20 years since the start of Desert Storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

20 years since the start of Desert Storm

SAUDI ARABIA (KWWL) -- Shock and Awe.  January 17, 1991.  KWWL's Ron Steele and Joel Dickman were in the Middle East as a U.S. led alliance started its effort to kick Saddam Hussein's military out of Kuwait.

Iraq had invaded Kuwait the previous summer, which was an action then President Bush declared "would not stand."

40 days of bombing and 100 hours of ground combat.  Operation Desert Storm resulted in the deaths of some 20,000 Iraqi troops and the loss of 148 American troops.

Fighting continued through the end of February, Iraqis fleeing Kuwait on the 26th and a cease fire taking effect February 28th, just six weeks after the allied invasion started.

Ron Steele and Joel Dickman were in Eastern Saudi Arabia at the main military complex when it all started. Joel spent several years at KWWL-TV, and is now the News Director at ABC affiliate, KGTV-TV in San Diego. Their 23-days of Gulf War coverage in early 1991 from Saudi Arabia came about a little bit by accidental timing. 

In December, 1990, KWWL-TV had sent the two reporters to cover the Waterloo-based U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Unit, Delta Battery, at Camp LeJeune. Camp LeJeune is home to the United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Delta Battery trained there, just prior to deployment. The KWWL-TV reporters were scheduled to leave with Delta Battery, but those plans had to be changed at the last minute,. Instead, Joel and Ron had to take a commercial flight to Saudi Arabia, and ended up covering the days leading up to the January 15th deadline for Iraqi forces to leave Kuwait and the start of Desert Storm.

Watch the kwwl.com web extra video.

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