Task Force Eagle
SFOR-15 was the final rotation of US Forces deployed in support of SFOR. Task Force Eagle was officially inactivated on 24 November 2004. On 2 December 2004, the SFOR mission ended and the EUFOR mission was inaugurated.
In March 1993, the US arranged an end to the war between Muslim and Croat forces, although Serb forces continued to fight. Following a Serb attack against Gorazde, NATO launched its first of many air strikes against Serbian rebels. At the same time, a US delegation mediated peace talks between Serb and Bosnian forces, and a truce was signed on 1 January 1995. War continued during the spring of 1995, when the Croat army attempted to retake territory held by Serbs since the beginning of the conflict. After 7 months of sporadic fighting, peace talks began in November 1995 between leaders from each ethnic group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. On 14 December 1995, the Dayton Peace Accord was signed in Paris by Presidents Franjo Tudjman (Croatia), Aliji Izethbegovic (Bosnia), and Slobodon Milosevic (Serbia).
The United States 1st Armored Division, as part of NATO's Allied Command Europe, Rapid Reaction Corps, was subsequently ordered to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Endeavor, the NATO operation to support the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords. There it formed the nucleus of Task Force Eagle and assumed control of its area of responsibility on 20 December 1995. Task Force Eagle was the lead element of NATO's Multi National Division (North) or MND(N)
1st Infantry Division units also played a key role in Bosnia in the first movement of US troops into the war-torn country. 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment was attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division during Operation Joint Endeavor from October 1995 to October 1996. The Squadron crossed the Sava River on 3 Jan 1996 as part of the historic bridging operation, and led the 2nd Brigade Combat Team into Bosnia. The Squadron was replaced by 1st Infantry Division elements in October 1996 after a yearlong deployment. The 1st Infantry Division eventually assumed authority for command and control of Task Force Eagle in a transfer of authority ceremony on Eagle Base on 10 November 1996. The Division's mission was to provide a covering force for the 1st Armored Division units returning to Germany, and to continue to implement the military aspects of the General Framework Agreement for Peace.
The 1st Infantry Division continued to support the Dayton Peace Accord through the transition from Operation Joint Endeavor to Operation Joint Guard in December 1996, which also saw NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR) transition to the Stabilization Force (SFOR). The Division's task force drew together with National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers, members of the Navy, Air Force, and Marines, and the soldiers from 12 nations.
On 22 October 1997, the 1st Armored Division again assumed command of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. 1st Armored Division's soldiers, familiar with the mission and with Bosnia-Herzegovina, quickly adapted to the role and the challenges of establishing a secure and peaceful environment in MND(N).
On 20 June 1998, the NATO-led SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina transitioned to a slightly smaller follow-on force led by the 1st Cavalry Division from Fort Hood, Texas. The US agreed to provide a force of approximately 6,900 US personnel to maintain a capable military force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Simultaneously, Operation Joint Guard ended, and Operation Joint Forge began. Operation Joint Forge would continue to build on the successes of Operations Joint Endeavor and Joint Guard. No timeline for the duration of Operation Joint Forge was initially established. The mission would be assessed periodically, and the force commitment would be adjusted as circumstances required.
On 4 August 1999, the 10th Mountain Division (Light) assumed command of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 7 March 2000, the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard assumed control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 5 October 2000, the 3rd Infantry Division from Fort Stewart, Georgia, took control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle at a transfer of authority ceremony held on Eagle Base.
In October 2001, the 29th Infantry Division (Light) (Virginia Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In April 2002, the 25th Infantry Division (Light) took control of Task Force Eagle. In October 2002, the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In April 2003, the 35th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Kansas Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. In September 2003, the 34th Infantry Division (Minnesota Army National Guard) took control of Task Force Eagle. During this period, NATO also changed the designations for the components of SFOR and MND(N) was redesignated as Multi National Brigade (North) or MNB(N).
In March 2004, the 38th Infantry Division (Mechanized) (Indiana Army National Guard) took control of MND(N) and Task Force Eagle. On 1 June 2004, NATO again changed the designations for the components of SFOR and MNB(N) was redesignated as Multi National Task Force North or MNTF(N). There had initially been plans for a SFOR-16 rotation, which was to have been led first 42nd Infantry Division (New York Army National Guard) before being changed to the 40th Infantry Division (California Army National Guard). However, before this deployment could occur the decision was made to end the NATO operation and replace it with one led by the European Union. NATO's SFOR and the US Army's Task Force Eagle were subsequently inactivated at the end of 2004.
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