Operation Nomad Vigil
More than 70 U.S. military personnel deployed to Gjader Airfield, Albania, for Operation Nomad Vigil. At the center of the deployment was the Predator unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle system which provides a low-risk, cost-effective, reusable, reconnaissance and surveillance platform. High-resolution video and still-photo images gathered by Predator were provided to NATO for use in monitoring operations in the former Yugoslavia. Tasking was provided by the JTF PP headquarters through the Southern Region Joint Operations Intelligence Center (SR JOIC) in Naples, Italy. The required airspace coordination was performed at the NATO Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in Vicenza, Italy. The Predator deployment took place from July through November, 1995.
The second European deployment, Nomad Endeavor, was in support of Operation Joint Endeavor with the Predator based in Taszar, Hungary. Tasking was provided by a forward element of U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) through the US National Intelligence Cell (USNIC) at Vicenza, Italy. The operational control of the Predator remained with USEUCOM, but tactical control was exercised by the NATO CAOC. The deployment started in March 1996.
At some point, the Predator deployments lost a separate operation name, and were folded into Operation Joint Forge.
An RQ-1K Predator unmanned aerial vehicle crashed 23 October 2001 in Kosovo as a result of mechanical failure, according to accident investigators. The Predator is an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft used to survey battlefields and return video footage and radar data. The accident happened about 180 miles southeast of Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia, where the aircraft was based. The Predator was part of an Operation Joint Forge reconnaissance mission over Kosovo and was assigned to the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
According to Air Combat Command's Accident Investigation Board report released Thursday, the accident resulted from mechanical failure in the UAV's propeller control system. Investigators found substantial evidence indicating errors during maintenance on the propeller control system on Sept. 28 played a critical role in the accident. Evidence showed that certain components of the propeller assembly were not adequately lubricated; in addition, a key bolt was stripped and had not been tightened properly. These errors likely led to the accident, according to the lead investigator.
The U.S. flag was lowered on NATO's first military base in former Warsaw Pact territory as the American presence there came to an end in a ceremony 30 June 2004. The overall successes of the Peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo and the smaller number of soldiers required there have eliminated the need for the Taszar facility
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