Current U.S. and Allied Forces in the Gulf (late May 2019)

USS Abraham Lincoln, May 19, 2019

Since 1990, the U.S. has always maintained a presence in and around the Persian/Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The UK also traditionally has a presence in the Gulf. Exactly what is there now?

In Iraq: 6,700+ U.S. and allied troops and supporting civilians

  1. Around 5,000 U.S. troops, primarily involved in training.
    1. As of 2017 the Pentagon has stopped providing the number of troops that are being deployed in Iraq citing security concerns.
    2. There are also probably U.S. civilians
  2. UK has 400 UK troops in non-combat roles and 1,000 civilians
    “supporting counter-daesh operations.”
  3. Germany has 160 soldiers
  4. Netherlands had 169 military and civilian staff
  5. Australia withdrew in 2018.


  1. 10,000 troops in Kuwait (under CENTCOM?)


  1. UK has a Type 23 frigate based there
  2. UK has four minesweepers based there.
  3. UK has a floating base.


  1. Some British troops
  2. In March 2019, they performed a joint exercise with the Omani armed forces that included 5,500 British troops.

The Fifth Fleet:

  1. According to the USNI Fleet Tracker , they currently have 21 ships.
    1. This includes the USS Abraham Lincoln and the Kearserge (see below).
  2. 10,000 troops in Qatar (command assumed to be Fifth Fleet)
  3. 1,000+ Marines aboard the Kearsarge
  4. There are probably a number of submarines in the area.

Sending to the Gulf as of new reports of 10 May and after:

  1. Carrier Strike Group 12
    1. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)
      1. 65-70 aircraft (Carrier Air Wing 7)
    2. USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55)
    3. Destroyer Squadron 2 with:
      1. USS Bainbridge (DDG-96)
      2. USS Mason (DDG-87)
      3. USS Nitze (DDG-94)
    4. sometimes submarines
    5. support vessels
    6. Passed through the Suez Canal on May 9.
      1. operating of the coast of Oman 16 May
  2. Amphibious Squadron 6
    1. USS Kearsarge (LHD-3)
    2. 22nd MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit)
      1. A battalion+ of Marines
    3. USS Arlington (LPD-24)
    4. USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43)
    5. Off the coast of UAE near entrance to Gulf on 16 May
  3.  One squadron of B-52s
    1. At Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar
      1. Pictures of them landing on May 9
    2. Others elsewhere in “southwest asia” (Al Dhafra Air Base in UAE?)
    3. Maybe 12-24 aircraft
    4. Aircraft from the 20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
  4. One Patriot Missile Battalion
    1. Originally a Patriot battery in the reports of 10 May.
    2. Appears to include forces that were already in the Gulf who extended their deployment.
    3. Maybe 16 launchers of 4 missiles
  5. Two U.S. destroyers entered the Persian Gulf on May 16
    1. USS McFaul (DDG-74)
    2. USS Gonzalez (DDG-66)
  6. Added to the deployed on 24 May
    1. One fighter squadron
    2. Reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft
    3. around 900 troops while another 600 are retained in the Gulf.

This listing was quickly cobbled together from open sources. It should not be quoted without verification.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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