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Operation Allied Force

Former "Determined Force"
Operation Allied Force was a NATO contingency response aiming at ensuring full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1199 (Sept. 23rd 1998). The operation was part of NATO's actions to promote regional stability, cooperation and security, in support of the international community.
An Allied Force in Support of a Peaceful Resolution of the Kosovo Crisis
The first phase of this multinational operation was initiated on October 13th 1998. That day, NATO's higher decision-making body - the North Atlantic Council - authorised an activation order allowing for both "limited air strikes" and a "phased air campaign" in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should Yugoslav authorities refuse to comply with the UN resolution. The execution of these air strike options was initially set to begin not earlier than 96 hours from the authorization of theactivation order, to allow time for negotiations between Ambassador Holbrooke and FRY President Milosevic to bear fruit.
Progress in the diplomatic negotiations was largely due to pressure maintained by the Alliance maintained through deployment of NATO air and naval assets in Italy and in the Adriatic sea. After nine days of negotiations, Ambassador Holbrooke secured an agreement from Mr. Milosevic to comply with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1199, with both air and ground regimes to verify compliance.

In accordance with this agreement, signed on October 15th, Mr. Milosevic committed to cease hostilities and withdraw mobilized forces in Kosovo. Furthermore, the agreement allows the international community to verify compliance by all parties with the provisions of UNSC Resolution 1199. This was to be conducted through NATO unarmed flights and the deployment in Kosovo of a Verification Mission provided by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

As the 96 hour deadline for compliance with the negotiated settlement approached, the international community had clear evidence that Yugoslavia was still some distance from full compliance with the terms of the accord. While diplomatic efforts continued to secure full compliance, NATO decided to extend the period before execution of air strikes would begin. The extension gave Mr. Milosevic until 27 October 98 to comply fully with UNSCR 1199. NATO additionally decided to maintain its readiness to launch air operations against the FRY, to include continuing deployment of substantial air forces in the region.  Just prior to the end of this extension on 27 October, evidence indicated that Serbian military and security forces had made progress toward the demanded restraint and withdrawal. Despite the substantial steps, NATO's objective remained to achieve full compliance with UNSC resolutions. As a result, NATO decided to maintain both activation orders in place, with execution subject to decision by the North Atlantic Council.
Despite the progress made, the crisis was not over. NATO remained ready to act. The North Atlantic Council kept the situation in Kosovo under constant review. The ACTORDS for limited air operations and for phased air campaign remained in effect. NATO military forces remained prepared to carry out air operations should they be necessary.

Meanwhile, NATO's focus was on ensuring the effectiveness of the verification regime with Operation Eagle Eye.
On 23 March 1999, all efforts to achieve a negotiated, political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative was open but to take military action. NATO's Secretary General directed the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Air operations commenced on 24 March 1999 under the nickname "Operation Allied Force".
On 9 June 1999, while the air campaign was in its 78th day, a Military Technical Agreement was signed by NATO and Yugoslav military authorities. The agreement specifies the modalities and procedures for the full withdrawal of Yugoslav Security Forces from Kosovo.
On 10 June 1999, NATO's Secretary General, having received reports indicating that the withdrawal of the Yugoslav security forces was in progress, directed air operations to be suspended.
On 20 June 1999, after all FRY military and police forces (VJ/MUP) had departed Kosovo in compliance with the Military Technical Agreement (MTA) signed by the Commander of KFOR and representatives of the FRY Government on 9th June 1999, NATO's Secretary General decided to terminate the air campaign. Part of the aircraft deployed to conduct Allied Force were eventually authorised to return to home bases.
For additional information, please contact the AFSOUTH Public Information Office (+39-081-7212235; fax +39-081-7212973; e-mail: pio@afsouth.nato.int) Copy of the US DoD report on Allied Force (PDF file, 2.23 MB) Transcripts of briefings given at the Department of Defence, Washington can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#BRIEFINGS together with the associated slides (http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#SLIDES).
Operation Allied Force Mission
The mission of NATO Operation Allied Force was to implement, when ordered by the North Atlantic Council, one or several of the following courses of action:
  • Conduct limited air operations, such as air strikes against designated militarily significant targets, and
  • Conduct a phased air campaign.
Operation Allied Force Organization
The Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) delegated authority for the implementation of Operation Allied Force to the Commander in Chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH), whose headquarters is in Naples, Italy. CINCSOUTH delegated control of the operation to the Commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe (COMAIRSOUTH), also based in Naples. Operational conduct of day-to-day missions was delegated to the Commander 5th Allied Tactical Air Force, at Vicenza, Italy
Operation Allied Force Background Information
  • 1992: After months of turmoil, the former Yugoslavia is dismantled
  • 1997-1998: Tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serb forces generate intense fighting in Kosovo and indiscriminate use of force by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav Army.
  • Summer 1998: Peace seems to be out of reach and the armed conflict has already generated hundreds of civilian casualties and the displacement of nearly 300,000 people from their homes.
  • September 23, 1998: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1199. The resolution demands to all parties to end hostilities and maintain a cease-fire.
  • October 13, 1998: The North Atlantic Council issues Operation Determined Force's activation order.
  • October 14, 1998: Due to persisting tension in Kosovo, NATO's Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) is temporarily detached to the Adriatic. -- October 15, 1998: The Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Chief of General Staff of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia sign in Belgrade an agreement establishing an air verification mission over Kosovo, complementing an OSCE verification mission.
  • October 16, 1998: The Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) sign in Belgrade an agreement establishing a verification mission in Kosovo, including the undertaking of FRY to comply with UNSC resolutions 1160 and 1199 of 1998.
  • October 24, 1998: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1203. The resolution supports NATO and OSCE verification missions and demands all parties in Kosovo to comply with the agreement. -- October 25-26, 1998: NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Chairman of NATO Military Committee meet with Yugoslav President Milosevic and his Army Chief of Staff. NATO delivers a clear message pressing for immediate and total compliance with Security Council Resolution 1199 and related agreements.
  • October 27, 1998: NATO decides to maintain the ACTORD and to remain prepared to carry out air operations should they be necessary.
  • January 20, 1999: NATO decides to increase the readiness of the assigned forces so as to make them able to execute the operation within 48 hours.
  • January 29, 1999: NATO decides to further increase its military preparedness to ensure that all demands by the international community are met.
  • January 30.1999: The Contact Group demands all parties to agree on a political settlement for Kosovo by 20 February 99. NAC agrees that NATO's Secretary General may authorise air strikes against targets on FRY territory.
  • February 19.1999: NATO's Secretary General reaffirms that, if no agreement is reached by the deadline set by the contact Group, NATO is ready to take whatever measures are necessary to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.
  • February 20.1999: The Contact Group extends negotiations until 1400 GMT on 23 February 1999.
  • February 23.1999: The Contact Group gives to the parties until 15 March 1999 to approve the Peace Plan in its entirety. Negotiations were conducted in Rambouillet and Paris but were eventually adjourned, due to the unwillingness of the Yugoslav delegation to sign the proposed peace plan.
  • March 22.1999: in response to Belgrade's continued intransigence and repression, and in view of the evolution of the situation on the ground in Kosovo, the NAC authorises the Secretary General to decide, subject to further consultations, on a broader range of air operations if necessary.
  • March 23.1999: NATO's Secretary General direct military commanders to initiate air operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Operations commenced on 24 March 1999.
  • March 24.1999: Air operations commenced.
  • April 23, 1999: NATO's Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting in Washington, D.C. issue a statement on the Kosovo situation.
  • June 9, 1999: NATO and Yugoslav military authorities sign an agreement on the withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo.
  • June 10, 1999: NATO suspends air strikes.
Operation Allied Force Participation
Thirteen NATO countries contributed to Operation Allied Force. The countries included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.
As of June 20, 1999, over 900 were committed to this operation and many of them were deployed forward on stand-by at various air bases in Italy and other NATO nations or on carrier vessels. More than 37,000 sorties were flown, including as many as 14,000 strike sorties. Approximately 23,000 bombs and missiles were launched – 35 percent of them precision-guided.
FRANCE: Jaguar, Mirage 2000C, 2000D, F1, MIR-IVP, JAG-A, E3-F, C-135F, UAV CL-289, UAV CR, PUMA SA-330, HORIZON, C160, aircraft on FS Foch (when in the area).
GERMANY: Tornado PA-200H, PA-200E, UAV CL289.
ITALY: Tornado ADV, PA2001, AMX, F104, Boeing 707/T and aircraft on ITS Garibaldi.
SPAIN: EF-18, KC-130, CASA.
TURKEY: TF-16C, F-16, KC-135.
UNITED KINGDOM: L-1011K, E3-D, GR-7, GR1, VC-10, Tristar and aircraft on HMS Invincible (when in the area).
UNITED STATES: A-10, B1B, B2, B-52, EA-6B, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-117, EC-130, KC-130, AC-130, MC-130, C-135, RC-135, KC-135, KC-10, MH-53J, MH-60G, E-8C, E-3B/C, P-3C, U2-S, HUNTER UAV, PREDATOR, and aircraft on USS Roosevelt (F-14 and F-18).(USAF 16th Air & Space Expeditionary Task Force Fact Sheet)
NATO's two standing frigate and destroyer forces, STANAVFORMED and STANAVFORLANT, consisting of 15 ships from 10 nations, supported ALLIED FORCE and conducted sea control operations in the Adriatic sea. NATO's two Mine Countermeasures Forces, MCMFORNORTH and MCMFORMED, consisting of 16 ships from 10 nations were also deployed to the Adriatic. The above forces, together with the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus and NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operated under the control of COMNAVSOUTH. Similarly, ships contributing power projection assets (like strike aircraft) operated under the unified operational control of COMSTRIKFORSOUTH.
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