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Operation Allied Harvest
Operation Allied Harvest II

On 9 June 1999, NATO launched Operation Allied Harvest in the Adriatic Sea to clear ordnance jettisoned during Operation Allied Force. Search activities began 3 days later and lasted for a total of 73 days. During Allied Harvest, which came to an end on 26 August 1999, a total of 93 pieces of ordnance were located and cleared in the 9 areas searched by the NATO Forces, which encompassed 1,041 square nautical miles. The search and clearance operations were conducted by a task force formed from 2 immediate NATO naval reaction forces: Mine Counter Measures Force North Western Europe (MCMFORNORTH) and Mine Counter Measures Force Mediterranean (MCMFORMED). The task force consisted of mine hunters and minesweepers, as well as a support ship. NATO contributors to the mission were Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. The operation also involved a Forward Logistic Site activated in Ancona by the Italian Navy with forward supply units from United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium.

MCMFORMED had only been formed on 27 May 1999, giving NATO for the first time ever an operational mine countermeasures capability permanently available in the Mediterranean and poised for action in peacetime, crisis or conflict. At that time, MCMFORMED consisted of ITS Alpino (F580, command and support ship, Italy), BNS Bellis (M916, minehunter), HS Erato (M60, minesweeper/hunter, Greece), FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg (M1062, minehunter, Germany), ITS Numana (M5557, minehunter/sweeper, Italy), SPS Segura (M31, minehunter, Spain), TCG Edincik (M260, minehunter, Turkey), HMS Atherstone (M38, minsweeper/minehunter, UK), and USS Champion (MCM4, mine countermeasure vessel, USA), which were made available for Operation Allied Harvest. To this was added ships from MCMFORNORTH, to include HMS Bulldog (MCMFORNORTH flagship, UK), BNS Aster (M915, Belgium), FGS Fulda (M1058, Germany), HDMS Lindormen (N43, Greece), HMS Sandown (M101, UK), and HNLMS Urk (M861, the Netherlands). They operated under the operational control of Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe, Admiral Giuseppe Spinozzi, Italian navy.

On 8 April 2000, NATO's MCMFORMED resumed ordnance clearance operations in the Adriatic Sea in response to a request for assistance from Italy. The force, which was co-operating with Italian naval authorities, was under the operational control of Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe, Vice Admiral Luigi Lillo, Italian Navy. This operation, codenamed Allied Harvest II, consisted of locating and disposing of ordnance jettisoned during Operation Allied Force. Additionally, any ordnance found from previous operations would be cleared as well. Italian authorities requested NATOs assistance in the removal of as much Allied Force ordnance as possible from the Adriatic, during this clearing operation. NATO members participating in Allied Harvest II were Italy, Germany, Greece, and Turkey. A total of 5 ships conducted operations during Allied Harvest II: ITS Alpino (flagship, Italy), ITS Alghero (Italy), HS Evniki (Greece), TCG Erdek (Turkey), and FGS Dillingen (Germany). FGS Dillingen was relieved by FGS Bad Rappenau 12 April 2000.




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