International Information

International Operation Name: Operation MARITIME MONITOR

International Mission Name: Operation MARITIME MONITOR

Mandating Organization: United Nations Security Council Resolution 713 (25 September 1991) and 757 (30 May 1992)

Region Name: Europe

Location: Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date: 16 July 1992 - 22 November 1992

Mandate: To enforce the United Nations embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mission Notes: Throughout 1991, the situation in Yugoslavia became increasingly violent and dangerous as ceasefires and agreements were repeatedly violated. In September 1991 the UN Security Council, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, passed resolution 713 imposing a weapons and military equipment embargo on Yugoslavia. Resolution 757, also under chapter VII, followed on 30 May 1992. This resolution included the imposition of a complete embargo on all goods and products originating in or destined for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), with the exception of medical supplies and foodstuffs.

On 10 July 1992, the foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Alliance agreed to a NATO contribution in support of the two Security Council resolutions under the name Operation MARITIME MONITOR. The NATO units deployed on this operation were ordered to conduct “surveillance, identification and reporting of maritime traffic in areas to be defined in international waters in the Adriatic Sea”. 

On 16 July 1992, the NATO Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (SNFM) started patrolling in international waters off the coast of Montenegro. In the air, American, British and Portuguese maritime patrol aircraft checked out all surface contacts, while NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) E3-A aircraft provided the integration of all surveillance pictures. Beginning on 16 October 1992, the NAEWF aircraft assumed the dual role of supporting Op Maritime Monitor, and helping to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 781 under the name Op SKY MONITOR, by monitoring the airspace over Bosnia - Herzegovina. 

Concurrently, the Western European Union had deployed naval and air forces in support of resolutions 713 and 757. Under the name Op SHARP VIGILANCE, these naval and air units patrolled in international waters off the Straits of Otranto. The NAEWF aircraft also supported the Western European Union (WEU) forces. 

It is with the NAEWF that Canadian Forces personnel first became involved with Op Maritime Monitor and Op Sharp Vigilance. The Canadian contingent at Geilenkirchen was integrated into the various aircrews flying the AWACS and was thus involved in supporting both the NATO and WEU forces enforcing the Security Council Resolutions. 

Additional Canadian participation in Op Maritime Monitor came with the arrival of HMCS Gatineau, part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL) in September 1992. HMCS Gatineau joined SNFL on 20 July in Portsmouth, England. At that time, the Commander of SNFL, Rear-Admiral Dyer (USN) advised the ship’s company of the possibility of participating in Op Maritime Monitor. On 27 August, SNFL was advised that they would be deploying to Op Maritime Monitor, to temporarily replace SNFM. SNFL assumed the embargo duties from SNFM on 9 September, handing over to SNFM again on 26 September. During this time, HMCS Gatineau conducted two operational patrols (10-17 and 20-25 September). Because of the excellent communications suite on board, she twice acted as flagship for RAdm Dyer. 

Operations Maritime Monitor and Sharp Vigilance ended on 22 November 1992 when NATO began Operation MARITIME GUARD and the WEU commenced Operation SHARP FENCE in support of UN Security Council Resolution 787 (16 November 1992).

Page details

Date modified: