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Joint Task Force 190 (JTF-190)
Joint Task Force 180 (JTF-180)

Joint Task Force 180 led the multinational force during the 1994 Haiti intervention. Commander of USACOM had overall responsiblility for the operations in Haiti, and had much to do with the planning and development of that operation. The 1994 Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti demanded Army forces to demonstrate an extraordinary degree of agility and responsiveness. Months before operations began, the 82d Airborne Division prepared plans for a short-notice forcible entry into Haiti. In January 1994 DOD established JTF 180 and began contingency planning. From January through September 1994 JTF 180 conducted invasion rehearsals. Completed plans detailing the use of overwhelming lethal force to seize key targets awaited only a decision to execute.

On 16 September 1994 US Atlantic Command directed Joint Task Force (JTF) 180, led by the US XVIII Airborne Corps and composed of elements of the Corps, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Atlantic Fleet, and Air Combat Command, to begin operations to restore the legitimate government of Haiti. Then, on 19 September 1994, with the 82d already in flight to execute the plan, word suddenly arrived that a last-minute diplomatic effort had succeeded in securing the permissive entry of US forces. JTF 180 conducted a successful permissive entry operation on 19 September 1994 and provided overwatch for the subsequent return of President Aristide on 15 October 1994.

With the sudden change in conditions, the Haiti mission passed from the invasion force, which returned home, to the 10th Mountain Division, which began arriving in Port-au-Prince in a matter of hours. In addition, special operations forces (SOF) blanketed the country within a week. Active engagement of the populace quickly established a measure of trust that furthered both SOF security and the effectiveness of the mission. Meanwhile, although initial living and working conditions in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere were predictably austere, CSS forces responded rapidly as equipment and other resources poured into Haiti.

American agility notwithstanding, conditions on the ground in Haiti remained unclear. Joint Task Force (JTF) 180 commander, LTG H. Hugh Shelton, found himself in the unanticipated position of negotiating the terms of a transition of power and working with representatives of the very regime he had earlier expected to remove. In turn, JTF 190 commander, MG David Meade, worked to secure the cooperation of police and civil officials in the capital. Army forces responded flexibly to a highly fluid and ambiguous situation.

Thousands of US forces, first under JTF 180 from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, then JTF 190 from Fort Drum, New York, along with special operations forces and US Marines, occupied Haiti. By 24 October 1994 USACOM was working to transition also from General Shelton to General Meade, JTF-180 to JTF-190, and working with United Nations, their advanced team, to set the conditions for transfer to UNMIH too. In October of 1993 there was the first UN Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) operation. The Harlan County was turned around. USACOM had the initial one of JTF-120 in October 1993 about maritime interdiction operations. Then Operation Sea Signal, the migrant processing at GTMO and the safe havens that were created. Operation Sustain Democracy had the observer groups in the Dominican Republic, and Operation Uphold Democracy, and Operation Maintain Democracy.

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Page last modified: 12-08-2011 00:04:21 ZULU