Storm, the entire Kurdish population of Iraq attempted to flee the country to the north out of fear that Saddam Hussein would attempt to exterminate their entire population. Because of political concerns, Turkish officials refused to allow these desperate people permission to cross the border into Turkey. The result was that hundreds of thousands of Kurds were essentially trapped on barren and rocky hillsides, vulnerable to not only Hussein’s forces, but to the harsh elements as well. Without basic necessities, to include access to water, food and medical supplies, hundreds of Kurds were dying each week. In April of 1991, President George Bush made the decision to provide relief and protection for these beleaguered people. Smith was given the task of rapidly establishing and deploying a Joint Force whose mission was to “stop the dying.” Literally overnight, Operation “Provide Comfort” was born. In less than 48 hours from receiving the order to “do something”, cargo and fighter aircraft were re-deployed to bases in southern Turkey where they began delivering humanitarian supplies. Over a period of a few weeks a US led coalition force was deployed into northern Iraq, resettlement areas constructed and a de-militarized zone established for the protection of the Kurds.