AMC Was There — 1990-2000
The period of the 1990's in AMC's history could be best described as "When we were needed, we were there." It began with support to Operation Just Cause in early 1990 where AMC personnel performed such major actions as deploying logistics assistance personnel attached to operational units, intensive managing aviation readiness, and processing captured weapons and ammunition. This was followed by Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODS).
System Performance in Operation Desert Shield/Storm
It is important to note that AMC had developed, fielded, and sustained the "Big 5" systems, plus the high tech innovations that the Army used so successfully in this fight. Weapon system performance exceeded expectations. For the Abrams Tank, it was reported at the time that during a night move by the 3rd Armored Division, more than 300 tanks covered 200 kilometers without a single tank breaking down. The M1A1s maintained operational readiness rates over 90 percent before and during combat.
For the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, readiness rates stayed over 90 percent both before and during combat. No transmission failures were reported during combat. Crews reported the 25 mm Bushmaster cannon was more lethal than expected.
Apache attack helicopters from the 101st Aviation Brigade fired the first shots of the war. On Jan. 17, 1991, eight AH-64 Apaches fired 27 Hellfire missiles at two Iraqi early warning radar sites deep in western Iraq. The attack completely destroyed both sites, creating an air corridor used by the Air Force to begin its bombing campaign. In a single battle, the 229th Aviation Brigade's 4th Battalion destroyed 50 Iraqi tanks. Apache readiness rates exceeded Army standards throughout the operation.
The Patriot air defense missile system had been upgraded to this nation’s first operational and fielded, non-nuclear anti-ballistic missile system through a series of software and hardware upgrades just shortly before hostilities began. Patriots were fired against 47 incoming Scud missiles, intercepting 45 of them. Patriot readiness rates stayed above 95 percent throughout the deployment. An Air Force officer said, after Scud attacks on Dhahran and Riyadh during January, that "No one should underestimate the value of the Patriot system in this war... in the historical analysis and stories of this war, Patriot will be one of the key systems which influenced the outcome."
Other equipment drawing praise from Army officials included the UH-60 Blackhawk, CH-47 Chinook, and OH-58D Kiowa helicopters; the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System; and the single-channel ground and airborne radio system.
Logistical Support in Operation Desert Shield/Storm
All totaled, AMC delivered more than 900,000 tons of equipment, supplies, and ammunition to the war effort. Analysts at AMC concluded that AMC's efforts were the logistical equivalent of moving the entire city of Atlanta – all its people and everything moveable – then setting it up again in an uninhabited desert half way around the world and sustaining it for six months. Four hundred thousand tons of ammunition poured across the ocean. If the vehicles shipped to Saudi Arabia were placed end to end, they would have stretched from Washington D.C., all the way to Disney World.
Humanitarian Support in the 90s
Also during the 1990's, AMC was involved in extensive humanitarian and peacekeeping activities in such places as Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo. AMC was also there for the people in south Florida after the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.