March 19, 2003

Operation Iraqi Freedom begins (9:35 p.m. EST) as battlefield preparation air strikes take out air defense threats, radar communication sites, and artillery. Two Air Force F-117 fighters and cruise missiles from six US warships strike “leadership targets of opportunity” in Iraq at (5:35 a.m., March 20, Baghdad time). At 10:16 p.m. EST, President George W. Bush announces to the American people that operations in Iraq have commenced. Coalition ground forces move from Kuwait into Iraq (8 a.m., March 20, Baghdad time), marking the start of G-Day, the ground campaign.