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"We moved in distances that are kind of unheard of, really, in warfare." (Video Interview, 41:08)

   Patrick J. Garman
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Patrick Garman [2004]
War: Persian Gulf War, 1991
Branch: Army
Unit: 2nd Armor Division, 1st Cavalry Division, A Company, 4th Aviation
Service Location: Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Carson, Colorado; Fort Rucker and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Mesa, Arizona; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Saudi Arabia; Pentagon, Virginia
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
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A 1982 graduate of West Point, Patrick Garman trained to fly helicopters and got his chance at combat missions when he was deployed to the Middle East in September 1990, in the buildup to Operation Desert Storm. Garman was amazed at how quickly Coalition forces were able to move; Iraqi resistance was no match for sophisticated technology and superior firepower. The war seemed to end all too soon in Garman's view.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (60 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Flight school at Ft. Rucker; work hard/play hard lifestyle; expectation of socializing with people you worked with; stages of training; selected to go into aeroscout track, a more advanced one; to Ft. Carson, CO and on to Ft. Irwin, CA for field training, which involved flying missions. (04:17) Community of helicopters; U.S. viewing attack helicopter as a weapons platform; stationed in the U.S. in 1980s and sent over to Europe on training exercises; real threat there came from communist-backed terrorist organizations like the Red Brigade bent on attacking U.S. weapons stockpiles. (02:52) Six months after Garman takes his command, Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait; deploying to the Middle East in October 1990 for Desert Storm; training until air war started; one mission prior to air war against brigade which turned out to be a flock of sheep; going with First Cavalry Division to Desert Storm; shrinking Army is now spread thin, especially given the demands of the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (08:27)
What a typical mission involved during Desert Storm; in area near border of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, a demonstration to flush out the Iraqi Army; Iraqis lit fire trenches to camouflage their positions; infrared equipment helping to see through the smoke; vivid descriptions of the spectacular sights of battle; difficulty of telling friendly from enemy from the air; told his men not shoot unless fired upon; almost firing on several vehicles, which turned out to be their own men. (09:32) Ground war moving very quickly; operating with Syrians, who did not want them around; moving in distances unheard of in warfare; losing only one vehicle, no one killed; on third day, about to take off and attack the last of Saddam's forces left when the war is stopped; division they were about to attack then went into Basra and put down a rebellion encouraged by the U.S.; thinks we could have taken the country then; seeing chemical weapons in stores they were ordered to destroy; does not know if there were more and what happened to them. (07:50) Returning from six month deployment to see his new son; eight other babies born to his unit during that time; became test pilot, flying the new Longbow helicopter, now performing missions in Iraq; selected to command first Longbow unit; trained two battalions in Arizona; assigned to Pentagon to work with Congressional staffers; deciding to retire to be able to spend more time with his sons. (07:34)

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  October 26, 2011
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