~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~
1990 ~ Battalion Time Line
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89th MP
Last Updated   19 March 2012
720th MP
At the start of the year Battalion HQ Detachment and its letter companies were headquartered subordinate to the 89th MP Brigade, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas.
6 January - Panama The 401st MP Company stood down from Operation JUST CAUSE and redeployed to Fort Hood, Texas. The soldiers of the 401st MP Company received three Purple Heart Medals (one posthumously), two Bronze Star Medals, several Army Commendation Medals and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. For its overall actions, the company was later presented the Valorous Unit Award.

Exact date unknown - Panama The 410th MP Company was deployed to Panama in support of Operation PROMOTE LIBERTY. With the Panamanians moving quickly to rebuild their constitutional government and civil law enforcement US Army MP units were still essential.

        Their mission was to assist with the stability of the country pending the screening, training and fielding of the newly established "Policia Tecnica Judicial (PTJ)," and personnel of the old Panamanian Defense Forces newly formed FPP/PNP. The PNP became the uniformed police agency responsible for daily law enforcement functions such as maintenance of order, community patrol, movement of traffic, and initial response to crimes.

Exact date unknown - Fort Hood  LTC Kenneth Wood passed command of the Battalion to LTC Stephen J. Curry.
Photograph and Background Information Needed
LTC Wood
LTC Curry (BG Ret.)
2 August - Iraq Iraqi forces invade the neighboring state of Kuwait, taking the emirate in one day. Before the week was out Saddam Hussein announced he has annexed Kuwait and declared it a 19th provence of Iraq. President George H. W. Bush believed that Iraq intended to invade Saudi Arabia and take control of the region's oil supplies causing further destabilization in the Gulf region. He began organizing a multinational coalition to seek Kuwait's freedom and restoration of its legitimate government.

   On 2 August I and about twenty other MPs were assigned to the 410th in Panama. About the middle of July, the 410th conducted a selection board in Panama to pick a platoon of MPs to deploy to Germany on 1 August, and conduct a swap with the German Fieldyegers. LT Mark Lewis was chosen to lead the platoon and SGT Pappy Williams was selected as my squad leader. LT Lewis and his platoon of men were sent back early to prep for their upcoming deployment to Germany. In the air we were told about the invasion of Kuwait. We did not know what to expect when we hit the ground back at Hood. When we arrived, CSM Travis met us and told us the balloon had gone up, a favorite term from the cold war days. CSM Travis informed us that our Germany plans were canceled and we were going to be reassigned to the 411th and 401st to back-fill vacancies. The night was filled with prep, new uniforms, ammo and then in the dawn of the day, SGT M. Williams informed me that he and I were reassigned to the 411th along with LT Lewis and several others. We became known as the 410th’s lost Platoon. There was also a number of 411th soldiers that replaced us in Panama that were absorbed by the 410th for the remainder of their six month tour. SPC Chad A. Mallach, 410th & 411th MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade.

   President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker eventually assembled a coalition of forces to join it in opposing Iraq. The coalition consisted of forces from 34 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States itself. US troops represented 74% of 660,000 troops in the theater of war.

6 August The United States pressed the United Nations for action against Iraq. The United Nations Security Council demanded an "immediate and unconditional" withdrawal of Iraqi troops and ordered a trade boycott.

8 August President Bush ordered a call up of 2000,000 U.S. troops to be sent to protect Saudi Arabia at the Saudis' request, and preparation for the defense of Saudi Arabia under “Operation Desert Shield” begins.

   Iraq closes its borders. The Arab League met in Cairo and voted by a narrow margin to send Egyptian, Syrian and Moroccan troops to join the US lead coalition forces in Kuwait.

   Iran and Iraq reopened diplomatic relations after Iraq proposed peace talks. In hopes of preventing a coalition offensive action, Saddam Hussein announced the nationals of "hostile countries" still in Kuwait would be held as "guests" at strategic sites in Kuwait.

25 August The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of force to make the trade boycott against Iraq work.

   Western collation troops in the Gulf number 200,000 US troops, 15,000 United Kingdom troops and 11,000 French troops. President Bush called for an increase in the number of US troops to prepare for a possible offensive action against the Iraqi forces in Kuwait.

Exact date unknown - Fort Hood The Battalion, HQ Detachment received orders from the 89th MP Brigade to prepare to deploy to Saudi Arabia. The 411th MP Company was rated mission ready with one exception, they were equipped for duty in Germany and had to exchange their winter gear and equipment for desert gear and equipment. The 401st was also called upon to prepare to deploy.

Exact date unknown - Beaumont, TX The Battalion drove their vehicles and equipment to the port of Beaumont, for loading and transport to Saudi Arabia, and were bussed back to Fort Hood where they remained for approximate three weeks awaiting further movement orders.

Editors Note: The 89th MP Brigade was headquartered in the capital city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and all non-unit-specific (divisional-brigade) MP units were subordinate to it. There were also several MP Detachments and National Guard MP Companies that were subordinate to the Brigade and fell under the umbrella of the 720th MP Battalion. Many of these units have yet to be identified.

14 October - Fort Hood HQ Detachment, the 401st and 411th MP Companies boarded contracted commercial flights of Hawaiian Airlines DC 10’s and departed from Robert Grey Army Airfield, Fort Hood. Refueling stops along the way were made at Bangor, Maine, and Rome, Italy.

Boots On The Ground, Saudi Arabia

15 October - Dammam, Saudi Arabia The Battalion landed at Dammam, Saudi Arabia (east coast), and deployed as part of Operation Desert Shield.

   At the time of deployment the 411th MP Company fielded 143 personnel, 44 HMMVW’s, three or four of them were the 998 basic, the remaining were the1025 Turtle Back’s with turret and hatch, several being the 1026’s (with winch). They traded some of their M60 machine-guns for MARK-19’s (grenade launchers). They also had nine prime movers, two were deuce-and-a-half’s and seven were 5-ton trucks. Every vehicle had a trailer.

Saudi Arabia - King Abdul Aziz Port HQ Detachment remained at Dammam, and would later move to Riyahd, Long Base Alpha and Hafr-al-Batin. The 401st and 411th, were transported to King Abdul Aziz Port, the principal port of Saudi Arabia, located mid-way along the Eastern coast. The King Abdul Aziz Port is the main gateway to the the Eastern and Central Provinces of the Kingdom. The Battalion elements stayed in makeshift shelters approximately five days, awaiting their vehicles and equipment to arrive by ship.

Saudi Arabia - Griffin Base After becoming operational the 401st and 411th convoyed from Dammam to an area just outside Dammam, and stayed in a large converted grain yard (Barley Place) where they set up temporary makeshift shelters. This area would later be named Griffin Base. SSG Ralph E. Jeffries of the 411th noted that every time the wind picked up the air was filled with grain husks and it looked like a snow storm, they got into everything. The companies were assigned to port security and convoy escorts duties.

Barley Place

        The port security detachment received orders on the number and size of allied units arriving from the port master. They then contacted Griffin Base for the number of MP escorts needed. The convoys ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the King Abdul Aziz Port on Main Supply Route (MSR) Dodge, north to Hafr-al-Batin, and west across Saudi Arabia just south of the Iraqi border. The convoys of personnel, materials and vehicles were destined for the various coalition staging areas in the desert along MSR Dodge. The MSR was also known as Pipeline Road because it was build to service an oil pipeline that ran the entire width of Saudi Arabia from its eastern port to the countries of Jordan, Egypt and Sirya. Convoys were also run southwest to King Khalid Military City (KKMC) and the capital city of Riyahd, coalition headquarters.

        The supply convoys (ammunition, fuel, equipment, etc.) averaged from 25-50 vehicles. The troop convoys transporting the arriving units averaged 50-75 vehicles. The number of MP escort teams, each consisting of three MP's and one HMMWV armed with a mounted M60 Machine gun, were assigned depending on the size of each convoy. Each convoy escort detail was supervised by the platoon leader or platoon sergeant. The 401st and 411th stayed at Griffin Base for approximately thirty days.


8 November President George H. W. Bush obtained a Security Council resolution setting a noon, 15 January 1991 deadline for Iraqi forces to withdraw unconditionally from Kuwait, then continued his diplomatic efforts to avoid a military conflict.

Exact date unknown - Saudi Arabia - Log Base Alpha Just before Thanksgiving day the 401st and 411th moved from Griffin Base to a main coalition staging area called Log Base Alpha, (the LOG stood for logistics) located on MSR Dodge, the Dhahran Pipeline Road. The companies set up their encampment in front of the existing base. Army engineers bulldozed a 6-7 foot high berm with fighting positions for a perimeter. Their tents and vehicles were used as shelters.

Log Base Alpha

   Both companies were assigned to Main Supply Route (MSR) security, convoy escort and radio relay duties along the desolate two lane highway. They were also prepared for Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) processing and detainment but since the ground war had yet to start they had no customers. Although the terrain was flat, their radio s were not capable of transmitting between the great distances between their patrol assignments and headquarters, with the Battalion HQ north of King Khalid Military City (KKMC) and the 89th Brigade Headquarters at Riyahd, the MP’s were required to position their vehicles so they could relay radio messages.

   Although they were stationed in a desert environment there was a problem with rain. It didn’t rain often, but when it did it came down in buckets. When it washed out the drainage culverts beneath the MSR the vehicles attempted to drive off the highway and circumvent the washouts. Since there were no highway shoulders to speak of the vehicles would quickly become mired in the rain produced quick sand.

   The 411th was responsible for the western half of the MRS and the 410th for the eastern half. Each platoon was split into squads and each area of operation (AO) overlapped. Each sector assigned was approximately fifty miles long. Their other assignments were force security, and traffic accident investigation, the latter keeping them very busy. With the heavy volume of convoy traffic, minimal quality road conditions and unfamiliar weather patterns, traffic crashes were numerous.

    Within weeks the Battalion HQ Detachment would be positioned north of King Khalid Military City (KKMC) at Hafar-al_Batin just south west of the Kuwait-Saudi border.

22 November - Saudi Arabia - Riyadh On Thanksgiving Day Battalion elements (units yet to be identified) were sent to Riyadh on a security assignment to guard President Bush during his visit to meet with the troops and General Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of coalition forces.

Miscellaneous Photographs
 SSG Phillip R. Gomez, 411th, at Log Base Alpha.
 SSG Phillip R. Gomez, 411th, at Log Base Alpha, Christmas.
 PVT Keith C. Kimkowski and PFC Michael S. Hewitt, 411th at Log Base Alpha.
 SSG Gomez, SGT William E. Allen, SPC's Mallach, Truitt, and Redington at Log Base Alpha.
 PFC Brent E. Hensley, 411th, on shit burning detail.
 Unidentified "Cook"from the 411th at Log Base Alpha.