Troops Near Probable War Zone Prior to Deployments

A look at U.S. military assets already in the region, before deployment orders began to be issued:

- About 25,000 U.S. military personnel are at sea or on land in the Gulf region. That is roughly 6,000 more than usual because two aircraft carrier groups are in the region.

- The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier battle group is in the Gulf. It has 75 warplanes and 10-12 ships, including destroyers, cruisers and attack submarines capable of launching long-range Tomahawk cruise missiles. It has 6,000 or more troops.

- The USS Enterprise aircraft carrier group is in the Arabian Sea, south of the Persian Gulf. It had been due to return home after being relieved earlier this month by the Vinson, but instead was ordered to remain indefinitely. Its makeup is similar to the Vinson's.

- A contingent of about 2,100 Marines also is in the Gulf, connected to one of those two carrier groups.

- About 100 fighter-bomber combat aircraft are stationed at bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Turkey to patrol the no-fly zones over Iraq.

- Caches of heavy military equipment, including water, fuel and weapons, are pre-positioned to supply Army troops if they are deployed, one on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, one in Qatar and one in Kuwait.

Breakdown by location:


- One aircraft carrier group, the USS Carl Vinson, is in the Gulf.

- A second aircraft carrier group, the USS Enterprise, is in the Arabian Sea to the south.

BAHRAIN: Home of the Navy's 5th Fleet, which controls the carriers while they are on six-month deployments in the Gulf. U.S. warplanes also use an isolated air base south of the capital; cargo planes fly from another airstrip.

KUWAIT: U.S. warplanes, based at al Jaber air base, patrol the southern no-fly zone over Iraq. About 1,000 Army personnel help train Kuwait's military. Patriot batteries can shoot down missiles or aircraft. Supplies to equip an Army brigade.

SAUDI ARABIA: U.S. warplanes, out of Prince Sultan Air Base in the desert south of Riyadh, patrol the southern no-fly zone over Iraq. Other U.S. military personnel at a base near Riyadh oversee force protection in the region and train the Saudi military.

TURKEY: U.S. warplanes, based at Incirlik air base, patrol the northern no-fly zone over Iraq.

OMAN: U.S. cargo planes.

QATAR: Supplies to equip an Army brigade.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Airborne refueling tankers for planes that patrol Iraq.

DIEGO GARCIA: Supplies to equip an Army brigade. Probable base for B-52 bombers ordered to the region.

Source: AP