Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf bid farewell to Operation Desert Storm on Saturday and headed home to an adoring public that lionized him as "Stormin' Norman."

He flew away with much of the staff from his U.S. Central Command headquarters, declaring, "We completed our mission."Schwarzkopf ended 257 days of command operations and officially brought to an end the U.S. combat role in the Persian Gulf. Fewer than 260,000 American servicemen and women remain from a peak of 540,000 during the gulf war.

Lucrative speaking engagements, job offers and multimillion-dollar book deals await Schwarzkopf, as does the persistent speculation about a political future for the popular hero of the crushing allied victory over Iraq.

He gave no hint about what he plans to do after he retires this summer after 35 years in the Army, but he knocked down speculation he would run for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida next year. Asked if he had plans for a career in politics, he replied, "None."

"I'm going to go home. That's what's next for me," he said.