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Operation Provide Promise: Mission Complete

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 1996 – The longestrunning humanitarian airlift in history officially ended Jan. 9 during a ceremony at Sarajevo airport, according to DoD officials.

Throughout nearly four years of war in Bosnia, U.S. forces helped keep a multinational lifeline of food and medical supplies flowing into Bosnia.

Over the past three years, Joint Task Force Provide Promise airlifted more than 160,000 metric tons of food and medical supplies into wartorn Sarajevo despite severe weather, snipers and political turmoil.

When U.N. convoys were unable to reach isolated areas or regions surrounded by Serb forces, task force aircrews dropped nearly 18,000 metric tons of bulk food, medical bundles and individual meals. Deliveries began in February 1993 and continued for 19 months.

The joint task force began deactivating Feb. 1, turning over its remaining responsibilities to U.S. Army Europe, according to DoD officials. By March 15, all personnel, equipment and facilities will have returned to their parent agencies and units.

Air operations were only part of the Provide Promise mission. U.S. forces also ran a field hospital in Zagreb, Croatia; provided reconnaissance information gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles; and patrolled the borders of Serbia and Macedonia.

A 60bed treatment center provided emergency medical care for U.N. Protection Forces. U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force units on sixmonth rotations staffed the field hospital. DoD officials said the hospital served more than 47,300 U.N. military personnel. It treated more than 46,000 outpatient cases, admitted more than 2,000 patients and performed more than 1,200 surgeries. A Czech facility has replaced the U.S. one.

From July to early November 1995, U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles collected highresolution video and stillphoto images. NATO and U.N. officials used the images to monitor ongoing operations.

One part of the Provide Promise mission continues. Task Force Able Sentry will continue monitoring and reporting troop movements along the SerbiaMacedonia border. The U.S. Army's 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, from Schweinfurt, Germany, currently mans observation posts and conducts patrols. U.S. Army Europe is expected to assume operational control of the unit in midFebruary.

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