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Operation Provide Relief

Operation Provide Relief in Somalia began in August 1992, when the White House announced US military transports would support the multinational United Nations relief effort in Somalia. Ten C-130s and 400 people deployed to Mombasa, Kenya, during Operation Provide Relief, airlifting aid to remote areas in Somalia to reduce reliance on truck convoys. One member of the 86th Supply Squadron deployed with the ground support contingent, USAFE's only contribution to the operation. The Air Force C-130s delivered 48,000 tons of food and medical supplies in six months to international humanitarian organizations, trying to help over three million starving people. When this proved inadequate to stop the massive death and displacement of Somali people (500,000 dead; 1.5 million refugees or displaced), the U.S. in December 1992 launched a major coalition operation to assist and protect humanitarian activities. The operation was successful in stopping the famine and saving an estimated 200,000 lives, as well as de-escalating the high-intensity civil war into low-level, local skirmishes.

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