Up The Wadi Al Batin

2/6 Cavalry Helicopter Squadron Initiates Operation Desert Storm

by U.S. Army Combat Artist Frank M. Thomas (LTC)

Original 30" x 40" Acrylic/Canvas Painting
Found in Artist's Collection - On Loan to the American Legion

 Background:
    At 0030 hours (12:30 AM) Saturday, 23 February 1991, Lieutenant Colonel Terry W. Branham's 2/6 Cavalry AH-64A Apache Helicopter Squadron received the order to attack/feint, up the Wadi Al Batin. This initiated Operation Desert Storm and fooled the Iraqi army into believing the misinformation broadcast, unknowingly, by CNN News...that our main effort would be up the Wadi separating Kuwait from Iraq.

The AH-64A Apache attack helicopter can carry up to 16 laser-guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles or 76 70mm rockets. In addition, the Apache's 30mm cannon can direct 1200 rounds of armor-piercing suppressive fire by day or night. It is ideally suited for night operations.

Branham's squadron of 18 Apaches had been, early in February 1991, tasked with the mission of convincing the Iraqi forces that our main assault, in the event Operation Desert Storm started, would be up the Wadi Al Batin...north from the Saudi Arabian border.

It worked extremely well, as our helicopters penetrated deep into Iraq, destroying everything in their path with cannon and Hellfire missiles. U.S. Army Field Artillery (MLRS) Multiple Launch Rocket System rockets, firing overhead from positions near Hafir Al Batin, Saudi Arabia, struck targets ahead of the Apache choppers working their way up the Wadi. The MLRS rockets came to be known by Iraqi soldiers as "steel rain." This feint (false attack) focused Iraqi Army attention on the wrong location and facilitated our 7th Corps Armored Divisions' devastating "left hook" assault from the west, across the desert and deep into Iraqi territory. Iraq's Army (the fourth largest army in the world) surrendered in 100 hours.
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18" x 24" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$264.00                                               
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24" x 32" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$264.00
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32" x 42" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$429.00                                               
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