Ready-to-Eat (MOREs) were introduced as a temporary expedient using off-the-shelf microwave or prepackaged items.
75 Small, short-range "walkie-talkie" radios.
76 Scramblers for the short-range radios.
77 A sergeant first class is in pay grade E-7.
78 Cement City and Khobar Towers were names given to two of the major compounds in the Dhahran-Dammam area.
79 The majority of Saudi Arabians adhere to the Wahab form of Suni Islam. However, the Shia minority are concentrated in the Eastern Province, and were the group considered to be the most likely to oppose the American presence.
80 If Allah wills it.