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Operation Determined Effort

Operation Determined Effort was a plan [OPLAN 40-104] for a NATO operation for withdrawing UN forces should such a contingency have arisen. The detailed planning for this operation by several NATO countries prepared the groundwork for Operation Joint Endeavor. In July 1995 NATO planners estimated that the number of troops needed for the successfull evacuation of UN peacekeepers from Bosnia-Hercegovina would total up to 80,000 troops for a possible evacuation mission, with the US portion of the operation limited to 25,000. The operation involved securing routes into Sarajevo and into the other enclaves and bringing out the UN troops and their equipment.

The two options initially under consideration were Operation Determined Effort, a gradual evacuation that would take months, and Operation Daring Lion, which could be executed in a matter of days, though the UN would leave behind equipment that would have to be destroyed so it did not fall into the hands of the warring sides.

Operation Determined Effort evolved as the designation for the prelude to and planning for Operation Joint Endeavor. In response to orders in November 1995 from President Bill Clinton, a handful of US troops moved into Bosnia and Croatia as part of a small multinational force of logisticians who prepared for the anticipated arrival of an implementation force (IFOR) of about 60,000 troops from the U.S. Army, its sister services, and other NATO- and non-NATO nations. The IFOR would enforce provisions of the peace agreement formally signed on 14 December in Paris by the warring parties of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).

In the United States, guardsmen and reservists were sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, or Fort Dix, New Jersey, for a NATO orientation before moving on to Germany for the special training. Many reservists were deployed to areas in Europe to fill in for active-duty troops who deployed to Bosnia.

The 1st Armored Division is the major element of the U.S. military contingent in Bosnia. The 13,000-man force is equipped with M1A1 Abrams tanks, M2/M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, AH-64 Apache helicopters, and extra radar detectors to identify and attack hostile mortar and artillery fire. The division's intelligence analysts monitored terrorist activities worldwide that could target American troops in Bosnia. U.S. forces were instructed to patrol in small units, never alone; enforce tight security around base camps; and not to socialize with local residents.

Twenty-two Active Army units in the United States were identified for potential deployment in support of the NATO IFOR in Bosnia. Among logistics units that deployed were the 54th Quartermaster Company, a mortuary affairs unit from Fort Lee, Virginia; the 102d Quartermaster Company, a petroleum, oils, and lubricants unit from Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and the 403d Transportation Company, from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, that would be responsible for transshipping cargo at highway, rail, barge, and air terminals.

In addition, 49 Army National Guard and Army Reserve units based in the continental United States and Puerto Rico were notified to begin training for possible deployment to the European Theater to support U.S. forces that would participate in NATO peace IFOR operations in the former Yugoslavia. Among these were units that perform transportation, public affairs, medical, military police, postal, materiel management, military history, and civil affairs functions.

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