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Operation Quicklift

Operation Quicklift supported the United Nations mission and allies in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. The logistics support rapidly moved essential UN reaction forces personnel and equipment. The operation ended the first week in August.

The airlift started July 8, and through July 27 some 14 to 18 C-5 Galaxy and about 10 C-141 missions were expected to land at Split. There, the airlift operation was directed by about 60 members of the 621st Tanker Airlift Control Element from McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., and about a 40-member US European Command team.

Quicklift averaged three flights a day for approximately six weeks to transport approximately British troops and Dutch soldiers. The British combat troops -- of the 24th Air Mobile Regiment -- were headed for duty as part of a 12,000-member UN reaction force tasked with protecting peacekeepers in Bosnia. About 50 percent of the British troops left from Royal Air Force Base Brize Norton and about 50 percent from (Hanover) Germany. In just over a month the airlift and sealift operations moved over 4,100 personnel, 1,500 vehicle/trailers and 600 containers of equipment into Croatia. The responsiveness and flexibility demonstrated included short-notice changes in lift requirements, delivery dates, and destinations. Operation Quicklift was temporarily grounded while the Croatian authorities wrangled with the UN over operational details and customs fees, but resumed again on July 14.

At the end of the month, there was a five-day pause in the Air Mobility Command airlift, during which troops already in Croatia received their equipment through the sealift portion of Operation Quicklift at the Croatian port of Ploce, on the coast south of Split. That coordination of the sealift and airlift portion so troops get their equipment quickly was the major strategy of the operation. The troops flew in to meet their equipment. They then moved forward and became operational in as short a period as possible. When the airlift resumed, approximately 23 more C-141 missions ferried in the remainder of the troops.

Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) Europe personnel joined forces with several European allies to support the United Nations mission in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. In the first movement under Operation Quick Lift, more than 600 pieces of rolling stock, 83 20-foot containers, and 1,703 pieces of breakbulk cargo were transported to Croatia aboard a Military Sealift Command vessel, the MV Cape Race, to support British and Dutch troops.

Personnel from MTMC Europe's 1325th Medium Port Command in Bremerhaven, Germany, provided vessel stow plans for British engineering equipment arriving at the port in Emden, Germany, by convoy from British bases in Germany. After the equipment was loaded, the roll-on-roll-off ship sailed for Marchwood Military Port in Southampton, England, in July 1995, where personnel assigned to MTMC Europe's 1320th Medium Port Command in Felixstowe, England, loaded additional equipment for shipment to Croatia.

The two designated ports of debarkation in Croatia were the Port of Split and the Port of Ploce. When the Cape Race sailed for Croatia, a documentation team provided by MTMC Europe was on board with the equipment. Team members installed computers, printers, and modems in the radio operator's room on board ship to accommodate the worldwide port system (WPS) carry-away computer. While en route, the documentation team prepared an advance manifest for the loaded equipment using the portable carry-away computer system. They used an international maritime satellite terminal to communicate with the host WPS in Felixstowe.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:34:36 Zulu