Joint Task Force Provide Promise will begin deactivation today, exactly three
years after it stood up to support United States and United Nations operations
in the former Yugoslavia (FY).
JTF-Provide Promise will turn over all of its remaining external functions and
responsibilities to United States Army Europe by Feb. 15. Deactivation of the
task force will continue until March 15. At that time all equipment and
facilities will have been returned to owning agencies and all personnel will
have returned to their parent units.
The task force was established to consolidate oversight of a variety of
existing U.S. missions in the former Yugoslavia ranging from support to
humanitarian relief efforts to medical services for the U.N. Protection
JTF-Provide Promise's primary missions included: command of all U.S. forces
operating in support of U.N. operations in the Balkan Region; providing
humanitarian food and supplies to the citizens and refugees of
Bosnia-Herzegovina through airland and airdrop operations; supplying medical
treatment to U.N. peace forces at a U.S. field hospital in Croatia; detecting,
monitoring, and reporting activities along the border of Serbia and the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM); and conducting reconnaissance using
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in support of U.N., NATO and U.S. operations.
Under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR), Provide Promise aircrews participated in a multi-national airlift
operation flying provisions to war-torn Sarajevo. The Sarajevo airbridge was
the longest-running humanitarian airlift in history -- supplying over 160,000
metric tons of food, medicine and supplies. The airbridge officially was
terminated at a ceremony at the Sarajevo Airport on Jan. 9, 1996.
To augment the existing humanitarian operations, short term emergency airdrops
were flown for 19 months starting in February 1993. The flights dropped bulk
food, medical bundles and individual meals over isolated regions of
Bosnia-Herzegovina that were either out of reach of U.N. convoys or surrounded
by Serbian forces. The airdrops delivered nearly 18,000 metric tons of
Another aspect of the Provide Promise mission was the operation of the U.S.
hospital at Zagreb. The facility, located at Camp Pleso in Zagreb, Croatia,
provided a 60-bed emergency medical treatment center for the U.N. peace forces.
Hospital staffing was provided by U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force units filling
six-month duty rotations. At its peak, the hospital served a U.N. military
population of more than 47,300. It treated nearly 46,000 out-patient cases,
admitted more than 2,000 patients and performed more than 1,200 surgeries.
Last December the U.N. replaced the hospital with a smaller, Czech medical
battalion-operated, medical treatment facility at Camp Pleso.
From July 1995 to early November of that year, Provide Promise collected
imagery to support U.N., NATO and U.S. operations using UAVs. The UAVs
operated by military and civilian contract personnel, collected high-resolution
video and still photo images which were provided to NATO and the U.N. for use
monitoring ongoing operations.
The only Provide Promise mission that will continue following deactivation are
the duties assigned to Task Force Able Sentry at Skopje, Macedonia. This
mission currently is performed by soldiers of the U.S. Army's 1st Battalion,
15th Infantry Regiment from Schweinfurt, Germany. Their mission is to monitor
and report troop movement along the Serbia/Macedonia border. The United States
Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, is expected to assume operational control
of the unit in mid-February.