They are outnumbered between 30 and 40 to one but women serving with the armed forces in the Gulf are playing a vital role.
The women are not allowed on the front line but provide vital support
Although not permitted in front line combat, women soldiers are everywhere
else and enduring exactly the same hardships as the men.
Among them are jet engineers, bomb delivery lorry drivers, chefs and fighter command staff.
They live in tents and endure such hardships as beetles said to be the size of cigarette packets and scorpions and lizards.
Corporal Katherine McNaught, from Lower Cumberworth, Huddersfield, is used to wearing her chemical suit, gas mask and hood after air raid warnings.
"The blokes don't treat us any different and I really like male company but I
am not one of the lads and never will be," she said.
"I supply all the Harriers with spares. Whenever they break down I order new
parts and make sure they are flown over straight from the UK. I am very good at
my job, smooth supply is vital to keep the planes flying."
She added: "I don't like war, no-one wants
to kill anyone and no-one likes death but I don't have a problem firing my gun
and I would if I had to."
We are not on the front line so we do not go out killing people
Senior Aircraftman Caroline Richards, 22, from Camborne, Cornwall, drives
heavy lorries loaded with bombs around secret destinations in the
"I joined at 17 because I had a thing about driving trucks and it was a good
way to get a driving licence.
"I have seen the pictures of women and children injured in the market place
bomb in the papers but I can't afford to think about it now because the job
wouldn't get done."
SAC Jo Davies, 20, from Doncaster, is one of four women flight line
technicians with the British Harrier Force out of a total of 160.
She said: "I joined up as an engine technician because I wanted to fix jet engines
and I love it.
"We are not on the front line so we do not go out killing people for no
reason and I understand that is the end result of my work in preparing jets for
bombing missions but I believe this is a just war."
SAC chef Jo Gemmell, 18, from Gosport, admits she burst into tears when she
got her call-up signal.
"I joined up at 17 to learn how to cook and become a chef and then 12 months
later I got my signal to go to war.
"It was a shock," she said. "I was the first caterer to
get it and I cried.
"I never guessed war would break out so soon and they would
want me to go.
"Out of 40 people who all started basic training with me only 23 passed out
and I was one of only three girls left out of nine so I was very proud and I
knew I had the staying power so I did my duty and went to the Gulf."
This is pooled copy from Paul McMullan, of the Sunday Express, with the British Harrier force in the Gulf.