The Year of '91

The years aircraft: The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

January 24 – Iraqi ground fire shoots down another RAF Tornado, over Basrah, Iraq. Flying an F-15C Eagle, Royal Saudi Air Force Captain Ayedh al-Shamrani, using AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, shoots down two Iraqi Air Force Mirage F1 jets as they approach British Royal Navy ships in the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy aircraft attack Iraqi Navy ships; A-6Es sink a Zhuk-class patrol boat and Spasilac-class minelayer and cause a minesweeper taking evasive action to strike an Iraqi mine and sink, and a force of A-6Es and F/A-18 Hornets hit four ships in an attack on Umm Qasr naval base. U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell announces that during the first week of air attacks on Iraq, Coalition air forces have flown more than 10,000 sorties, knocked out 61 of Iraq's 66 airfields, and shot down 19 Iraqi aircraft in air-to-air-combat, losing 16 of their own number – all to ground fire.