SWEET, ROBERT JAMES
Name: Robert James Sweet Rank/Branch: Lieutenant/US Air Force Unit: Age: 24 Home City: Wood County WV Date of Loss: mid-February 1991 Country of Loss: Loss Coordinates: Status: Prisoner of War Status in 2002: Released 03/05/91 Acft/Vehicle/Ground:
Other Personnel in Incident: (unknown)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 09 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, published sources, interviews. Updated by the POW NETWORK 2002.
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: During the early weeks of the Middle East war, each time a Coalition serviceman was shot down or captured, extensive media coverage followed. The public and POW/MIA families alike had the information they wanted at the touch of a dial.
When Coalition POWs began being showed on Iraqi television, the world suffered with their familes as they haltingly gave coerced "peace" statements. This propaganda effort on the part of the Iraqis actually had a positive effect in the United States. Families at least knew their missing loved one was alive, and could assess their mental and physical condition from propaganda interviews.
Then the "information gap" began. The Pentagon announced that it would no longer release any information other than name, rank, age and branch of service of missing or captured personnel. This step was taken, they said, to protect the well-being of prisoners and to avoid jepeordizing search and rescue efforts for the missing.
Pentagon briefings and television reports listed the loss of aircraft and statistics, and the human element of the war was gone. Even long after search and rescue efforts would cease, no information was released on missing personnel. Intelligence reports indicating "missing" people were captured were largely ignored. In the 6 weeks following the televised propaganda interviews by Coalition POWs, only one Coalition serviceman was declared POW - and even then, no information was released about him.
The name of Air Force Lt. Robert James Sweet, age 24, appeared on Pentagon missing lists in mid-February 1991. There has been no other information released by media or government sources about Lt. Robert J. Sweet.
Then on March 6, 1991, Robert J. Sweet was released in a group of 15 American POWs. The group had apparently been held near an intelligence complex at Basra.
Robert J. Sweet lives near Parkersburg, West Virginia and his family is there.