Operation Cobalt Flash
Operation Cobalt Flash was the build-up of US Air Force elements in Europe in support of US committments to NATO's Operation Determined Force. Cobalt Flash deployments were led or otherwise coordinated by US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).
On 9 October 1998, the US committed Operation Cobalt Flash forces following an activation request in preparation for NATO's Operation Determined Force, possible air raids against Serb forces in Kosovo. Cobalt Flash forces also supported negotiation efforts in the region, with the 76th Airlift Squadron providing C-9 and C-20 as emergency airlift support for US Embassy staff and negotiators.
Aircrews and A-10 aircraft from the 81st Fighter Squadron deployed to Aviano Air Base, Italy, where they flew 115 sorties in support of Operation Cobalt Flash from 10 October to 10 November 1998, primarily in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The use of the aircraft to support Operation Joint Forge reflected the belief that Serbian authorities were willing to comply with terms outlined by UN Security Council Resolution 1199, which was adopted on 23 September 1998. The resolution called for an immediate ceasefire to hostilities in Kosovo and the establishment of international ground and air verification missions to observe compliance.
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