Operation SILVER WAKE
International Operation Name: Operation SILVER WAKE
International Mission Name: Operation SILVER WAKE
Mandating Organization: Government of Canada
Region Name: Europe
Mission Date: 14 March 1997 - 27 March 1997
Mission Mandate: To provide air support to United States Forces involved in the evacuation of American and foreign civilians from Albania.
Mission/Operation Notes: In March 1997 a massive pyramid investment scheme operating in Albania collapsed. Many people lost their life savings, with the result being widespread financial failure and public disorder. Despite a government-imposed curfew, the security situation in the country continued to deteriorate as anti-government protests became increasingly violent. The government came under increasing pressure and became increasingly unstable.
On 13 March, the United States Ambassador in Tirana requested the evacuation of American and designated foreign nationals. On 14 March 1997, the United States launched Operation Silver Wake. Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit landed by helicopter at the American Embassy in Tirana and began to evacuate American civilians and other foreign nationals. At the same time they provided security for the Embassy and the Embassy’s housing complex. The evacuation was completed on 27 March, during which time 877 American and foreign nationals (over half the total evacuated) were flown out of the country to United States Navy ships waiting offshore and from there to Brindisi, Italy.
NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) aircraft stationed in Geilenkirchen, Germany supported the operation, controlling and monitoring the airspace through which the Marine helicopters were flying.
Canadian Forces (CF) Information (SILVER WAKE)
Canadian Forces participation in Operation Silver Wake was through 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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