International Information

International Operation Name: Operation ANCHOR GUARD

International Mission Name: Operation ANCHOR GUARD

Mandating Organization: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Region Name: Europe

Location: Turkey

Mission Date: 8 August 1990 - 28 February 1991

Mission Mandate: To survey the southern flank of NATO and to protect Turkish airspace after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Mission/Operation Notes: On 2 August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. As the international community reacted, NATO decided to protect its southern flank and position itself to respond to any further developments. At the time two NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) E3As were on training missions in NATO’s Southern Region - one in Turkey, the other in Greece. On 8 August they were redeployed and retasked to provide aerial surveillance from Diyarbakir, Turkey on Operation Anchor Guard. The next day further aircraft from the NAEWF in Geilenkirchen, Germany were assigned to participate in Op Anchor Guard. These aircraft deployed to NAEWF forward operating locations in Greece, Italy and Turkey.

The role of the E3As was to monitor the air and maritime traffic in the eastern Mediterranean and to provide aerial surveillance of the Turkey-Iraq border. The first sortie was flown on 9 August and quickly proved its worth when a Turkish fighter aircraft inadvertently strayed into Iraqi airspace. When Iraq scrambled its own fighters, the crew of the E3A quickly vectored the Turkish pilot back into Turkish airspace.

By mid-September seven aircraft, nine crews and associated support personnel were involved in Op Anchor Guard. Operations were reduced over the winter, but with the start of the air campaign over Iraq on 16 January 1991, the NAEWF aircraft returned to providing 24-hour coverage of eastern Turkey and increased coverage of the eastern Mediterranean. With the unilateral ceasefire on the part of the coalition forces on 28 February, Operation Anchor Guard came to an end, although aircraft continued to fly at reduced rates through March before finally returning to Geilenkirchen.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (ANCHOR GUARD)

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canada’s participation in Operation Anchor Guard was through the Canadian Forces personnel posted to the NAEWF in Geilenkirchen, Germany, who were integrated into the air and ground crews that supported the operations of the NATO unit. Sixty-six members of the Canadian Forces participated in the operation, 64 of them having served during the period of hostilities.

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