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Operation United Shield

On 10 January 1995 the Pentagon announced that 2,600 U.S. Marines would be deployed to Somalia for Operation United Shield to assist in the final withdrawal of United Nations peacekeeping troops from Somalia. The decision came in response to a long-standing U.N. request for American protection of its peacekeeping forces serving in the war-torn African nation. The U.N. security council established 31 March as the deadline for the departure of all its forces participating in U.N. operations in Somalia. In all over 4,000 personnel US CENTCOM personnel participated in Operation United Shield in support of the withdrawal of U.N. forces from Somalia.

On 03 March 1995, after two years and $2 billion, the United Nations concluded its withdrawal from Somalia. Under the protective cover of a seven-nation task force, 2,500 Pakistani and Bangladeshi peacekeepers completed their withdrawal and began their journey home. About 1,800 US Marines and 350 Italian Marines landed on 01 March to safeguard the movement. The 73-hour operation was successful. The Marines' return marked the second landing in Somalia in 27 months. In December 1992, US Marines were called upon to stem the war-induced famine that claimed 350,000 Somali lives in Operation Restore Hope.

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