Kuwaiti volunteers learning how to become soldiers, January 1991

With the outbreak of the first Gulf War, the Army realized it had a shortage
of US Soldiers proficient in Arabic. The Kuwaiti government, therefore,
agreed to provide 300 volunteers to support the US military efforts in
Operation DESERT SHIELD. These volunteers, who were college students
attending school in the United States, were selected by the Kuwaiti
government and enlisted in the Kuwaiti Army. The students already spoke
fluent English as well as the Iraqi dialect of Arabic, and had an
understanding of American customs and traditions, which eased their
adjustment to serving with the American Army. They were to report to the US
Army for training, equipping, and subsequent deployment to Saudi Arabia,
where they were attached to US units, by 15 January 1991. All associated
costs, including transport to the Middle East, were covered by the Kuwaiti
government.

The Intelligence School had to find a quick training solution. The US Army
Intelligence School Devens (USAISD) created a Training Task Force to support
the training of the new Kuwaiti Soldiers as assistant voice interceptors,
processors, and reporters at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Fort Devens,
Massachusetts. The abbreviated training ran from January 7 to February 6
and was designed as an intensive Combat Intelligence Training Course (CITC).


Operation DESERT OWL, as the project was named, was designed to prepare
Kuwaiti civilians to work with US intelligence personnel and provide
linguistic support. Units supporting this CITC were the 306th MI Bn
(Devens), 3/26 Inf Bn, (Goodfellow AFB), 3d BCT Bde (Dix), 902nd MI Gp
(Dix), 344th MI Bn (Goodfellow), 704th MI Bde (Meade), and the Defense
Language Institute, Foreign Language Center (Monterey, CA). The task force
trained 287 Kuwaitis who subsequently deployed from McGuire AFB to SWA in
support of Desert Shield.

Page last updated Thu January 3rd, 2013 at 00:00