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MARINE GULF WAR COMMANDER CREDITS QUALITY OF PERSONNEL, TRAINING FOR DESERT VICTORY

 MARINE GULF WAR COMMANDER CREDITS QUALITY OF PERSONNEL,
 TRAINING FOR DESERT VICTORY
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Successful Marine assaults in Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf War were the results of "three things: training, training, training," according to Lt. Gen. Walter E. Boomer, commander of all U.S. Marine forces in the desert.
 Speaking during the final day of the three-day mid-winter conference here of the Reserve Officers Association, Boomer said that upon arrival in Saudi Arabia the Marines trained "seven days a week around the clock."
 He noted that the Marine forces had built exact models of the two bands of Iraqi-made minefields inside of Kuwait: "In fact we made them worse than they really were. Our troops went up against these barriers and we talked them through and walked them through until finally when the day came they sliced through them pretty quickly. That's one reason why."
 Conversely, he added, it did not appear that the Iraqi forces were doing any training at all. "They would dig in a tank and let it sit there," he said. "They would fire several hundred rounds at us, but I don't think any ever hit anything."
 Boomer commented that at least six plans were devised for the Marine assault and credited higher authority for letting him conduct the Marine plan "without any micromanagement."
 He praised the Marine service men and women for the successful conduct of the war. "They were smart and tough," he said, "and handled both the culture and climate well ... They performed as advertised."
 Boomer called the service of activated reservists, 13,000 of whom were deployed in the Gulf, as a "great success story. They had the same training, went to the same schools as the active duty Marines, had the same equipment, conducted the same exercises, and were bright and highly motivated. What little they might have lacked in training they made up in quickness and motivation."
 -0- 1/22/92
 /CONTACT: Herbert M. Hart of the Reserve Officers Association, 202-483-3000, ext. 3834 or 4815/ CO: Reserve Officers Association of the United States ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MK -- DC028 -- 2435 01/22/92 15:33 EST
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Date:Jan 22, 1992
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