On 17th January 1991, in the early hours of the morning, Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. Fought between coalition forces from 34 nations, led by the United States, and Iraq, the conflict was initiated in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait on 2nd August 1990
In the below photograph, F-15E fighter aircraft of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., can be seen parked up on an airfield during Operation Desert Shield, during which the US built up their forces in Saudi Arabia.
To read more about aerial warfare during this period, pick up a copy of Steve Davies' F-15E Strike Eagle Units in Combat 1990–2005 or Lon Nordeen's AV-8B Harrier II Units of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The original image can be found here.