In casualty response-here, during Desert Storm-knowing how many are coming, when, and to where can be life or death information.
For Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, a massive web of unique communications architectures and plans was created. Instant, long-range communications were provided up and down the chain of command, marking the first time that intratheater satellite communications were used to support a theater-level commander in combat. Indeed, satellite communications bore 85% of the total inter- and intratheater load. To support these needs, satellite channels were transferred from other users to U.S. Central Command, and other assets in space were reallocated. A Defense Satellite Communication System, for example, was moved from its geosynchronous Pacific Ocean orbit to the Indian Ocean, and the British military communications satellite SKYNET was borrowed. In addition, Navy forces used two experimental Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency multiple access communications satellites to relay logistics information.