Statement By Major General Jay M. Garner
Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff
for Operations and Plans, Force Development
before the Subcommittee on Legislative and National Security
Committee on Government Operations
House of Representatives
Second Session, 102nd Congress


7 April 1992



Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I am Major General Jay Garner, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans for Force Development. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the performance of the PATRIOT during the Gulf War. With me are Brigadier General Robert Drolet, Program Executive Officer for Air Defense; Colonel Jim Gustine, Program Manager for the PATRIOT system; Colonel David Heebner, Commander of the US PATRIOT Forces in Israel during the war; Colonel Skip Garrett, Commander of the PATRIOT Forces in Saudi Arabia during the war; Chief Warrant Officer Stewart and Staff Sergeant Lopez who operated the system during the war. Our remarks will be unclassified, but we are prepared to provide classified information should you desire to go into a closed hearing.

The Army is here today to tell you the PATRIOT Story - - a terrific success story, tactically, psychologically, and politically. It is a story of emergency deployments, of soldiers and their equipment, and of a tremendous response by government and industry to an unknown threat. It is a story of a weapon system and soldiers that together provided a critical psychological advantage to our forces and our allies. It is a story of a patriotic and responsive industrial base working day and night to serve our nation and protect our soldiers. Together we helped maintain the solidarity of the Multinational Coalition, and defend United States and Allied forces and civilian populations in the theater of operations.

I am convinced that the best way to understand the complexities of this story is to review it in a chronology of phases and to examine the changing

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conditions that existed in each phase. These phases are: Pre-Desert Shield, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Post-War and our current situation today. It is instructive to note that often within these phases the conditions of mission, threat, system capabilities, leadership statements, and data collection system fluctuated. In fact, the one constant throughout this story is the professionalism, pride and superb performance of the American soldier and their counterparts in the industrial base. This is a red, white and blue story, it is an American story; let me broaden the canvas.


PATRIOT was developed in the 1970's and fielded in 1983. Before August 1990, the primary mission of the PATRIOT weapon system was to engage air breathing targets -- airplanes. It was, in fact known as the best anti-aircraft system in the world... it still is.

The Army also recognized that the future threat of the 1990's would include tactical ballistic missiles. Despite criticism to the contrary, our leadership at that time directed the PATRIOT system be modified to provide some capability against Warsaw Pact missiles within range limits of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. We began to modify PATRIOT, first to give it a self defense capability against certain categories of Warsaw Pact tactical missiles - a modification we called PAC-1, which we fielded in 1988. Our work also included a second improvement-called PAC-2, a modification to the missile itself, which would further enhance the PATRIOT's ability to engage and defeat tactical ballistic missiles. These modifications gave PATRIOT batteries the ability to protect a well defined - rather small area on the ground near the PATRIOT battery. The point is, that the PATRIOT, modified with PAC-2, was never designed or intended to defend large metropolitan areas.

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On August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Army had installed the PAC-1 modifications in its PATRIOT units and had begun testing the PAC-2 missile modifications, but had not yet started to build them. Delivery of the PAC-2 missile was scheduled to begin six months later - in early 1991.


As Desert Shield began, it was anticipated from the outset that based upon the recent Iran/Iraq "War of the Cities" and Iraqi statements, Iraq would not hesitate to use tactical ballistic missiles. Therefore, Army leadership ordered PATRIOT batteries of the 1lth Air Defense Brigade, Ft. Bliss, Texas, under the command of Colonel Skip Garrett, to deploy among the earliest troops to Saudi Arabia. Col. Garrett's first PATRIOT battery departed Ft. Bliss, Texas, on 12 August 1990. The mission of the units in Saudi Arabia was defense of critical military installations, air fields, and sea ports vital to the success of the operation. The first units to deploy took with them the only three PAC-2 missiles in existence -- these three missiles were built for, and intended to be used in the test program. During the ensuing months of Desert Shield, units trained on improved software and maintained their high state of training and readiness. A herculean effort was being made by government and industry to ramp up production of the new PAC-2 capability missile. In the five short months between the invasion of Kuwait and the beginning of the war, our industry produced in excess of 500 of the new missiles.


By the time the war began, the PATRIOT units were prepared and equipped for their mission of intercepting Scuds.

However -- as we all know -- the Scuds soon came to both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Colonel Dave Heebner's brigade in Germany was alerted on 18 January 1991. Twenty-seven hours later they were at battle stations in Israel,

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ready to assume a very challenging mission. His mission was defense of populated areas-- a mission far more demanding than that for which the system was designed.... but one to which PATRIOT and our soldiers responded superbly.

It soon became apparent that the threat was not as predicted. The missiles the Iraqis fired were variants of the Soviet Scud missile against which we had based our design. The Iraqis had modified their Scuds with more propulsion and smaller warheads in order to greatly extend its range.

The Iraqi Scud variant that PATRIOT faced in Israel and Saudi Arabia was a much faster target than expected - something on the order of 5,000 miles per hour as it came down over its target. It often broke up as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere, confronting the PATRIOT system with multiple maneuvering targets consisting of a warhead and accompanying debris. In addition, the warhead was about half the size expected. This was a target for which PATRIOT was neither designed nor developed to engage... still, both soldiers and equipment met the challenge.

As always, our soldiers in combat always did their best with what they had. Fortunately, we had a system with great capability and a system that we could... and did ... modify during the battle to improve its effectiveness.

Central to making improvements and understanding performance are our data collection capabilities. PATRIOT was fielded with a limited collection capability at each battery. The operator has the capability to print out critical track amplification data that is visible on his scope if the tactical situation permits and he manually chooses to do so. This is not an automatic function. Another source of PATRIOT system data was added at the battalion level in Riyadh. This gave the unit the capability to continuously collect digital data and was known as "Experiment Two." This, coupled with the already existing track amplification,

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print outs at battery level, helped us further describe PATRIOT performance. Additionally, the Israelis instrumented a PATRIOT fire unit with a portable data recorder.

With the data collected during the war from both theaters, the military- industrial team worked with amazing speed to produce two major software changes during the fighting. The first fixed the problems caused by clutter, false targets and missiles following debris to the ground. The second version fielded gave the system the capability to help track the TBM warhead in the debris. This software change came in time to make the last engagement of the war, a confirmed warhead kill.

In addition to the PATRIOT performance data collection equipment in both theaters, efforts were made to conduct and analyze ground damage. In Israel, the effort was more intense because all the PATRIOT fire units were located in population centers. Consequently, the population assisted in the location of the debris that would be used for analysis. There was a similar effort in Saudi Arabia, but not as absolute.

Proven in combat in the first missile duel in history, our soldiers, our industrial base and the PATRIOT system did what our nation asked it to do. Overall, the actual system performance exceeded our expectations. War is a bottom line business. The bottom line on Desert Storm is that the United States and its Allies won. PATRIOT had a large part in that victory.


Immediately after the war, it was apparent that in the future, PATRIOT must assume an expanded mission -- that of area defense. It's obvious now the threat will be a tactical ballistic missile exceeding INF restrictions. Prior to Desert Shield, we had anticipated this as a possibility and had begun a development program to modify the system to defeat this threat. Our current

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PATRIOT growth program will give the system this capability and incorporates the lessons learned from Desert Storm.

As I mentioned, both during and after the war, we set out to collect as much data as possible to document and improve PATRIOT performance and form the basis for system improvement. We were and are committed to doing that. But, the point here is that our test range became the combat theater of operations. As you know, performance on test ranges is measured by a well-instrumented, technically structured process conducted by technicians and producing high quality data for scientific review. War on the other hand, is measured in vagaries with little, if any, precise instrumentation, and conducted by dedicated soldiers. The data produced is largely subjective and for the most part is collected after the event. However, a common thread between the two is the ingenuity and spirit of the American soldier and civilian.

Having collected the best available data at the time during the war, the Army set out to determine what had occurred. Analysts used compiled reports from unit personnel, unit damage assessment teams, Experiment Two data and the joint US-Israeli report dated March 1991 to produce our initial assessment of PATRIOT performance.

In our assessments to determine how operationally successful we were at accomplishing our mission, we used two criteria to define success. First, a warhead kill, defined as causing the warhead to explode, to burn in the air; or, to be dudded. Second, a mission kill defined as causing the warhead to be diverted away from its intended target, resulting in an impact outside the PATRIOT's defended area, which prevents damage to those facilities protected by the PATRIOT. Our initial assessment, completed in May 1991 in classified form and released in December 1991, outlined an overall success rate of over 50% in Israel and over 80% in Saudi Arabia for those Scuds that were within

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the engagement capability of the PATRIOT. We make no apology for the data we gathered or how we collected it. We did what our nation would expect its Army to do when actively engaged with an enemy -- fight and win -- and then collect and analyze.


Recently, there have been critics who say that PATRIOT did not perform as assessed by the Army -- that the results that were presented in December of 1991 were optimistic. These allegations are based largely upon interpretation of news video footage and minimal scientific evidence. You have already been presented with testimony about the unreliability of commercial television footage.

In February of 1992, at your request, the Army provided a briefing to your staff fully discussing the basis for our initial assessment. This briefing left your staff concerned about our conclusions. As a result, the Army undertook a two step scientific approach to re-evaluate our initial assessment. Our assessment team relooked the Saudi Arabia engagements and gathered and analyzed all possible additional raw data available concerning each event. We also sent a delegation to Israel to ensure we had the benefit of any data that had been gathered by the Israeli government.

We established levels of confidence in our data which cover a wide spectrum. A higher confidence level is based upon such information as digital data recordings. On the other end of the spectrum, we classify information such as television coverage and verbal reports in the low confidence category.

We thoroughly examined every Scud launch to determine if it had been detected and intercepted by PATRIOT and if there was damage on the ground. Because the mission of PATRIOT is to prevent damage to ground combat forces and high value assets, we provided more weight to ground damage

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assessment than to the other part of the analysis. Where we could, we determined the outcome of intercept, the ground damage incurred, and then rated the confidence we have in each result. Based upon this, we categorically determined the overall confidence of our results on a shot by shot basis.

Based upon this methodology, we are confident that over 40% of the engagements in Israel and over 70% of the engagements in Saudi Arabia were successful. These are minor changes to our conclusions, which are not statistically significant -- primarily as a result of our extensive effort to search for new data and a better methodology. These are reasonable and accurate statements of success and further confirms conclusions we reached in our analysis at the end of the war.

We have prepared a shot by shot assessment. However, the data remains classified. We believe this is a good decision because PATRIOT remains deployed in Saudi Arabia and Israel today. Declassifying this data could confirm any adversary's observations regarding PATRIOT's capabilities.

Mr. Chairman, the PATRIOT story is a dynamic one, there was change at every juncture. The mission was expanded from a point defense system to an area defense system. The threat moved from a relatively short range, ballistically stable, INF treaty compliant missile to a Scud-variant fired at far greater ranges, traveling to higher altitudes, and attaining speeds of over 5,000 miles per hour, while often maneuvering and breaking up. The capabilities of the PATRIOT evolved to meet this threat with extraordinary cooperation between industry and government. As I said earlier, it is an American success story, one that could only be accomplished by our great nation.

We believe the PATRIOT's story tells us three things. First, wise decisions were made in the mid-1980s to field an anti-tactical ballistic missile capability with PATRIOT. Second, that we entered the war with confidence, but

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unknowns. We tested against a threat which we did not fight and we fought against a threat for which we did not test. We fought the first anti-missile war in history. One thing that did not change was the courage and capabilities of our soldiers and determination of our civilian industry. Last and most importantly, we accomplished the mission while gaining valuable insights into the use of anti-tactical ballistic missiles in combat. These insights and our experience provide a roadmap for the future.

In closing, the PATRIOT story reinforced confidence in U.S. technological superiority; the American soldier and his and her ability to respond to adversity; the skill of the American work force and the industrial base to respond to national needs.

We are prepared to answer any questions you may have, and, where the response would be classified, go into closed session or provide you a written response later. That completes my statement. Thank you for the opportunity to tell this American success story.

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