NATO Operation DETERMINED FORCE
International Operation Name: Operation DETERMINED FORCE
International Mission Name: Operation DETERMINED FORCE
Mandating Organization: United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199, 23 September 1998 (Chapter VII)
North Atlantic Council authorization, 13 October 1998
Region Name: Europe
Location: Former Yugoslavia
Mission Date: 13 October 1998 - 23 March 1999
Mission Mandate: On 23 September 1998, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1199, a Chapter VII resolution, demanding the cessation of violence in Kosovo. The North Atlantic Council authorized the activation of Operation Determined Force (ODF) in support of this resolution on 13 October 1998. The mandate of ODF was to demonstrate NATO resolve in support of UN resolutions regarding Kosovo, to enforce the “no-fly” zone over Bosnia and to prepare for limited air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Mission/Operation Notes: As the former Yugoslavia continued its break-up through 1998, tensions between ethnic Albanians and the security forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia) escalated in Kosovo. As Yugoslav forces violently broke-up peaceful demonstrations and increasingly intimidated civilians, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked Yugoslav forces in a guerrilla campaign. The UN Security Council approved resolution 1160 demanding that all parties cease hostilities and that peaceful political processes be followed to resolve issues.
Failing to heed the resolution, Yugoslav forces and the KLA stepped up the level of their aggression. The Security Council passed Resolution 1199 on 23 September, demanding that all parties cease hostilities and more importantly that further actions would be considered if stability were not restored. Accordingly, the North Atlantic Council activated Operation DETERMINED FORCE on 13 October.
Operation DETERMINED FORCE was a phased operation in which NATO would first attempt to demonstrate its resolve to enforce the Security Council’s resolutions and prevent further violence. It allowed for limited air strikes, such as those against military targets, and a phased air campaign if Yugoslavia failed to meet the terms of the Security Council resolutions.
NATO nations quickly responded to the activation order. Aircraft from twelve nations soon arrived in the area around the Balkans, with fourteen nations supporting the operation. By 27 October, over 300 aircraft had deployed to airbases in France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as aircraft carriers in the Adriatic. These aircraft were soon flying missions over Bosnia in support of the “no-fly” zone, conducting combined training exercises, and participating in Partnership for Peace exercises in the region. They also served as a protection force for other NATO and UN missions operating in the former Yugoslavia.
On 15 October 1998, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agreed to a cease-fire and to withdraw those forces that had been mobilized and sent to Kosovo. He also accepted international verification of his compliance. NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) signed agreements with Yugoslavia creating Operation Eagle Eye and the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission respectively. NATO also planned an extraction force for a contingency extraction of personnel from Kosovo - Operation DETERMINED GUARANTOR.
Through late 1998 and into early 1999, the violence of the KLA and Yugloslav forces escalated despite the ceasefire. NATO began negotiations involving both parties in Rambouillet, France on 6 February 1999. While the KLA ultimately accepted NATO’s terms, on 19 March Yugoslavia rejected the Rambouillet Accords. By this time hundreds of civilians had been killed and over 300,000 forced out of their homes. With the rejection of the Accords, the escalation of violence - especially by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo – and the failure of Yugoslavia to heed warnings from NATO, NATO’s Secretary-General authorized Operation Allied Force on 23 March, with operations beginning on 24 March. This ended Operation DETERMINED FORCE.
Operation ECHO - 13 October 1998 to 23 March 1999
No Canadian Operation Name - 13 October 1998 to 23 March 1999
No Canadian Operation Name
Canada had already been involved in enforcing the “no-fly” zone over Bosnia through personnel deployed to the NATO Airborne Early Warning squadron, operating under the NATO name Operation DELIBERATE FORGE. When this operation ended and Operation DETERMINED FORCE began, the NATO AWACS personnel made the transition. The aircraft would fly over other nations bordering the former Yugoslavia to monitor the situation in the airspace over that country. This operation did not have a Canadian operation name.
In a show of NATO resolve, Canada announced on 20 June 1998 that six CF-188 Hornets would deploy to Aviano, Italy to enhance Alliance capabilities and improve Canada’s response time to any crisis in the area. The Hornets would be available for NATO demonstration exercises, as well as enforcing the “no-fly” zone. They deployed under NATO Operation DELIBERATE FORGE, the Canadian name of which was Operation ECHO. When Operation DETERMINED FORCE began, these aircraft and personnel made the transition to the new operation, which was also given the Canadian name Operation ECHO.
The six CF-188s averaged about 80 missions a month, mostly over Bosnia. Each sortie lasted about 2 ½ hours and was an international effort, involving airborne refueling aircraft, airborne early warning aircraft and controllers from several nations. The Canadian effort was also a broad one. Task Force Aviano (TFA) personnel rotated on a six-month schedule, with pilots rotating every three months. Most personnel were either from 3 Wing Bagotville or 4 Wing Cold Lake; however, personnel from across the Air Force augmented these two Wings. The occupations of TFA also represented most Air Force occupations.
Support for Op Echo came from the Hercules and Airbuses of 435, 436 and 437 Squadrons. Weekly resupply flights in support of Op ECHO, and Op PALLADIUM (NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia) brought personnel, equipment, parts and supplies to TFA.
With the degeneration of the situation in Kosovo, followed by the failure of negotiations, Op DETERMINED FORCE ended on 23 March 1999 when NATO authorized Operation ALLIED FORCE. Canada entered Op ALLIED FORCE with six CF-188s and about 130 people. Overall, about 275 CF personnel took part in Op DETERMINED FORCE.
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