International Information

International Operation Name: Operation DENY FLIGHT

International Mission Name: Operation DENY FLIGHT

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Europe

Location: Bosnia - Herzegovina

Mission Date: 12 April 1993 - 20 December 1995

Mission Mandate: To monitor the United Nations approved no-fly zone over Bosnia - Herzegovina and enforce the no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Mission/Operation Notes: On 9 October 1992, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 781 banning all non-UN or UNPROFOR authorized flights over Bosnia - Herzegovina. NATO supported this mandate through Operation SKY MONITOR. As a result of over 500 unauthorized flights in fewer than six months, coupled with the increasing belligerency of Bosnian-Serb forces on the ground, the Security Council passed resolution 816 on 31 March 1993 under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The resolution reiterated the ban and extended the mandate of resolution 781, but also requested all member states to take "all necessary measures in the airspace of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the event of further violations..."

After deliberations, the North Atlantic Council approved NATO's plan for implementing the resolution. This became Operation DENY FLIGHT, taking effect at 12:00, 12 April 1993. The eventual mission of the operation was:

The NATO AEW aircraft that had been conducting air orbits over the Adriatic Sea and Hungary in support of Operation SKY MONITOR simply continued their missions under the new operation name. It took a while, however, for the UN's threat of force to be used. It was not until 28 February 1994 in fact, that the first violators were shot down. Six Bosnian-Serb aircraft dropped bombs on Bosnian territory, with the result that four were shot down by NATO aircraft.

As the situation on the ground in Bosnia degenerated, the Security Council adopted resolutions 958 and 981 allowing the use of air strikes against ground targets. As a result, Bosnian-Serbs began to take UN soldiers as hostages and flaunt their disregard for the UN by attacking UN-declared Safe Areas. Despite occasional NATO attacks on Bosnian-Serb ground targets in support of the UN resolutions, the situation eventually reached the point where UN Commanders decided to launch Operation DELIBERATE FORCE, an attack on Bosnian-Serb military targets commencing 30 August 1995.

Operation DENY FLIGHT involved a wide variety of aircraft including attack, electronic warfare, tankers and airborne early warning.

On 15 December 1995, the Security Council passed resolution 1031, which terminated resolutions 781, 816, 824 and 936. This terminated the authority for Op DENY FIGHT. The North Atlantic Council agreed that the operation should be terminated and the air resources transferred to the Implementation Force for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR, part of the NATO-led Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR.

On 20 December 1995, Operation DENY FLIGHT was terminated. Over the course of the operation, 100,420 sorties were flown. This included over 23,000 fighter sorties, 27,000 close air support and air strike sorties and more than 29,000 AEW and support sorties. The NATO AEW flights had been instrumental in tracking violating aircraft, detecting surface to air missile and anti-aircraft sites and coordinating aircraft activities over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Canadian Forces (CF) Information (DENY FLIGHT)

CF Mission/Operation Notes: Canada's participation in Operation DENY FLIGHT was limited to the Canadian Contingent, NATO Airborne Early Warning Force at Geilenkirchen. The members of the operations element were integrated into the multinational crews that manned the aircraft and sensors, and did not serve as an all-Canadian crew. Canadian crewmembers averaged well over 100 days deployed during 1994, with over 39,000 hours in total for 1993 and 1994. The strength of the Canadian Contingent was over 111 all ranks, with over 180 persons having supported the operation in the air or on the ground.

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