International Information

International Operation Name: Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOR

International Mission Name: Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOR

Mandating Organization: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Region Name: Europe

Location: Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date: 21 December 1995 - 20 December 1996

Mission Mandate: To provide air support to United Nations forces deployed as part of the Implementation Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Mission/Operation Notes: For three years the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had been wracked by ethnic conflict. United Nations peacekeeping efforts had proven unable to resolve the conflict. The Dayton Peace Accord was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995. NATO and other international forces had been standing by to provide a peacekeeping force to implement the anticipated accord. They were to operate under the name Implementation Force and total 60,000 all ranks. 

NATO had also maintained air forces in its Southern Region to monitor and enforce the UN no-fly zone over Bosnia (Operation DENY FLIGHT) and to provide close air support to the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) on the ground. These air assets included the spectrum of aircraft types from fighters to transports from 11 NATO nations and included the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force flying Boeing E3A aircraft out of Geilenkirchen, Germany. 

On 20 December 1995, the NATO air assets assigned to Operation Deny Flight were transferred to support the Implementation Force (NATO Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR). The NATO air operation was renamed Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR. The operation involved almost 5500 personnel from 12 NATO nations, operating from five European NATO nations and from aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean. 

The NAEWF aircraft provided surveillance and a picture of the air and ground situation for the IFOR and air component commanders. The eight aircraft assigned to the operation were normally forward deployed to Preveza, Greece or Trapani, Italy. At the same time, these aircraft were also supporting NATO’s Operation SHARP GUARD, which was enforcing the UN embargo against the former Yugoslavia. This operation ended on 15 May 1996. 

With the end of IFOR and the commencement of the Stabilization Force, Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR ended and its air assets transferred to the new operation, Operation DELIBERATE GUARD. During the period of Op DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR, NATO aircraft flew over 50,000 sorties in support of IFOR.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (DECISIVE ENDEAVOR)

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canadian Forces participation in Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR was limited to the personnel posted to the NAEWF in Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Canadian personnel are integrated into the air and ground crews that support the operations of the NATO unit.

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