International Information

International Operation Name: Operation SKY MONITOR

International Mission Name: Operation SKY MONITOR

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Europe

Location: Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date: 16 October 1992 - 12 April 1993

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

Mission/Operation Notes: As a result of the deteriorating situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was imperiling humanitarian flights, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 781 on 9 October 1992. The resolution established a ban on all military flights except those authorized by the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) or by the United Nations. UNPRFOR was requested to enforce this ban, while individual states or regional organizations were called upon to assist UNPROFOR.

NATO ships and the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force (NAEWF) E-3A aircraft had been involved in enforcing a United Nations mandated naval monitoring operation in the Adriatic since 16 July 1992 (Operation MARITIME MONITOR). The E-3As were patrolling over the Adriatic Sea. NATO agreed to expand the mandate of these aircraft to include the enforcement of the flight ban under Resolution 781. Commencing 16 October, this new operation became NATO's Operation Sky Monitor. The original patrols continued over the Adriatic, and on 31 October expanded to include another patrol area over Hungary, when the Hungarian government granted permission for an air orbit to allow coverage of former Yugoslavian airspace not covered by the Adriatic orbit.

Flying from Geilenkirchen, Germany, the E-3As used forward operating bases at Trapani, Italy and Preveza, Greece and the air base at Aviano, Italy. The aircrews were multinational drawn from 11 NATO members (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Turkey and United States). Also participating in Op Sky Monitor were British E-3Ds from No. 8 Squadron, RAF Waddington and French E-3F from Avord Air Base.

In the period from 16 October 1992, NATO AEW aircraft documented over 500 airspace violations. As a result the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 816 on 31 March 1993. This resolution called for a continuation of the ban, but also authorized member states to take all necessary action to ensure compliance. The North Atlantic Council approved NATO's plans for the enforcement of this resolution, and at 12:00, 12 April 1993, Operation DENY FLIGHT commenced operations.

Canadian participation was through the Canadian Contingent, NATO Airborne Early Warning Force at Geilenkirchen. The operations element consisted of 36 officers, 16 senior NCMs and 19 junior NCMs. They were integrated into the multinational crews, manning the aircraft and sensors, and not as an all-Canadian crew.

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