• 1965 - Operation Arc Light

    The first B-52 Arc Light bombing mission was carried out on 18 June 1965. On this mission, 27 B-52F bombers of the 7th and 320th Bombardment Wings based at Guam were used to attack a Viet Cong jungle redoubt with conventional 750-pound and 1,000-pound bombs.

  • 1965 - Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder was a frequently interrupted bombing campaign that began on 24 February 1965 and lasted until the end of October 1968. During this period U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft engaged in a bombing campaign designed to force Ho Chi Minh to abandon his ambition to take over South

  • 1972 - Operation Linebacker I

     The aerial interdiction campaign against North Vietnam which began on 6 April 1972 with attacks in the southern part of the country expanded rapidly. On 16 April, B-52s, escorted by fighter and aircraft specializing in electronic countermeasures and suppression of surface-to-air missiles, bombed

  • 1972 - Operation Linebacker II

    Operation Linebacker II operations were initiated on 18 December 1972 and were directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to continue until further notice. The primary objective of the bombing operation would be to force the North Vietnamese government to enter into purposeful negotiations

  • 1975 - Operation Babylift and Frequent Wind

    Although U.S. combat troops departed South Vietnam in 1973, the war between North and South Vietnam did not end that year, and the U.S. government continued to provide military aid to South Vietnam. Several thousand U.S. citizens remained in the country at the Defense Attaché Office at Tan Son Nhut

  • 1975 - The Mayaguez Incident

    The Mayaguez incident took place in the Gulf of Thailand in May 1975. It began when Cambodian gunboats stopped and boarded the American cargo ship SS Mayaguez on 12 May, one month after the end of the Vietnam War. The Cambodians took the crew prisoner and moved the ship toward Koh Tang Island off

  • 1980 - Operation Eagle Claw

    On Nov. 4, 1979, 3,000 militant Iranian students climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, overthrew the security guards, and took 66 U.S. hostages. By the eighth day of the crisis, the Pentagon had stood up the Joint Operational Planning Cell to begin mitigation and rescue plans.

  • 1983 - Operation Urgent Fury

    In October 1983, the attention of the United States was drawn to the Caribbean island of Grenada, where a military coup had just occurred. At the time, hundreds of U.S. citizens attended medical school on the island and President Ronald W. Reagan was concerned for their safety. After an official

  • 1986 - Operation El Dorado Canyon

    Operation EL DORADO CANYON was a long range strike at "terrorist centers" in Libya developed by planners at the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) in England. The operation started on April 14, 1986, when 24 U.S. Air Force F-111s departed Royal Air Force (RAF) Base Lakenheath along with five EF-111s

  • 1991 - Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm

    Coalition aircraft set forth on the largest air campaign since World War II on 17 January 1991. By the end of the day, Iraq was well on the way to defeat, in no small part due to the strategic air campaign. Over time, the attacks drove Saddam and his leadership underground, reducing its control over