Operation Essential Harvest
On August 27, 2001 the NATO multi-national military force called Task Force Harvest was authorized by the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe, Admiral James O. Ellis, to begin the immediate collection of arms and ammunition in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from members of the so-called National Liberation Army. Admiral Ellis is the NATO operational commander for the Balkans.
This decision followed the approval of Operation Essential Harvest by the North Atlantic Council; the release of an Activation Order for the mission by Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Joseph W. Ralston; and a report of readiness by the Commander, Task Force Harvest, Major General Gunnar Lange.
The task force, commanded by Major General Lange, was comprised of a brigade with the appropriate command and control structure, support troops, helicopter lift and force protection capability. British Army Brigadier Barney White-Spunner led the brigade.
NATO troops participating in the operation were fully capable and determined to successfully carry out the mission as authorized by the North Atlantic Council. The collection of arms and ammunition in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at weapons collection sites by Task Force Harvest was a key element in the ongoing peace process initiated jointly by the Government and the so-called NLA. The mission was not to exceed 30 days.
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