For the first time, the United States has supplied
details of Saudi Arabian help during the war against Iraq.
U.S. officials said the Saudi kingdom allowed the use of its ports and
bases for the U.S.-led war in Iraq in March and April. They said the Saudi
help facilitated the rapid flow of weapons and material to the front lines
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Boles detailed the Saudi help during a
briefing from Baghdad, Middle East Newsline reported. Boles, of Army Material Command's Logistics
Support Element in Iraq, said the use of Saudi ports and other bases allowed
the advancement of front-line troops toward Baghdad.
Boles said Saudi Arabia allowed the U.S. military to use three ports in
the kingdom. The general said the use of the ports ensured the rapid
off-loading of ships that transported supplies and weapons.
Brig. Gen. Jack Stulz, deputy commander of the 377th Transportation
Support Command, said the use of Saudi ports compensated for the much more
limited facilities in neighboring Kuwait. Stulz said the distance from Saudi
ports to the frontline was about 600 kilometers.
The distance from Kuwaiti ports to Iraq was 75 kilometers. Kuwait has
only one Kuwait commercial shipping port.
But the distance from Kuwaiti ports to the front lines in Iraq then
increased to 600 kilometers as U.S. troops advanced toward Baghdad. Stulz
said the continued flow of vehicles, ammunition and supplies was a major
element in the defeat of the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
The generals said the military employed the prepositioning of equipment
in the March campaign, something it did not do in the 1991 Gulf war. They
said the U.S. Army stored enough vehicles and supplies to field five
Another difference was that in the latest war against Iraq, the U.S.
military kept no more than seven days of supplies on hand. The generals said
this required the steady flow of supplies.
"We didn't build mountains," Stulz said. "We moved it and smoothed it
out much like you do in civilian business."