British Military Aviation in 1990

10 May
Flight Lieutenants Julie Ann Gibson and Sally Cox become the first female
pilots to fly solo in Royal Air Force (RAF) jet aircraft. Both officers
flew Jet Provosts as part of their flying training at No.1 Flying Training
School, RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

9 August

the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraqi forces on 2 August, a request
for security assistance is issued by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to friendly
governments on 6 August. In response, the President of the United States
of America, George Bush, immediately initiated the deployment of United
States forces to Saudi Arabia (Operation Desert Shield).

The Secretary of State for Defence, announces the immanent despatch of twelve
Panavia Tornado F3 fighters and twelve SEPECAT Jaguar GR1A ground attack
aircraft to Saudi Arabia. RAF Lockheed Hercules and Lockheed Tristar aircraft
began to transport support personnel and equipment to the Saudi airfield
at Dhahran.

11 August
Following the British Government’s decision to commit British forces in
support of Saudi Arabia, Royal Air Force combat aircraft begin to deploy
to the Gulf.

11 August
Twelve Panavia Tornado F3s drawn from No.5 and No.29 Squadrons attending
an Armament Practice Camp at RAF Akrotiri are deployed to Dhahran in Saudi
Arabia. This composite deployment was subsequently designated No.5 (Composite)

11 August
Twelve SEPECAT Jaguar GR1As drawn from the Coltishall Wing (Nos. 6, 41
and 54 Squadrons RAF), with personnel from the Coltishall Wing and No.229
Operational Conversion Unit, leave the United Kingdom en route to Thumrait
in Oman, arriving at the latter on 13 August.

11 August
Two British Aerospace (BAe) VC10 tankers of No.101 Squadron are despatched
to Seeb in Oman, to support Royal Air Force detachments in the Gulf area.


A detachment of three British Aerospace (BAe) Nimrod MR2 maritime reconnaissance aircraft arrive at Seeb in Oman in order to support coalition naval forces
in the Persian Gulf.

27-29 August
The first Royal Air Force Panavia Tornado GR1 detachment is deployed from RAF
Germany to Muharraqin Bahrain. Subsequently, further Tornado GR1 detachments
were established at Tabuk on 8 October 1990 and Dharan on 3 January 1991.

7-10 October

The Royal Air Force’s SEPECAT Jaguar detachment redeploys from Thumrait in
Oman to Muharraq in Bahrain.

1 November
A Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Transport Detachment (ATD), consisting of
Lockheed Hercules drawn from the Lyneham Wing (Nos. 24, 30, 47 and 70
Squadrons RAF and No.242 Operational Conversion Unit) is established at
King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. This detachment was supplemented
from 23 December 1990 by Hercules drawn from No.40 Squadron, Royal New
Zealand Air Force.

14 December

detachment of four Handley Page Victor K2 tankers of No.55 Squadron is
deployed from RAF Marham to Muharraq in Bahrain. This detachment would
subsequently be increased to a maximum of eight aircraft during January