Operation JUST CAUSE was unique in the history of U.S. warfare for many reasons. As the largest single contingency operation since World War II, it focused on a combination of rapid deployment of critical combat power and precise utilization of forward deployed and in-country forces. The American soldier professionally accomplished every mission and understood the limited application of surgical firepower in conjunction with strict rules of engagement. Meticulous planning, detailed preparation and on-site reconnaissance were distinct advantages.
Many diverse elements contributed to the success of Operation JUST CAUSE. Some components of the overall success of the operation were extensive rehearsals at unit level, rapid buildup of combat power, simultaneous attack of multiple targets, and in-country logistics base, detailed intelligence, precision weapons systems and well-trained, motivated soldiers.
Joint operations were an integral part of the planning and execution of JUST CAUSE; however, this bulletin will focus only on the U.S. Army operations. Unit historical summaries are centered on brigade and battalions with independent missions to provide a background for the lessons learned which follow. Every unit involved in JUST CAUSE made a substantial contribution, but space limits the discussion to major actions and illustrations for the lessons learned.
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