The Gulf War began with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990 and ended with the Liberation of Kuwait by Coalition forces led by United States Central Command and General Norman Schwarzkopf. The war officially concluded with the signing of the armistice on 11 April 1991. Initially tasked with defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression, Schwarzkopf’s command eventually grew to an international force of over 750,000 troops. After diplomatic relations broke down, he planned and led Operation Desert Storm—an extended air campaign followed by a highly successful 100-hour ground offensive—which destroyed the Iraqi Army and liberated Kuwait in early 1991. Highly regarded for these exploits, General Schwarzkopf became a national hero and was presented with many military honors for what historians termed one of the most successful campaigns in U.S. military history.
Dedication festivities for the Gulf War Memorial at Hillsborough County’s Veterans Memorial Park and Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. Veterans Museum in Tampa were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 27, 2016. The memorial honors both Operation Desert Shield, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, and the ensuing Operation Desert Storm, in which American troops became part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq, which ended Feb. 28, 1991. The special guest at the Gulf War Memorial Dedication was Brenda Schwarzkopf, wife of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., commander of coalition forces during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The general died Dec. 27, 2012.