International Information

International Operation Name: Operation DELIBERATE FORCE

International Mission Name: Operation DELIBERATE FORCE

Mandating Organization: North Atlantic Council

Region Name: Europe

Location: Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date: 29 August 1995 - 20 September 1995

Mission Mandate: To reduce the threat to UN safe areas and UN peacekeepers through the timely and effective use of air power.

Mission/Operation Notes: In July 1995 the United Nations-declared "safe areas" in Eastern Bosnia, including Srebrenica, fell to Bosnian Serb forces. The international community and NATO agreed to extend the use of NATO airpower in the event that Bosnian Serbs attacked any of the remaining UN "safe areas", including Bihac, Gorazde, Sarajevo and Tuzla. The North Atlantic Council, in decisions on 25 July and 1 August, declared that further Bosnian Serb attacks on UN safe areas had to be met with a firm and rapid response. These decisions supported UN Security Council resolutions on the safe areas that demanded both Croatian and Serb forces respect these refuges.

On 28 August 1995, Bosnian Serb forces shelled a market place in Sarajevo, killing 38 civilians. NATO launched Operation DELIBERATE FORCE as a means of reducing the military capability of Bosnian Serb forces to threaten UN safe areas and UN forces. The targets were military forces and heavy weapons in the field, command and control facilities, direct and essential military support facilities, and supporting infrastructure and lines of communication. Over 11days 29 August and 14 September, NATO air forces flew 2470 penetrating sorties that attacked or escorted attack aircraft, and flew 1045 support sorties including airborne early warning and control missions. These missions dropped 1026 bombs on 386 targets. However, even with the air strikes underway, Bosnian Serbs managed to attack UN forces in some areas, thereby drawing air attacks upon themselves.

On 14 September a 72 hour suspension of attacks was imposed. This was the result of a letter from the Commander United Nations Peace Forces indicating that the warring factions had agreed to the conditions brokered by the United Nations. On 20 September, UN and NATO commanders agreed that the UN safe areas were no longer threatened or under attack, the siege of Sarajevo was lifted and Operation DELIBERATE FORCE was terminated.

Support for the operation was by eight individual NATO nations who provided aircraft, while NATO provided E3A aircraft from the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) situated at Geilenkirchen, Germany. Over 16 days, the NAEWF aircraft flew 96 sorties.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (DELIBERATE FORCE)

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

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