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Missile Inbound: The Attack on the Stark in the Persian Gulf

ISBN: 9781557505170
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Edition: 2nd Printing
Publication Date: 1997-05
Number of pages: 176
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This close examination of the deadly Iraqi F-1 Mirage attack on the USS Stark and its aftermath comes on the tenth anniversary of the incident. Written by two attorneys who are experts on the air strike, it is the first book to chronicle the events of May 17, 1987, when two Exocet missiles were fired at the U.S. Navy frigate on patrol in the Persian Gulf. The authors describe in vivid detail the crew's efforts to save the ship, the resulting investigation into the ship's combat readiness, and the relationship between national security policy-making and military operations. Thirty-seven American sailors died in the explosions and fires that raged through the ship. The crew's brave actions are fully documented in this study, including the experiences of four young sailors, belowdecks in their quarters when the missiles hit, who escaped certain death by exiting the ship through a twenty-foot hole in the hull. Missile Inbound examines the rules of engagement and how they were changed after the incident, as well as the formal inquiry that sought answers to why the Iraqi fighter had been labeled a "friend" by the American AWACS overhead and why the Stark's defense systems never warned that missiles had been fired. The authors' provoking analysis of the attack and its causes will appeal to a wide audience of military and civilian readers interested in the Persian Gulf and in the crucial interface between policy makers and strategists.

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