Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has authorized the deployment of additional U.S.- and European-based forces to augment European-assigned forces in support of Task Force Hawk. These forces were requested by Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the supreme allied commander, Europe (SACEUR), to support the deployment of Apache helicopters in Albania. The additional forces will improve force protection, augment deep-strike suppression fires in support of Apache air operations and allow operations in an austere environment. All the forces will be deployed to Albania.
U.S.-based assets deploying from U.S. Atlantic Command include one light infantry company, one Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) platoon with three MLRS vehicles, one High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) anti-tank company with 20 TOW-mounted and 18 Javelin-mounted HMMWVs, one combat engineer platoon, one Avenger air defense platoon with four Avengers, one military intelligence platoon, one military police platoon and one combat service support team.
Additional assets will also be deployed from Europe to further enhance the capabilities of Task Force Hawk. These in-theater plus-ups include one brigade headquarters, one mechanized infantry company with 14 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, one armor company with 15 Abrams tanks, one 155mm artillery battery of eight Howitzers, one MLRS battery (minus) with six MLRS vehicles, one combat engineer company, one construction engineer company (minus), one short-range air defense battery with eight Bradley Stinger Fighting Vehicles, one smoke generator platoon and appropriate combat support and combat service support elements.
These additional forces from the United States and Europe will augment Task Force Hawk and further enhance NATO's ability to conduct strikes with the Task Force Hawk's Apache helicopters against Federal Republic of Yugoslavia units in Kosovo. This deployment brings the approximate number of U.S. forces in Task Force Hawk to 5,350. Units should begin deployments early next week.