Details/Information for Canadian Forces (CF) Operation ECHO

CF Overseas Operations have most often operated within the construct of an international mandate. As such, the International Information is presented first in order to provide the context of the Canadian Operation (displayed second). Eventually, all rotations associated with the particular Canadian operation will also be displayed.

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International Information

International Operation Name:  Operation DETERMINED FORCE

International Mission Name:  Operation DETERMINED FORCE

Mandating Organization:  United Nations

Region Name:  Europe

Location:  Former Yugoslavia

Mission Date:  13/10/1998 - 23/03/1999

Mission Mandate:  

On 23 September 1998, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1199, a Chapter VII resolution, demanding the cessation of violence in Kosovo. The North Atlantic Council authorized the activation of Operation Determined Force (ODF) in support of this resolution on 13 October 1998. The mandate of ODF was to demonstrate NATO resolve in support of UN resolutions regarding Kosovo, to enforce the “no-fly” zone over Bosnia and to prepare for limited air strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Mission/Operation Notes:

As the former Yugoslavia continued its break-up through 1998, tensions between ethnic Albanians and the security forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia) escalated in Kosovo. As Yugoslav forces violently broke-up peaceful demonstrations and increasingly intimidated civilians, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) attacked Yugoslav forces in a guerrilla campaign. The UN Security Council approved resolution 1160 demanding that all parties cease hostilities and that peaceful political processes be followed to resolve issues.

Failing to heed the resolution, Yugoslav forces and the KLA stepped up the level of their aggression. The Security Council passed Resolution 1199 on 23 September, demanding that all parties cease hostilities and more importantly that further actions would be considered if stability were not restored. Accordingly, the North Atlantic Council activated Operation Determined Force (ODF) on 13 October.

ODF was a phased operation in which NATO would first attempt to demonstrate its resolve to enforce the Security Council’s resolutions and prevent further violence. It allowed for limited air strikes, such as those against military targets, and a phased air campaign if Yugoslavia failed to meet the terms of the Security Council resolutions.

NATO nations quickly responded to the activation order. Aircraft from twelve nations soon arrived in the area around the Balkans, with fourteen nations supporting the operation. By 27 October, over 300 aircraft had deployed to airbases in France, Germany, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom, as well as aircraft carriers in the Adriatic. These aircraft were soon flying missions over Bosnia in support of the “no-fly” zone, conducting combined training exercises, and participating in Partnership for Peace exercises in the region. They also served as a protection force for other NATO and UN missions operating in the former Yugoslavia.

On 15 October 1998, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agreed to a cease-fire and to withdraw those forces that had been mobilized and sent to Kosovo. He also accepted international verification of his compliance. NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) signed agreements with Yugoslavia creating Operation Eagle Eye and the Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission respectively. NATO also planned an extraction force for a contingency extraction of personnel from Kosovo - Operation Determined Guarantor.

Through late 1998 and into early 1999, the violence of the KLA and Yugloslav forces escalated. NATO began negotiations involving both parties in Rambouillet, France on 6 February 1999. While the KLA ultimately accepted NATO’s terms, on 19 March Yugoslavia rejected the Rambouillet Accords. By this time hundreds of civilians had been killed and over 300,000 forced out of their homes. With the rejection of the Accords, the escalation of violence - especially by Yugoslav forces in Kosovo – and the failure of Yugoslavia to heed warnings from NATO, NATO’s Secretary-General authorized Operation Allied Force on 23 March, with operations beginning on 24 March. This ended Operation Determined Force.

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