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An F-15C from Bitburg AB, Germany, two F-15Es from Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C., and F-16A from the New York Air Guard 174th Fighter Wing at Syracuse, and an F-16A and the South Carolina Air Guard’s 169th FW fly over the Kuwaiti oil fields that Saddam’s forces set on fire before leaving Kuwait.​

​Operation Desert Storm began on Jan. 17, 1991, initiating 25 years of continuous combat operations for the United States Air Force. Some 2,000 US aircraft participated in the operation, which lasted just 42 days. Air Force Magazine is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the momentous air campaign with 25 pictures from Desert Storm. (Photos courtesy of the Air Force.)​


DF-ST-92-08350

F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter aircraft from the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing are lined up on the flight line with canopies raised following their return from Saudi Arabia where they took part in Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-07776

An air-to-air view of two US Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft from the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., and a Royal Saudi Air Force F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft during a mission in support of Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft are armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.


DF-ST-92-07774

An air-to-air view of two US Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft from the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Eglin AFB, Fla., and a Royal Saudi Air Force F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft during a mission in support of Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft are armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.


DD-ST-92-07789

SMSgt. James Miles of the 4409th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Branch, Myrtle Beach, S.C., examines the tail section of a Scud missile shot down in the desert by an MIM-104 Patriot tactical air defense missile during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-10055

Airmen rush to a bunker as part of an air raid drill during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-07984 ​​​

An aerial view of an allied military encampment during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-07687

F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Shaw AFB, S.C., are refueled by KC-135 Stratotankers during the second day of Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-07675

Munitions specialists from the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, La., load an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-surface missile onto an A-10A Thunderbolt II prior to a sortie in support of Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-04976

An F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron banks to the right following refueling during Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft is armed with four AIM-7 Sparrow missiles on the fuselage, an AIM-9 Sidewinder missile on the left wing, and an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile on the right wing.


DA-ST-92-07910 ​​​

A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft loaded with soldiers from the Army's 101st Airborne Division takes off during Operation Desert Storm. Behind the highway barricade is an M-1038 high-mobility, multi-purpose wheeled vehicle.


DF-ST-92-07978

An F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing refuels from a KC-135 Stratotanker as another F-16 waits in formation during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-93-05382

An Air Force intelligence officer with the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing uses the Images-Many-On-Many (IMOMS) computer to assess radar threats prior to an intelligence briefing during Operation Desert Storm.


DN-ST-91-10370

Iraqi anti-personnel mines line a beach area prior to being cleared away by members of a multinational explosive ordnance disposal team in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-10058

Air Force ground crew move a weapons skid after securing an external fuel tank to an F-15C Eagle during Operation Desert Storm.


DN-ST-93-03775 ​​

A close-up view of M-117 750-pound bombs loaded onto the pylon of a B-52G Stratofortress aircraft prior to a bombing mission against Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-07750

Air Force Sgt. Victor Haskins, from the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing, mans a Mark 19 40mm automatic grenade launcher as he and SrA. Thomas Anderson guard a flightline during Operation Desert Storm. A 401st TFW F-16C Fighting Falcon taxis on the runway in the background.


DF-ST-92-07731

An F-111F fighter from the 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, takes off for a mission in support of Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft is armed with laser-guided bombs.


DF-ST-92-07660

An A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft takes part in a mission during Operation Desert Storm. The aircraft is armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, AGM-65 Maverick missiles, and Mark 82 500-pound bombs.


DN-ST-92-08064

Air Force SMSgt. Pat Nugent photographs crew members signing their C-130 Hercules after arriving at Kuwait City following the retreat of Iraqi forces during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-08357  

A TR-1 reconnaissance aircraft takes off during Operation Desert Storm.​


DF-ST-92-07784

A KC-135E Stratotanker aircraft takes off on a mission in support of Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-08015

An ordnance trailer is parked in front of two US Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Torrejon AB, Spain. The F-16C aircraft are armed with bombs and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles as they are prepared for a mission during Operation Desert Storm. At right are three coalition F-1C Mirage fighter aircraft.


DF-ST-92-07977

An F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing prepares to takeoff on a mission during Operation Desert Storm.


DF-ST-92-09324  

The Emir of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa Bin Sulman Al-Khalifa, presents the Bahrain Medal to US Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Horner, the commanding general of US Central Air Force. General Horner was visiting the emir at his private residence in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm.​