The 2nd Marine Division (2nd MARDIV) is a division of the United States Marine Corps, which forms the ground combat element of the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF). The division is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and headquartered at Julian C. Smith Hall.
The 2nd Marine Division earned renown in World War II, distinguishing itself at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa
The lineal forebearer of the 2nd Marine Division is the 2nd Marine Brigade, which was activated on 1 July 1936 at San Diego, California.
The 2nd Marine Division was officially organized on February 1, 1941 at Camp Elliott, California by change of designation from the 2nd Marine Brigade.
Clayton B. Vogel
February 1, 1941 December 7, 1941
Charles F. B. Price
December 8, 1941 March 23, 1942
Joseph C. Fegan (Acting)
... Morearch 24, 1942 March 31, 1942
April 1, 1942 April 30, 1943
Julian C. Smith
May 1, 1943 April 10, 1944
Thomas E. Watson
April 11, 1944 June 22, 1945
LeRoy P. Hunt
June 23, 1945 July 9, 1946
Gregon A. Williams (Acting) Colonel
July 10, 1946 July 20, 1946
Thomas E. Watson
July 21, 1946 January 31, 1948
Franklin A. Hart
February 1, 1948 June 30, 1950
Ray A. Robinson
July 1, 1950 December 6, 1951
Edwin A. Pollock
December 7, 1951 September 2, 1952
Randolph M. Pate
September 3, 1952 May 29, 1953
Robert E. Hogaboom (Acting) Brigadier General
May 30, 1953 June 23, 1953
George F. Good Jr.
June 24, 1953 July 1, 1954
Lewis B. Puller
July 2, 1954 February 7, 1955
Edward W. Snedeker
February 8, 1955 July 1, 1955
Reginald H. Ridgely Jr.
July 2, 1955 June 2, 1957
Joseph C. Burger
June 3, 1957 October 24, 1959
Odell M. Conoley (Acting)
October 25, 1959 November 5, 1959
James P. Berkeley
November 6, 1959 November 3, 1961
Frederick L. Wieseman
November 4, 1961 June 23, 1963
Rathvon M. Tompkins
Brigadier General (Acting) June 24, 1963 September 26, 1963
William J. Van Ryzin
September 27, 1963 April 11, 1965
Ormond R. Simpson
April 12, 1965 November 21, 1967
Edwin B. Wheeler
November 22, 1967 May 18, 1969
Michael P. Ryan
May 19, 1969 June 4, 1971
Robert D. Bohn
June 5, 1971 September 28, 1971
Fred E. Haynes Jr.
September 29, 1971 January 9, 1973
Arthur J. Poillon (Acting)
January 10, 1973 July 1, 1973
July 2, 1973 December 19, 1973
William H. Lanagan Jr. (Acting) Brigadier General
December 20, 1973 May 15, 1974
William G. Joslyn
May 16, 1974 June 30, 1976
July 1, 1976 May 17, 1978
Edward J. Bronars
May 18, 1978 June 27, 1979
David M. Twomey
June 28, 1979 June 4, 1981
Alfred M. Gray Jr.
June 5, 1981 August 28, 1984
Dennis J. Murphy
August 29, 1984 October 29, 1987
Orlo K. Steele
October 30, 1987 September 26, 1989
William M. Keys
September 27, 1989 June 24, 1991
Paul Van Riper
June 25, 1991 April 3, 1993
Richard I. Neal
April 4, 1993 July 28, 1994
James L. Jones
July 29, 1994 June 23, 1995
Lawrence H. Livingston
June 24, 1995 July 24, 1997
Emil R. Bedard
July 25, 1997 June 29, 1999
Robert R. Blackman
June 30, 1999 July 30, 2001
John F. Sattler
July 31, 2001 June 30, 2003
Stephen T. Johnson
July 1, 2003 November 9, 2004
Richard A. Huck
November 10, 2004 June 16, 2006
Walter E. Gaskin
June 16, 2006 June 20, 2008
Richard T. Tryon
June 20, 2008 July 30, 2010
John A. Toolan
August 1, 2010 March 1, 2012
James W. Lukeman
March 2, 2012 August 7, 2014
Brian D. Beaudreault
August 8, 2014 June 16, 2016
John K. Love
June 17, 2016 August 1, 2018
David J. Furness
August 2, 2018 Incumbent Hide
During 2008 and 2009, all non-U.S. foreign forces withdrew from Iraq. Withdrawal of all non-U.S. forces was complete by 31 July 2009. As of 1 January 2009, the Iraqi government became fully responsibl
... Moree, through its security ministries, for maintaining and providing security and rule of law for its populace. Furthermore, as of 28 June 2009, no foreign forces were stationed within any of Iraq's major cities. The United States decided after negotiations to cease combat operations, that is, patrolling, serving arrest warrants, route clearance, etc., within Iraq by 1 September 2010, and transition to a pure advise, train and assist role. The changing mission entailed major troop reductions; from 115,000 on 15 December 2009, to 50,000 by 1 September 2010, and to zero by 31 December 2011.
As a result of the evolution of Operation Iraqi Freedom, three major commands (Multi-National Force – Iraq, Multi-National Corps – Iraq and Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq) were merged on 1 January 2010. The streamlining reduced the total number of staff positions by 41%, and serves the new advise, train and assist role of the American forces under the U.S.–Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. The reduced number of staff positions decreased the personnel requirements on the United States armed forces. This also meant that further space was created for the reconstitution of the U.S. military after the end of significant combat operations. (This reconstitution may include, for example, longer leave for many personnel, enhanced space for psychological counselling, equipment repair and maintenance, transport of enormous amounts of equipment, supplies, and materiel south to Kuwait and onward, reconsideration of requirements, etc.).
The new USF–I was claimed to be organized into three divisions, which as of January 2010 were actually four. United States Division – North takes over from the former MND–N, United States Division – Center takes over from United States Force – West and MND–Baghdad, amalgamated on 23 January 2010, and United States Division – South, takes over from the old MND–South. In December 2009/January 2010 when the transition occurred, the 34th Infantry Division was providing the headquarters of MND/USD South. On 3 February 2010, the 1st Infantry Division took command of USD–South (covering nine Governorates of Iraq, including Wasit Governorate and Babil Governorate) from the 34th Infantry Division. A number of Advise and Assist (A&A) Brigades were created to carry out the Advise and Assist mission. Advise and Assist brigades were 'standard combat brigades with a complement of forty-eight extra majors and colonels to serve as advisers to Iraqi troops.'
MNSTC–I became U.S. Forces – Iraq, Advising and Training, which was under a major general, double-hatted as Commander, NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM–I).
1 January 2009 – The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement went into effect, and gave the Government of Iraq de jure responsibility of maintaining and providing security for all of its people. Approximately 150,000 foreign troops in Iraq.
28 June 2009 – Foreign forces were no longer stationed within any of Iraq's major cities. Proclaimed as a national holiday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
31 July 2009 – The last large groups of non-U.S. foreign forces completed their withdrawal from Iraq.
1 January 2010 – The major commands Multi-National Force – Iraq, Multi-National Corps – Iraq and Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq merged into the unified command United States Forces – Iraq, reducing the total number of staff positions by 41%. Approximately 112,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
7 March 2010 – Iraq held parliamentary elections, its second under its democratic constitution, and is seen as an important milestone for the young Iraqi political system; this leaves approximately 96,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.
1 September 2010 – American forces ceased all combat operations, i.e. patrolling, serving arrest warrants, route clearance, etc., and transitioned to a pure advise, train and assist role. Operation Iraqi Freedom is officially concluded Hide
In the context of the Iraq War, the surge refers to United States President George W. Bush's 2007 increase in the number of American troops in order to provide security to Baghdad and Al Anbar Provinc
The surge had been developed under the working title "The New Way Forward" and it was announced in January 2007 by Bush during a television speech. Bush ordered the deployment of more than 20,000 soldiers into Iraq, five additional brigades, and sent the majority of them into Baghdad. He also extended the tour of most of the Army troops in country and some of the Marines already in the Anbar Province area. The President described the overall objective as establishing a "...unified, democratic federal Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself, and is an ally in the War on Terror." The major element of the strategy was a change in focus for the US military "to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security". The President stated that the surge would then provide the time and conditions conducive to reconciliation among political and ethnic factions.
The five U.S. Army brigades committed to Iraq as part of the surge were
2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Infantry): 3,447 troops. Deployed to Baghdad, January 2007
4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Infantry): 3,447 troops. Deployed to Baghdad, February 2007
3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Heavy): 3,784 troops. Deployed to southern Baghdad Belts, March 2007
4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker): 3,921 troops. Deployed to Diyala province, April 2007
2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Heavy): 3,784 troops. Deployed to the southeast of Baghdad, May 2007
This brought the number of U.S. brigades in Iraq from 15 to 20. Additionally, 4,000 Marines in Al Anbar had their 7-month tour extended. These included Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 2nd Battalion 4th Marines, the 1st Battalion 6th Marines and the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. Most of the 150,000 Army personnel had their 12-month tours extended as well. By July, 2007, the percentage of the mobilized Army deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan was almost 30%; the percentage of the mobilized Marine Corps deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan was 13.5%.
The plan began with a major operation to secure Baghdad, codenamed Operation Fardh al-Qanoon (Operation Imposing Law), which was launched in February 2007. However, only in mid-June 2007, with the full deployment of the 28,000 additional U.S. troops, could major counter-insurgency efforts get fully under way. Operation Phantom Thunder was launched throughout Iraq on June 16, with a number of subordinate operations targeting insurgents in Diyala province, Anbar province and the southern Baghdad Belts. The additional surge troops also participated in Operation Phantom Strike and Operation Phantom Phoenix, named after the III "Phantom" Corps which was the major U.S. unit in Iraq throughout 2007.
Counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq changed significantly under the command of General Petraeus since the 2007 troop surge began. The newer approach attempted to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people through building relationships, preventing civilian casualties and compromising with and even hiring some former enemies. The new strategy was population-centric in that it focused in protecting the population rather than killing insurgents. In implementing this strategy, Petraeus used experienced gained while commanding the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul in 2003. He also explained these ideas extensively in Field Manual 3-24: Counterinsurgency, which he assisted in the writing of while serving as the Commanding General of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) located there.
Instead of seeing every Iraqi as a potential enemy, the current COIN strategy focuses on building relationships and getting cooperation from the Iraqis against Al Qaeda and minimizing the number of enemies for U.S. forces. The belief is that maintaining a long term presence of troops in a community improves security and allows for relationships and trust to develop between the locals and the U.S. military. Civilian casualties are minimized by carefully measured use of force. This means less bombing and overwhelming firepower, and more soldiers using restraint and even sometimes taking more risk in the process.
Another method of gaining cooperation is by paying locals, including former insurgents, to work as local security forces. Former Sunni insurgents have been hired by the U.S. military to stop cooperating with Al Qaeda and to start fighting against them.
To implement this strategy, troops were concentrated in the Baghdad area (at the time, Baghdad accounted for 50% of all the violence in Iraq). Whereas in the past, Coalition forces isolated themselves from Iraqis by living in large forward operating bases far from population centers, troops during the surge lived among the Iraqis, operating from joint security stations (JSSs) located within Baghdad itself and shared with Iraqi security forces. Coalition units were permanently assigned to a given area so that they could build long-term relationships with the local Iraqi population and security forces.
However, opponents to occupation such as US Army Col. David H. Hackworth (Ret.), asked whether he thought that British soldiers are better at nation-building than the Americans, said "They were very good at lining up local folks to do the job like operating the sewers and turning on the electricity. Far better than us -- we are heavy-handed, and in Iraq we don't understand the people and the culture. Thus we did not immediately employ locals in police and military activities to get them to build and stabilize their nation."
CNN war correspondent Michael Ware, who has reported from Iraq since before the U.S. invasion in 2003 had a similar dim view of occupation saying, "there will be very much mixed reaction in Iraq” to a long-term troop presence, but he added, “what’s the point and will it be worth it?” Mr. Ware contended that occupation could, "ferment further resentment [towards the U.S]."
Hostile and Non-Hostile Deaths.
Despite a massive security crackdown in Baghdad associated with the surge in coalition troop strength, the monthly death toll in Iraq rose 15% in March 2007. 1,869 Iraqi civilians were killed and 2,719 were wounded in March, compared to 1,646 killed and 2,701 wounded in February. In March, 165 Iraqi policemen were killed against 131 the previous month, while 44 Iraqi soldiers died compared to 29 in February. US military deaths in March were nearly double those of the Iraqi army, despite Iraqi forces leading the security crackdown in Baghdad. The death toll among insurgent militants fell to 481 in March, compared to 586 killed in February; however, the number of arrests jumped to 5,664 in March against 1,921 in February.
Three months after the start of the surge, troops controlled less than a third of the capital, far short of the initial goal, according to an internal military assessment completed in May 2007. Violence was especially chronic in mixed Shiite-Sunni neighborhoods in western Baghdad. Improvements had not yet been widespread or lasting across Baghdad.
Significant attack trends.
On September 10, 2007, David Petraeus delivered his part of the Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq. He concluded that "the military objectives of the surge are, in large measure, being met." He cited what he called recent consistent declines in security incidents, which he attributed to recent blows dealt against Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the surge. He added that "we have also disrupted Shia militia extremists, capturing the head and numerous other leaders of the Iranian-supported Special Groups, along with a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative supporting Iran's activities in Iraq." He argued that Coalition and Iraqi operations had drastically reduced ethno-sectarian violence in the country, though he stated that the gains were not entirely even. He recommended a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq with a goal of reaching pre-surge troop levels by July 2008 and stated that further withdraws would be "premature."
While Petraeus credited the surge for the decrease in violence, the decrease also closely corresponded with a cease-fire order given by Iraqi political leader Muqtada al-Sadr on August 29, 2007. Al-Sadr's order, to stand down for six months, was distributed to his loyalists following the deaths of more than 50 Shia Muslim pilgrims during fighting in Karbala the day earlier.
Michael E. O'Hanlon and Jason H. Campbell of the Brookings Institution stated on December 22, 2007 that Iraq’s security environment had reached its best levels since early 2004 and credited Petraeus' strategy for the improvement. CNN stated that month that the monthly death rate for US troops in Iraq had hit its second lowest point during the entire course of the war. Military representatives attributed the successful reduction of violence and casualties directly to the troop surge. At the same time, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior reported similar reductions for civilian deaths.
Iraqi Security Force deaths.
However, on September 6, 2007, a report by an independent military commission headed by General James Jones found that the decrease in violence may have been due to areas being overrun by either Shias or Sunnis. In addition, in August 2007, the International Organization for Migration and the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization indicated that more Iraqis had fled since the troop increase.
On February 16, 2008, Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed told reporters that the surge was "working very well" and that Iraq has a "pressing" need for troops to stay to secure Iraqi borders. He stated that "Results for 2007 prove that– Baghdad is good now".
In June 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense reported that "the security, political and economic trends in Iraq continue to be positive; however, they remain fragile, reversible and uneven."
U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq by month, the orange and blue months being post-troop surge.
In the month of July, 2008, US forces lost only 13 soldiers, the lowest number of casualties sustained by US troops in one month since the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also, a report by the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, given to Congress in May 2008, and published July 1, stated that the Iraqi government had met 15 of the 18 political benchmarks set out for them. Hide
In June 2004, under the auspices of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 the Coalition transferred limited sovereignty to a caretaker government, whose first act was to begin the trial of S
... Moreaddam Hussein. The government began the process of moving towards elections, though the insurgency, and the lack of cohesion within the government itself, led to repeated delays.
Militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr used his grass-roots organization and Mahdi Militia of over a thousand armed men to take control of the streets of Baghdad. The CPA soon realized it had lost control and closed down his popular newspaper. This resulted in mass anti-American demonstrations. The CPA then attempted to arrest al-Sadr on murder charges. He defied the American military by taking refuge in the Holy City of Najaf.
Through the months of July and August, a series of skirmishes in and around Najaf culminated with the Imman Ali Mosque itself under siege, only to have a peace deal brokered by al-Sistani in late August. Al-Sadr then declared a national cease fire, and opened negotiations with the American and government forces. His militia was incorporated into the Iraqi security forces and al-Sadr is now a special envoy. This incident was the turning point in the failed American efforts to install Ahmed Chalabi as leader of the interim government. The CPA then put Iyad Allawi in power; ultimately he was only marginally more popular than Chalabi.
The Allawi government, with significant numbers of holdovers from the Coalition Provisional Authority, began to engage in attempts to secure control of the oil infrastructure, the source of Iraq's foreign currency, and control of the major cities of Iraq. The continuing insurgencies, poor state of the Iraqi Army, disorganized condition of police and security forces, as well as the lack of revenue hampered their efforts to assert control. In addition, both former Ba'athist elements and militant Shia groups engaged in sabotage, terrorism, open rebellion, and establishing their own security zones in all or part of a dozen cities. The Allawi government vowed to crush resistance, using U.S. troops, but at the same time negotiated with Muqtada al-Sadr.
Offensives and counteroffensives
Beginning 8 November, American and Iraqi forces invaded the militant stronghold of Fallujah in Operation Phantom Fury, killing and capturing many insurgents. Many rebels were thought to have fled the city before the invasion. U.S.-backed figures put insurgency losses at over 2,000. It was the bloodiest single battle for the U.S. in the war, with 92 Americans dead and several hundred wounded. A video showing the killing of at least one unarmed and wounded man by an American serviceman surfaced, throwing renewed doubt and outrage at the efficiency of the U.S. occupation. The Marine was later cleared of any wrongdoing because the Marines had been warned that the enemy would sometimes feign death and booby-trap bodies as a tactic to lure Marines to their deaths. November was the deadliest month of the occupation for coalition troops, surpassing April.
Another offensive was launched by insurgents during the month of November in Mosul. U.S. forces backed by peshmerga fighters launched a counteroffensive which resulted in the Battle of Mosul (2004). The fighting in Mosul occurred concurrently with the fighting in Fallujah and attributed to the high number of American casualties taken that month.
In December, 14 American soldiers were killed and over a hundred injured when an explosion struck an open-tent mess hall in Mosul, where President Bush had spent Thanksgiving with troops the year before. The explosion is believed to have come from a suicide bomber.
After a review of the military strategy in the end of 2004, then commanding general of the MNF-I, General George W. Casey, Jr. directed the Coalition forces to shift their focus from fighting insurgents to training Iraqis. At the time, the Iraqi insurgency was mainly directed against the occupation and it was believed that if the Coalition would reduce its presence then the insurgency would diminish. Military planners hoped that national elections would change the perception of being under occupation, stabilize the situation and allow the Coalition to reduce its presence.
Iraqi elections and aftermath
Voters in the 2005 Iraqi legislative election
Main article: Iraqi legislative election, January 2005
On 30 January, an election for a government to draft a permanent constitution took place. Although some violence and lack of widespread Sunni Arab participation marred the event, most of the eligible Kurd and Shia populace participated. On 4 February, Paul Wolfowitz announced that 15,000 U.S. troops whose tours of duty had been extended in order to provide election security would be pulled out of Iraq by the next month. February, March and April proved to be relatively peaceful months compared to the carnage of November and January, with insurgent attacks averaging 30 a day from the average 70.
Hopes for a quick end to an insurgency and a withdrawal of U.S. troops were dashed at the advent of May, Iraq's bloodiest month since the invasion of U.S. forces in March and April 2003. Suicide bombers, believed to be mainly disheartened Iraqi Sunni Arabs, Syrians and Saudis, tore through Iraq. Their targets were often Shia gatherings or civilian concentrations mainly of Shias. As a result, over 700 Iraqi civilians died in that month, as well as 79 U.S. soldiers.
A large weapons cache in New Ubaydi is destroyed
During early and mid-May, the U.S. also launched Operation Matador, an assault by around 1,000 Marines in the ungoverned region of western Iraq. Its goal was the closing of suspected insurgent supply routes of volunteers and material from Syria, and with the fight they received their assumption proved correct. Fighters armed with flak jackets (unseen in the insurgency by this time) and sporting sophisticated tactics met the Marines, eventually inflicting 30 U.S. casualties by the operation's end, and suffering 125 casualties themselves.
The Marines succeeded, recapturing the whole region and even fighting insurgents all the way to the Syrian border, where they were forced to stop (Syrian residents living near the border heard the American bombs very clearly during the operation). The vast majority of these armed and trained insurgents quickly dispersed before the U.S. could bring the full force of its firepower on them, as it did in Fallujah.
Announcements and renewed fighting
On 14 August 2005 the Washington Post quoted one anonymous U.S. senior official expressing that "the United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges... 'What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground'".
On 22 September 2005, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said he had warned the Bush administration that Iraq was hurtling toward disintegration, and that the election planned for December was unlikely to make any difference. U.S. officials immediately made statements rejecting this view.
Constitutional ratification and elections
The National Assembly elected in January had drafted a new constitution to be ratified in a national referendum on 15 October 2005. For ratification, the constitution required a majority of national vote, and could be blocked by a two thirds "no" vote in each of at least three of the 18 governorates. In the actual vote, 79% of the voters voted in favor, and there was a two thirds "no" vote in only two governorates, both predominantly Sunni. The new Constitution of Iraq was ratified and took effect. Sunni turnout was substantially heavier than for the January elections, but insufficient to block ratification.
Elections for a new Iraqi National Assembly were held under the new constitution on 15 December 2005. This election used a proportional system, with approximately 25% of the seats required to be filled by women. After the election, a coalition government was formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with Jalal Talabani as president. Hide
On 23 February 2004 a team of 50 Marines departed the United States to beef up security for the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The Marines were part of the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team
... Moreout of Naval Base Norfolk, Va. The team was under the operational control of US Southern Command based in Miami. The team assist the Marine security detachment at the embassy. In addition, a Southern Command assessment team continued its work in Haiti. The four-man assessment team was in the country to check on the security of the embassy and its staff. The team and the FAST deployment was not a prelude to a noncombatant evacuation order, but was a prudent course, given the situation in the Caribbean nation.
Washington was being cautious, but a political solution may not be enough. President Bush was not able to completely ignore this kind of lawlessness in his own back yard. Critics claimed the US was washing its hands of this catastrophe, because Haiti does not matter to the US. After contributing to creating this situation, the US did not know how to neutralize it.
Haiti is a nightmare; a "crater rather than a country" and many have all but written off Haiti as a hopeless situation spiraling out of control. Given the ingredients for a rapid descent into murderous anarchy, it could be worse even than a coup. Many anticipated a new wave of desperate refugees and boat people heading for US coasts.
Many blamed President Aristide for the crisis, chagrined that the former "courageous reformer" and Haiti's "best hope" had fallen back on the thuggish forces and fear as the country's past despots. But some feared that as bad as Aristide might be, the rebel alternative was even worse.
A solution to Haiti's "desperate" situation could only come from the outside, but the commitment must not be a "charade" as in 1994, but a sustained occupation. What Haiti needs is a prolonged commitment instead of the long oblivion to which it has been subjected. Haiti calls for long-term supervision" to enable a culture of civic democracy" to take root.
On 29 February 2004 President Bush ordered US Marines into Haiti as part of an international stabilization force following the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. By one estimate, it would take about two days for the ships and troops to reach Haiti from Norfolk, Virginia. In fact, the Marines arrived no later than a few hours after the President's announcement.
The mission of the U.S. forces being deployed is to secure key sites in the Haitian capital of Port au Prince for the purposes of:
Contributing to a more secure and stable environment in the Haitian capital to help promote the constitutional political process;
Assisting as may be needed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
Protecting U.S. citizens as may be required.
Facilitating the repatriation of any Haitian migrants interdicted at sea;
Helping create the conditions for the anticipated arrival of a U.N. multinational force.
The initial contingent of US Marines arrived in the Haitian capital the evening of 29 February 2004. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ordered additional US forces to deploy as necessary over several days to fill out the US contribution to the Multinational Interim Force [MIF]. The MIF, which could include as many as 5,000 troops from several countries, would be in place for 90 days. The United States, working with the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community, contacted a number of countries that have expressed a willingness to contribute forces that would stay until replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. The initial leadership of the multinational interim force was the United States.
By 05 March 2004 a total of 500 French troops, 160 Chileans, 100 Canadians and assorted other nationals had also deployed to Haiti. The UN authorized Multinational Interim Force [MIF] for three months, during which time Haiti's interim president, Supreme Court justice Boniface Alexandre, was to organize new elections.
The Chilean congress approved om March 2, 2004, the dispatch of a battalion composed of 306 soldiers and 30 officers for a renewable period of 90 days, as part of the Multinational Interim Force. This included an initial dispatch of 120 special forces soldiers.
On March 22, 2004 the Department of Defense named the multinational operation in Haiti "Operation Secure Tomorrow." By March 22, the U.S.-led multinational interim force has about 3,300 personnel from the United States, France, Chile and Canada deployed to Haiti in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1529. Operation Secure Tomorrow began Feb. 29, when multinational forces began arriving in Haiti to quell civil unrest throughout Port-au-Prince. Since then, the security situation in Port-au-Prince and throughout the country has steadily improved, providing the citizens of Haiti the promise of a stable, democratic government. Other objectives of Operation Secure Tomorrow include supporting the continuation of a peaceful and constitutional political process and preparing the environment for the arrival of a follow-on U.N. stabilization force.
By late April 2004 about 3,800 service members from four countries were in the Multinational Interim Force. The United States had about 2,000 service members in Haiti, France had more than 900, Canada had more than 500 and Chile had more than 300. The US contingent had expanded into Les Cayes in the south and Hinche in the central plateau. The French continued to expand the security zone in the northern part of the country. The Multinational Interim Force in Haiti had begun planning for a follow-on force by 01 June 2004. The follow-on force would have about 6,700 military personnel and would be in place to relieve the US led interim force.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 19 March to 1 May 2003 and signaled the start of the conflict that later came to be known as the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United
... MoreStates (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called Operation Enduring Freedom, a carryover from the conflict in Afghanistan). The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces.
Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. These were the United States (148,000), United Kingdom (45,000), Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). 36 other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U.S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February. The coalition forces also received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan.
According to U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the coalition mission was "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people." General Wesley Clark, the former Supreme NATO Allied Commander and Joint Chiefs of Staff Director of Strategy and Policy, describes in his 2003 book, Winning Modern Wars, his conversation with a military officer in the Pentagon shortly after 9/11 regarding a plan to attack seven Middle Eastern countries in five years: "As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan." Others place a much greater emphasis on the impact of the 11 September 2001 attacks, and the role this played in changing U.S. strategic calculations, and the rise of the freedom agenda. According to Blair, the trigger was Iraq's failure to take a "final opportunity" to disarm itself of alleged nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that U.S. and British officials called an immediate and intolerable threat to world peace.
In a January 2003 CBS poll, 64% of Americans had approved of military action against Iraq; however, 63% wanted Bush to find a diplomatic solution rather than go to war, and 62% believed the threat of terrorism directed against the U.S. would increase due to war. The invasion of Iraq was strongly opposed by some long-standing U.S. allies, including the governments of France, Germany, and New Zealand. Their leaders argued that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that invading the country was not justified in the context of UNMOVIC's 12 February 2003 report. On 15 February 2003, a month before the invasion, there were worldwide protests against the Iraq War, including a rally of three million people in Rome, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ever anti-war rally. According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between 3 January and 12 April 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war.
The invasion was preceded by an air strike on the Presidential Palace in Baghdad on 19 March 2003. The following day, coalition forces launched an incursion into Basra Province from their massing point close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. While the special forces launched an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf to secure Basra and the surrounding petroleum fields, the main invasion army moved into southern Iraq, occupying the region and engaging in the Battle of Nasiriyah on 23 March. Massive air strikes across the country and against Iraqi command and control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. On 26 March, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was airdropped near the northern city of Kirkuk, where they joined forces with Kurdish rebels and fought several actions against the Iraqi army to secure the northern part of the country.
The main body of coalition forces continued their drive into the heart of Iraq and met with little resistance. Most of the Iraqi military was quickly defeated and Baghdad was occupied on 9 April. Other operations occurred against pockets of the Iraqi army including the capture and occupation of Kirkuk on 10 April, and the attack and capture of Tikrit on 15 April. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the central leadership went into hiding as the coalition forces completed the occupation of the country. On 1 May, an end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion period and beginning the military occupation period. Hide
Operation Allied Harbor was NATO's first humanitarian operation. In the case of the Kosovo crisis, by the end of March 1999 these agencies were unable to cope with the massive influx of refugees into
... MoreAlbania. Within a fortnight over 200,000 refugees had arrived from Kosovo and NATO was the only organisation quickly able to meet the expanding need. HQ ACE Mobile Force(Land) was deployed within five days. Military personnel and staff set to work within twenty four hours of arrival, and within a few weeks, working closely with the civilian sector and the Albanian Government. By 15 June 1999 there were 479,223 refugees in the country. But the provision by NATO of medical, engineer, transport, security and staff support prevented Slobodan Miloševi' from destabilising Albania and proved instrumental in sustaining the refugees and in their eventual return to Kosovo. Hide
Operation Provide Promise was a humanitarian relief operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Yugoslav Wars, from 2 July 1992, to 9 January 1996, which made it the longest running humanitarian ai
... Morerlift in history.
By the end of the operation, aircraft from 21 countries had flown 12,886 sorties into Sarajevo, delivering 159,622 tons of food, medicine, and supplies and evacuating over 1,300 wounded people. The US flew 3,951 C-130, 236 C-141, and 10 C-17 airland sorties (delivering 62,801.5 tons), as well as 2,222 C-130 air-drop sorties. Hide
In 1996, the US Military assisted in safeguarding and evacuating Americans from Liberia when that nation's civil war reignited into factional fighting and general violence in Liberia. During the fi
... Morerst week of April 1996, as a result of intense street fighting during the ongoing civil war in Liberia, about 500 people sought refuge on American Embassy grounds and another 20,000 in a nearby American housing area. On April 6, the president approved the US ambassador's request for security, resupply and evacuation support.
Between 9 April and 18 June, a US Joint Task Force Operation Assured Response evacuated 2444 people (485 Americans and 1959 citizens of other countries). The bulk of forces were from Special Operations Command Europe, and the last elements redeployed 3 August.
Liberia was a very small scale operation. It could have turned in to a very large operation. Overnight about 180 soldiers came out of Southern European Task Force [SETAF] and evacuated almost 2,000 civilians out of Monrovia to safety. It could have been a big problem, but it wasn't. While the group out of SETAF was evacuating civilians in Liberia; they were also recovering another company from Bosnia, going through a battle command training program at their headquarters, and getting ready to send the rest of the task force to train at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels.
Air Force special operations forces led the evacuation effort, Operation Assured Response. Air Force KC-135 tankers and C-130 transports were put on alert in Europe to support 24-hour operations, while other mobility aircraft began to deliver critical medical supplies, food, water, fuel and communications gear. On April 9, less than 72 hours after the decision to deploy U.S. forces, the first MH-53 helicopter landed in Monrovia to begin the operation.
Those evacuated continued on US helicopters through Freetown, Sierra Leone, then on MC-130s to Dakar, Senegal, all under the cover of AC-130 gun ships. Throughout the rest of the week, the evacuation continued, as well as airlift of critical supplies to sustain the effort. By April 14, the evacuation was essentially complete, however, security and sustainment operations continued through Aug. 3. In this operation, Air Force special operations forces safely evacuated over 2,400 civilians representing 68 countries.
USAFE provided three KC-135s from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, two C-130s and an Emergency Medical Treatment Team from the 86th Airlift Wing, and a Flying Ambulance Surgical Team from the 52d Fighter Wing. The tankers, supported by about 100 people, deployed to Dakar, Senegal, 9 April. After flying over 50 missions and providing 1.5 million pounds of fuel to receivers, they returned to Mildenhall on 28 April. The C-130s and 51 people from the 37th Airlift Squadron flew to Dakar 10 April. They helped ferry people from Freetown, Sierra Leone, to Dakar and returned to Germany 19 April.
In early April, elements of the Guam (LPH 5) amphibious ready group (ARG) and the 22nd MEU (SOC), were ordered to the vicinity of Monrovia, Liberia. Upon arrival, the 22d MEU (SOC) commanding officer assumed command of Joint Task Force-Assured Response (JTF-AR) which included Air Force, Navy and Marine forces. With additional support from an HC-4 MC-53E helicopter detachment and other Navy-Marine Corps aircraft, embassy security and transportation were provided and 309 noncombatants were evacuated -- including 49 U.S. citizens.
While on Mamba Station off the coast of West Africa in support of Joint Task Force Assured Response, USS Portland rendered assistance to an adrift cargo vessel. The "Duniya" requested fuel and water at about 7 p.m. on April 22, so Portland pulled alongside and stayed with the Duniya overnight to ensure the ship and crew's safety.
While still conducting this operation, elements of JTF-AR were ordered to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct similar operations. A special purpose Marine air-ground task force, embarked on the Ponce (LPD 15) and with 10 days' notice, relieved the Guam task force and assumed the duties of CJTF-AR. This was done to allow the Guam ready group and the 22nd MEU(SOC) to return to the Adriatic Sea and provide the European Command's desired over-the-horizon presence during the Bosnian national elections.
USS Ponce (LPD 15) returned to Norfolk after a two-and-a-half month mission of providing security and other assistance to the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia. Deploying with only 10 days notice, Ponce carried a crew of more than 300 Sailors and 700 Marines from Special Purpose Marine-Air-Ground Task Force 8, from Camp Lejuene, N.C. The move was taken by the U.S. government because of wide-spread civil disorder resulting from the six-year civil war in that country. The U.S. Embassy was the only Western Embassy to continue operations during this round of clashes. This was not the first time Ponce deployed to Liberian waters. In 1990, Ponce responded to "Operation Sharp Edge," guarding American interest and supporting troops assigned to the area at the time
Operation Uphold Democracy (19 September 1994 – 31 March 1995) was an intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elec
... Moreted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The operation was effectively authorized by the 31 July 1994 United Nations Security Council Resolution 940.
The U.S.-led, multinational effort to create a safe and secure environment and support the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti, was conducted from September 1994 through March 1996. In excess of 20,000 American service men and women from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, in conjunction with approximately 5,000 non-U.S. forces from 24 nations, served as part of the Multinational Force, and later, United Nations Mission in Haiti. Upon direction of President Bill Clinton, the operation was conducted by U.S. Atlantic Command, in Norfolk, Va.
President Aristide was elected in December 1990 as the first democratically-elected head of state in Haitian history. Seven months after taking office in February 1991, President Aristide was overthrown in a coup led by Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras, the head of the Forces Armees d'Haiti (FAd'H). This eventually would be the impetus for renewed U.S. operational involvement in Haiti.
A United Nations international embargo began in late June 1993. In support of the international embargo, USACOM activated Joint Task Force 120 in mid-October to conduct maritime interdiction operations and increase pressure on the illegitimate government of Haiti. To provide humanitarian assistance to more than 21,000 Haitians escaping by sea from political strife, USACOM established a second JTF, JTF 160, on May 18, 1994. The mission of JTF 160 included migrant interdiction and processing, both at sea and at designated migrant camp sites ashore. The largest of these migrant camp sites was at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On July 31 the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorizing the U.S. to use "all means necessary" to remove Haiti's military-backed government. As military forces began final preparations for an invasion, President Bill Clinton dispatched a negotiating team to Haiti to avert an invasion. The team was headed by former President Jimmy Carter, and included former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Gen. Colin Powell, and Senator Sam Nunn, D-Ga., former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
With U.S. invasion forces enroute to Haiti the evening of September 18, Lt. Gen. Cedras relayed his decision to relinquish control and ultimately leave Haiti through the Carter mission. The following morning U.S. forces began a peaceful entry into Haiti.
Over the next six months, significant accomplishments of the U.S.-led MultinationalForce (MNF) included: ensuring the peaceful restoration of President Aristide; helping standup a fragile Government in Haiti; fostering a safe and secure environment; initiating a weapons buy-back program; eliminating arms caches; restoration of electrical power and commercial communications; commencing police force training; overseeing the return of Haitian migrants from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and establishing conditions for democratic elections.
On March 31, 1995, the MNF transferred command to United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) forces. Under UNMIH, forces continued to maintain a secure and stable environment which facilitated free and fair democratic elections. In addition, civil engineering projects such as repairing schools, roads, bridges, water wells, and distribution systems were undertaken, and thousands of tons of donated materials and supplies were distributed.
On June 25, UNMIH forces provided support and security for Haiti's first round of national parliamentary free elections since the restoration of President Aristide to office.
The last Haitian migrant selected for repatriation from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was returned to Port-au-Prince October 16, 1995. Approximately 75,000 Haitians had been repatriated since the beginning of the maritime interdiction operation; more than 21,000 of which were processed through migrant facilities at Guantanamo Bay.
On December 17, Haiti conducted presidential elections, again with UNMIH forces providing support and security. Former Prime Minister Rene Preval won handily and was inaugurated February 7, 1996, as Haiti's second democratically elected president, succeeding President Aristide.
The U.S. and allied warships in CJTF 120 boarded over 600 ships during the operations’ first five months, and the big ships’ effectiveness soon drove embargo-busting smugglers to use vesse
... Morels to carry contraband along shallow coastal routes beyond the larger ships’ reach.
CJTF 120 selected the US Special Operations Command Cyclone-class patrol craft (PC) as the best response to the smugglers’ new tactic. The PCs were new to USSOCOM’s inventory, and needed sea duty certification before assignment to Haiti. After being certified for participating in exercise Agile Provider, the USS Cyclone and the USS Tempest departed for Guantanano, Cuba, on 24 May to participate in Support Democracy.
On 30 May, CJTF 120 directed the PCs to begin operations with the warships off the north Haitian coast. The plan to integrate the PCs gradually into the interdiction operation ended when the ships, on their very first voyage, encountered a Bahamian sailing vessel trying to skirt the embargo. As the smugglers’ vessel headed for Port-au-Prince, the Cyclone ordered it to stand clear of the Haitian coast, but the vessels did not heave to until Cyclone fired warning flares and launched a rigid hull inflated boat (RIB) with SEALs aboard. The vessel attempted to play a waiting game that night, but at first light a combined party from the Cyclone and the HMCS Terra Nova – six Canadians and three SEALs – conducted a boarding and search operation. They found embargoed goods, and the Cyclone towed this vessel to Guatanamo.
By 23 June 1994, the CTJF 120 fleet had boarded over 1,100 ships, but embargoed goods flowed steadily into Haiti from neighboring Dominican Republic. General John M. Shalikashvili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave approval for the PCs to conduct patrols with Dominican Republic ships. On 11 July 1994, SEALs from the Cyclone boarded and cleared the Vinland Saga, a Danish vessel carrying a cargo of wheal flour. CJTF 120 directed Cyclone and Tempest to patrol the inner areas of the coast. These operations provided an opportunity to check sea traffic and collect information. The USS Hurricane and USS Monsoon patrol craft replaced the Cyclone and Tempest in September.
Because of the continuing political repression in Haiti, the Clinton Administration sought UN Security Council approval for an invasion and occupation of Haiti if the sanctions failed to restore Aristide to the presidency. The Council granted its approval on 31 July 1994. The invasion plan had two phases: first, a 15,000 multinational force would invade, restore public order, and reinstate Aristide; subsequently 6,000 UN forces would train a new Haitian police force to maintain order. Accordingly, US Army, Air Force, and Navy SOF supported the XVII Airborne Corps in planning for a full scale invasion of Haiti. The special operations portion of the plan envisioned the takedown of key governmental sites followed by a link-up with conventional forces, similar to what SOF had done for the invasion of Panama in 1989. After the main takedown, Special Forces teams were to secure the countryside. To serve as the SOF mobility and launching platform, an aircraft carrier, USS America, was added to the force package in spring 1994. Hide
The Operation Restore Hope was an operation of the United States and many of its allied countries in Somalia. The operation was protected by the United Nations. The United States was the leader of thi
... Mores operation. Somalia was in civil war and many people were dying from hunger in this country. The goal of this operation was creating suitable conditions and calming down the situation in Somalia for helping the Somali people who needed food in the southern part of this country.
After the killing of several Pakistani peacekeepers, the Security Council ordered the allied forces by the Resolution 837, that they can do anything for sending the humanitarian aid to the Somalian people in accordance to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. This operation was successful. Hide
The Navy Unit Commendation may be awarded by the Secretary of the Navy to any unit of the Navy or Marine Corps that distinguishes itself by outstanding heroism in action against an enemy (but not suff
... Moreiciently to justify the award of the Presidential Unit Citation). It may also be awarded to a unit that distinguishes itself by extremely meritorious service not involving combat (but in support of military operations), which renders that unit outstanding when compared to other units performing similar service. Hide
In 1990, fellow Arab Gulf states refused to endorse Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's plan to cut production and raise the price of oil, leaving him frustrated and paranoid. Iraq had incurred a mountain o
... Moref debt during its war with Iran that had lasted for most of the previous decade, and the Iraqi President felt that his Arab brothers were conspiring against him by refusing to raise oil prices. Therefore, after weeks of massing troops along the Iraq-Kuwait border and accusing Kuwait of various crimes, Hussein sent seven divisions of the Iraqi Army into Kuwait in the early morning hours of 2 August 1990. The invasion force of 120,000 troops and 2,000 tanks quickly overwhelmed Iraq's neighbor to the south, allowing Hussein to declare, in less than a week, that Kuwait was his nation's nineteenth province. The United Nations responded quickly, passing a series of resolutions that condemned the invasion, called for an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, imposed a financial and trade embargo on Iraq, and declared the annexation void.
Regarding Iraq's actions as a threat to a vital interest of the US, namely the oil production capability of the Persian Gulf region, President George Bush ordered warplanes and ground forces to Saudi Arabia after obtaining King Fahd's approval. Iraqi troops had begun to mass along the Saudi border, breaching it at some points, and indicating the possibility that Hussein's forces would continue south into Saudi Arabia's oil fields. Operation DESERT SHIELD, the US military deployment to first defend Saudi Arabia grew rapidly to become the largest American deployment since the Southeast Asia Conflict. The Gulf region was within US Central Command's (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. Eventually, 30 nations joined the military coalition arrayed against Iraq, with a further 18 countries supplying economic, humanitarian, or other type of assistance.
Carriers in the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea responded, US Air Force interceptors deployed from bases in the United States, and airlift transports carried US Army airborne troopers to Saudi Arabia. Navy prepositioning ships rushed equipment and supplies for an entire marine brigade from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to the gulf. During the next six months the United States and its allies built up a powerful force in the Arabian peninsula. The navy also began maritime intercept operations in support of a US-led blockade and United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Coalition forces, specifically XVIII Airborne Corps and VII Corps, used deception cells to create the impression that they were going to attack near the Kuwaiti boot heel, as opposed to the "left hook" strategy actually implemented. XVIII Airborne Corps set up "Forward Operating Base Weasel" near the boot heel, consisting of a phony network of camps manned by several dozen soldiers. Using portable radio equipment, cued by computers, phony radio messages were passed between fictitious headquarters. In addition, smoke generators and loudspeakers playing tape-recorded tank and truck noises were used, as were inflatable Humvees and helicopters.
On 17 January 1991, when it became clear that Saddam would not withdraw, Desert Shield became Desert Storm. Hide
On January 16, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced the start of what would be called Operation Desert Storm—a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Iraq h
... Moread invaded and annexed months earlier. For weeks, a U.S.-led coalition of two dozen nations had positioned more than 900,000 troops in the region, most stationed on the Saudi-Iraq border. A U.N.-declared deadline for withdrawal passed on January 15, with no action from Iraq, so coalition forces began a five-week bombardment of Iraqi command and control targets from air and sea. Despite widespread fears that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might order the use of chemical weapons, a ground invasion followed in February. Coalition forces swiftly drove Iraq from Kuwait, advancing into Iraq, and reaching a cease-fire within 100 hours—controversially leaving Saddam Hussein in power. While coalition casualties were in the hundreds, Iraqi losses numbered in the tens of thousands. Hide
On 5 April, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 688, calling on Iraq to end repression of its population. On 6 April, Operation Provide Comfort began to bring humanitarian relief to
... Morethe Kurds. A no-fly zone was established by the U.S., the UK, and France north of the 36th parallel, as part of the Iraqi no-fly zones. This was enforced by American, British, and French aircraft. Included in this effort was the delivery of humanitarian relief and military protection of the Kurds by a small Allied (U.S./UK/Fr/Tu) ground force based in Turkey. Also participating was the 3/325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy, and commanded by then-Lt. Col. John Abizaid. With the 3/325, was a Task Force of 6 UH-60 Blackhawks and highly trained crews led by Cpt Morrow of the 5th Quarter Master Detachment in Kaiserslautern, and SSG Bluman from Giebelstadt, Germany. Fifteen UH-60 Blackhawks and five OH-58D helicopters, crews, and support personnel from the 11th ACR in Fulda, Germany self deployed to join the operation in mid April. The 11th ACR contingent remained there until mid October. Among other individual utility missions, the 11th ACR contingent provided the majority of the support for the State Department mission run by Lt. Colonel Richard Naab, the shuttle flights back to Incirlik, Turkey, and the air support for the ready reaction forces provided by the USMC.
Units of the 18th Military Police Brigade, commanded by COL Lucious Delk, and a forward Headquarters Command Cell led by CPT Alan Mahan, and SGM Ed Deane, with units of the 709th MP Battalion, the 284th MP Co and the 527th MP Co, provided security of the headquarters, Kurdish refugee camps, and convoy security. The Brigade was the last unit to leave the area at the conclusion of operations. Several members received the Soldier's medal after calling in and assisting in the MEDEVAC of a wounded Iraqi National from a minefield near the river not far from the MP Headquarters camp.
Kurdish refugee children run toward a CH-53G helicopter of the German Army during Operation Provide Comfort
While Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were run by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), Operation Provide Comfort came under the authority of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), headquartered in Vaihingen, Germany. On-ground humanitarian aid was provided by the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, Bronx, New York City, and by subordinate units 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and 431st Civil Affairs BN, Little Rock, Arkansas. These units were relocated to Turkey and Northern Iraq after completing missions in Kuwait. They were soon joined by Lieutenant Colonel Ted Sahlin's 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which had only returned to the U.S. two weeks before after having been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait for the past 10 months. The base camps that were established for Kurdish refugees were nicknamed Camp Jayhawk and Camp Badger after college mascots. Other camps were established in Silopi, Turkey the first troops to arrive were the 36h CES from Bitburg Air Base Germany, the 36th CES which built all base camp and facilities for multi-national troops sent to assist with the operation. Smaller "detachment" camps were also built in and around Zakho, Iraq and Sirsenk, Iraq by these same members and were led by USAF Prime BEEF commander Captain Donald Gleason from Ramstein Air Force base and USAF Prime RIBS personnel from RAF Bentwaters. He led a team of fifteen that is now known as the first Air Force unit to enter Iraq. Supplies for these camps were sourced from a variety of areas including units that were returning to the U.S., Coalition countries, European military stocks, and civilian contractors in the U.S. Many supplies had to be airdropped due to restrictions by the Turkish government for entering Iraq through their border.
Also deployed to Zakho from their main-body deployment site in Rota, Spain, was Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, homeported in Gulfport, Mississippi, Commanded by Cdr Donald Hutchins, U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. It provided humanitarian aid, water wells, and minor repairs to Sirsink air field (Prime BEEF team members from Torrejon Air Base, Spain and Aviano Air Base, Italy, provided the major airfield repairs) from bomb damage received during Operation Desert Storm. Like its Air Force counterparts, it was the first Naval Mobile Construction Battalion to enter Iraq prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. USS Forrestal (CV-59) and her Carrier Task Force commanded by Commander, Carrier Group Six commenced her 21st and final operational deployment on 30 May 1991. During this period she provided air power presence and airborne intelligence support (the airwing flew over 900 sorties over Iraq) to the Combined Joint Task Forces of Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Northern Watch enforcing the northern "no-fly zone" in Iraq. During this last deployment FORRESTAL served in a number of new and innovative battle group and carrier roles. She completed this deployment on 23 December 1991.
Lieutenant General John Shalikashvili commanded the overall operation and later became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Task Force Bravo, the in-country multi-national element of the operation was commanded by MG Jay Garner, U.S. Army, who was later appointed a Special Representative to Iraq under the George W. Bush Administration.
The first conventional units to cross into Iraq and enter Zakho were the U.S. Marines on April 20, 1991, when two companies of infantry were helo lifted into Zakho, where around 300 regular Iraqi Army infantry and armored vehicles from the 66th Special Assault Brigade were still present posing as police. The Marines had been preceded by 1st battalion, 10th SFG (who were inserted into Iraq on 13 April 1991). The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (SOC) was commanded by Colonel James L. Jones, who later became Commandant of the Marine Corps; Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR); and National Security Advisor. The MEU consisted of the 24th MEU command element, Battalion Landing team 2/8 (BLT 2/8) under Lt. Colonel Tony Corwin, Composite Helicopter Squadron 264 (HMM-264) Led by Lt. Colonel Joseph Byrtus, Jr. and MEU service support group 24 (MSSG-24) led by Lt. Colonel Richard Kohl, counting about 2,000 Marines. The Marine Expeditionary Unit had been under the command of Commodore Turner, commander, Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group 1–91, aboard his flagship, the USS Guadalcanal, but were transferred to Combine Task Force (CFT) Provide Comfort on 14 April and was 3 months into a 6-month routine Mediterranean deployment. The 24th MEU (SOC) would initially serve as the command to a regiment sized force consisting of all MEU elements, 697 Royal Marines from 45 Commando (22 April), commanded by Lt. Colonel Jonathan Thompson and 400 Marines from the Dutch 1st Amphibious Combat Group (1st ACG) commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Cees Van Egmond (arrived 23 April) for purposes of containing Zakho until the Iraqi forces would withdraw from the area. On 29 April, 3rd Commando Brigade took back command of 45 Commando, 29th Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery and the 1st ACG for expanded operations to the east. On 4 May, BLT 2/8 commenced operations to the south of Zakho along the route to Dohuk. The MEU then began to move back to Silopi, beginning with the BLT on June 15. 24th MEU left North Iraq on July 15 and embarked on 19 July for the United States, ending its 6-month deployment.
The 24th MEU (SOC) along with Joint Task Force Bravo (Task Force Alpha was responsible for the Kurd camps in the mountains) grew in size in the days following April 20. The MEU was joined by 4th Brigade (Aviation), 3rd Infantry Division, 18th Engineer Brigade, Naval Mobil Construction Battalion 133, 18th Military Police Brigade, 418th Civil Affairs Battalion USAR, 432 Civil Affairs Battalion USAR, and 431st Civil Affairs Battalion USAR, Canadian 4th Field Ambulance, 3d Battalion, 325th Infantry (Airborne)(reinforced)(arriving on 27 April), 40 Commando, 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery, the French 8th Marine Parachute Infantry (Cougar Force), a Spanish expeditionary force formed from the 1st Airborne Brigade, "Roger De Flor" and the Italian Folgore Parachute Brigade. All together military forces from 10 countries participated deploying 20,000 military personnel. The Kurds were housed in Camp Jahawk and Camp Badger. The mayor of Jayhawk was MAJ Carl Fischer and the mayor of Badger was MAJ John Elliott.
The U.S. contributed to the operation with the United Kingdom who providing the initiative and significant ground and air forces with 3 Commando Brigade and the RAF. Other allies included France, the Netherlands and Australia. Britain deployed 40 and 45 Commando Royal Marines and air transport assets to help protect refugees and to deliver humanitarian aid. The British used the name Operation Haven. France deployed transport aircraft and special forces, the Netherlands deployed troops from the Netherlands Marine Corps and an Army Medical/Engineering Battalion, and Australia contributed transport aircraft and medical, dental and preventive health teams (under the Australian name, Operation Habitat).
Operation Provide Comfort ended on 24 July 1991. Hide
Colonel Gary A. Blair commands the Marine Barracks Ground Defense/Security Force at Guantanamo Bay. He recalled, "On November 13th, we accumulated three or four Coast Guard cutters out here in
... More the bay, each with hundreds of Haitians aboard. Up to that point, there had been no resolution about what to do with them, and there were some real sanitation problems aboard the cutters."
In addition to Coast Guardsmen assigned to each vessel, the additional 150 to 200 Haitians rescued and living aboard for a couple of weeks not only taxed living and sanitation conditions, but made feeding the multitude and simply moving about the ship difficult.
"That's when Navy Captain William McCamy (Naval Base Commander) decided to bring the Haitians ashore. That would give the migrants room to move around, and permit the cutters to return to the Windward Passage to rescue additional Haitians leaving their country for economic or political reasons.
"We began bringing them ashore, and Marine Barracks personnel became involved. We escorted the Haitians to Camp Bulkeley, where Barracks Marines had established a tent camp. And that's basically how it all began."
More fishing boats tried to make the trip from Haiti to the American installation at Guantanamo Bay; some succeeded and others sank. The initial compound at Camp Bulkeley quickly filled to overflowing and on November 22, 1991, the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived, commanded by Marine Brigadier General George H. Walls Jr. Five more camps were constructed at McCalla Field, using the emergency and helicopter runways.
The concrete expanse measures 6,750 feet and provides solid support to hundreds of tents erected for the migrants. Concertina wire separated the various sections. Lights and shower facilities were installed. Portable heads ("Johns") were emplaced.
"We came down here in a humanitarian role," BrigGen Walls explained. "We provided food, medical care and shelter for the Haitians, while demonstrating how versatile and well prepared the men and women of the Joint Task Force are.
"Many came down here with less than 48-hours notice, expecting to stay for a lot shorter period of time than they have. Some were unsure about what they were going to do when they got here, because this is a one of a kind operation that has never been done before.
On 17 December 1989 the national command authority (NCA) directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to execute PLAN 90-2. JTFSO received the JCS execute order on 18 Dec with a D-Day and H-Hour of 20
... MoreDec 0100 local. The operation was conducted as a campaign with limited military objectives. JTFSO objectives in PLAN 90-2 were to:
A. Protect U.S. lives and key sites and facilities.
B. Capture and deliver Noriega to competent authority.
C. Neutralize PDF forces.
D. Neutralize PDF command and control.
E. Support establishment of a U.S.-recognized government in Panama.
F. Restructure the PDF.
At Forts Bragg, Benning, and Stewart, D-Day forces were alerted, marshaled, and launched on a fleet of 148 aircraft. Units from the 75th Ranger Regiment and 82d Airborne Division conducted airborne assaults to strike key objectives at Rio Hato, and Torrijos/Tocumen airports.
On December 20, 1989, the 82d Airborne Division conducted their first combat jump since World War II onto Torrijos International Airport, Panama. The 1st Brigade task force made up of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, parachuted into combat for the first time since World War II. In Panama, the paratroopers were joined on the ground by 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment which was already in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the airport, the 82nd conducted follow-on combat air assault missions in Panama City and the surrounding areas.
They were followed later by the 2d and 1st Bdes, 7th Inf Div (L), while the in-place forces comprised of the 3d Bde (-), 7th Inf Div (L); 193d Infantry Brigade (L) and 4-6 Inf, 5th Inf Div (M), assaulted objectives in both Panama City and on the Atlantic side of the Canal. By the first day, all D-Day objectives were secured. As initial forces moved to new objectives, follow-on forces from 7th Inf Div (L) moved into the western areas of Panama and into Panama City.
As the lead headquarters for SAC's tanker support, the Eighth Air Force tasked, executed, and directed 144 missions to refuel 229 receivers with over 12 million pounds of fuel. According to General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Eighth’s "air refuelers did not just make a difference in this operation -- they made it possible." This mission introduced the F-117A Stealth Fighter to combat for the first time.
Air National Guard units participated in the operation because of their regularly scheduled presence in Panama for Operations CORONET COVE and VOLANT OAK. Only Pennsylvania's 193d Special Operations Group (SOG) was part of the integral planning process by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Staff for the invasion of Panama. The 105th Military Airlift Group (MAG) and the 172 MAG provided airlift support for the operation. They flew 35 missions, completed 138 sorties, moved 1,911 passengers and 1,404.7 tons of cargo which expended 434.6 flying hours. ANG VOLANT OAK C-130 aircrews flew 22 missions, completed 181 sorties, moved 3,107 passengers and 551.3 tons of cargo, which expended 140.1 flying hours. The ANG CORONET COVE units, the 114th TFG and the 18Oth TFG flew 34 missions, completed 34 sorties, expended 71.7 flying hours and expended 2,715 rounds of ordnance.
Urban terrain provides high potential for fratricide because of the likelihood of close quarters (high weapons density), recognition problems, and unfamiliar secondary effects of weapons. During Operation JUST CAUSE soldiers employed several ineffective and dangerous techniques to breach various fences, walls, and barred doors with grenades, rifle fire, and even anti-tank weapons. Direct fire support, even from just a block away, is very difficult to control. During JUST CAUSE mechanized forces providing fire support were told by brigade a light force had cleared a tall hotel building only to the second floor. In actual fact, it had cleared to the tenth floor and was fighting in a counter-sniper engagement. Seeing this fire and apparently some weapons protruding, the mechanized forces began to suppress. This drew return fire from the friendly light force for some seconds before coming under control. The extensive destruction of civilian housing seen by TV viewers around the world resulted rather from a style of fighting that is based on abundant firepower.
The high casualties and use of resources usually associated with all-out urban warfare did not occur. The United States suffered 23 KIA and 324 WIA, with estimated enemy casualties around 450. There were an estimated 200 to 300 Panamanian civilian fatalities. Some were killed by the PDF, others inadvertently by US troops. More civilians almost certainly would have been killed or wounded had it not been for the discipline of the American forces and their stringent rules of engagement (ROE). However, the United Nations (UN) put the civilian death toll at 500; the Central American Human Rights Defense Commission (CODEHUCA) and the Peace and Justice Service of Panama both claimed between 2,000 to 3000; the Panamanian National Human Rights Commission and an independent inquiry by former Attorney- General Ramsey Clark claimed over 4,000. Thousands were injured. As it turned out, the figure of Panamanian dead was large enough to stimulate debate over the need for the invasion to remove Noriega, but not large enough to generate a sense of outrage in Panama or abroad, or to turn the Panamanian people against the US intervention or the nation-building program that followed it.
The US troops involved in Operation Just Cause achieved their primary objectives quickly, and troop withdrawal began on December 27. Noreiga eventually surrendered to US authorities voluntarily. He is now serving a 40-year sentence in Florida for drug trafficking.
Operation JUST CAUSE was unique in the history of U.S. warfare for many reasons. As the largest single contingency operation since World War II, it focused on a combination of rapid deployment of critical combat power and precise utilization of forward deployed and in-country forces. Impressed by the smooth execution of JUST CAUSE, General Stiner later claimed that the operation was relatively error free, confining the Air-and Battle doctrine and validating the strategic direction of the military. He concluded, therefore, that while old lessons were confirmed, there were "no [new] lessons learned" during the campaign. Despite Stiner's assertions, Operation JUST CAUSE offers important insights into the role of force in the post Cold War period and the successful conduct of a peacetime contingency operation.
The U.S. Multinational Force (USMNF) operated in Beirut, Lebanon from 25 August 1982 to 26 February 1984. During this period four different MAUs served as peacekeepers. The terrorist bombing of the
... More US Marines barracks became a quintessential exemplar of the conditions under which military intervention may not be effective.
Israeli-Palestinian fighting in July 1981 was ended by a cease-fire arranged by U.S. President Ronald Reagan's special envoy, Philip C. Habib, and announced on July 24, 1981. The cease-fire was respected during the next 10 months, but a string of incidents, including PLO rocket attacks on northern Israel, led to the 06 June 1982, Israeli ground attack into Lebanon to remove PLO forces. Israeli forces moved quickly through south Lebanon, encircling west Beirut by mid-June and beginning a three-month siege of Palestinian and Syrian forces in the city.
Throughout this period, which saw heavy Israeli air, naval, and artillery bombardments of west Beirut, Ambassador Habib worked to arrange a settlement. In August 1982, he was successful in bringing about an agreement for the evacuation of Syrian troops and PLO fighters from Beirut. The agreement also provided for the deployment of a three-nation Multinational Force (MNF) during the period of the evacuation, and by late August 1982, U.S. Marines, as well as French and Italian units, had arrived in Beirut. On 10 August 1982 the alert posture of the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group was heightened in light of a likely deployment as part of a peacekeeping force to oversee the evacuation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) forces from West Beirut.
The 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) from Camp Lejeune deployed to Beirut to oversee the safe departure of thousands of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters out of the war-torn city. On 24 August (EDP), the first of 800 Marines began going ashore at Beirut as part of a joint U.S.-French peacekeeping force. When the evacuation ended, these units departed. On 8 September, following the removal of the PLO forces from West Beirut, the Marines redeployed aboard the MARG ships. The US Marines left on 10 September 1982.
In spite of the invasion, the Lebanese political process continued to function, and Bashir Gemayel was elected President in August, succeeding Elias Sarkis. On September 14, however, Bashir Gemayel was assassinated. On 15 September 1982, Israeli troops entered west Beirut. During the next three days, Lebanese militiamen massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut. Bashir Gemayel's brother, Amine, was elected President by a unanimous vote of the parliament. He took office 23 September 1982.
MNF forces returned to Beirut at the end of September 1982 as a symbol of support for the government. On 22 September 1982, following the Phalangist Christian force massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, the Mediterranean Amphibious ready Group was ordered to the Eastern Mediterranean. President Ronald Reagan ordered the 32d MAU back into Lebanon to support the Lebanese Armed Forces where it was soon relieved by Camp Lejeune's 24th MAU. The 1st Battalion, 8th Marines Headquarters building was located at the Beirut International Airport and housed the Battalion Landing Team (BLT). From 27 September through 21 January 1983, two carriers were tethered to Lebanon to provide support for the Marine Corps forces ashore. On 11 February 1983, the response posture for carrier support was relaxed as the situation had stabilized. In February 1983, a small British contingent joined the U.S., French, and Italian MNF troops in Beirut.
On 17 May 1983, an agreement was signed by the representatives of Lebanon, Israel, and the United States that provided for Israeli withdrawal. Syria declined to discuss the withdrawal of its troops, effectively stalemating further progress.
The USMNF was initially successful; but, as the strategic and tactical situations changed, the peacekeepers came increasingly under fire. Opposition to the negotiations and to US support for the Gemayel regime led to a series of terrorist attacks in 1983 and 1984 on US interests, including the bombing on 18 April 1983 of the US embassy in west Beirut (63 dead), and of the US embassy annex in east Beirut on 20 September 1984 (8 killed).
Just before 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, 1983, a Mercedes truck passed a Lebanese checkpoint on the airport road without halting. The truck turned into the airport parking lot, circled twice and picked up speed for a deadly run at the headquarters building. Orders prohibited Marines from being locked and loaded, but small arms fire probably would not have made much difference, according to reports. A sentry did get some shots off with a pistol, however. The driver of the speeding van was determined to put a huge dent in the American presence in Lebanon. After breaking through several barriers, it sped between two sentry boxes and crashed through more obstacles, penetrating the building's first floor before detonating tons of explosives, taking the lives of 241 Marines, Sailors and soldiers, a majority of which were stationed at Camp Lejeune. Most died in their sleep or were crushed as the building collapsed, while a handful have died in the years that followed due to injuries sustained from the bombing.
On 3 December 1983, two F-14s flying over Lebanon were fired upon by Syrian antiaircraft artillery. On 4 December 1983, aircraft from Kennedy and Independence were launched against Syrian targets; two were shot down, and one U.S. airman was taken prisoner by Syrian troops.
The virtual collapse of the Lebanese army in February 1984, following the defection of many of its Muslim and Druze units to opposition militias, was a major blow to the government. As it became clear that the departure of the US Marines was imminent, the Gemayel Government came under increasing pressure from Syria and its Muslim Lebanese allies to abandon the May 17 accord. On 26 February 1984, the withdrawal of the USMC contingent of the international peacekeeping force was completed. The Lebanese Government announced on 05 March 1984 that it was canceling its unimplemented agreement with Israel.
Grenada, one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere and one of the southernmost Caribbean islands in the Windward chain, has an area of only 133 square miles. The population is
... More110,000. But size is not necessarily the determining factor when governments consider strategic military locations. The Cuban government knew the value of Grenada's location when it decided to utilize the former British colony as a holding place for arms and military equipment, complete with a major airport. Eastern Caribbean nations fully understood the implication of the communist threat and called upon the United States for help. The response was Urgent Fury, a multinational, multiservice effort.
On March 13, 1979, the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (New Jewel) movement ousted Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister, in a nearly bloodless coup and established a people's revolutionary government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, who became prime minister. His Marxist-Leninist Government established close ties with Cuba, the Soviet Union, and other communist-bloc countries. In October 1983, a power struggle within the government resulted in the arrest and subsequent murder of Bishop and several members of his cabinet by elements of the people's revolutionary army.
Following a breakdown in civil order, U.S. forces, in conjunction with contingents of the security forces of several neighboring Caribbean states, invaded the independent state of Grenada on October 25 in response to an appeal from the governor general and to a request for assistance from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The mission was to oust the People's Revolutionary Government, to protect U.S. citizens and restore the lawful government.
Not until about 40 hours before H-hour were commanding officers of the US Navy ships told what the mission in Grenada would be--to evacuate U.S. citizens, neutralize any resistance, stabilize the situation and maintain the peace. That didn't leave much time to get the ships ready. On board USS Guam (LPH-9), flag ship of Amphibious Squadron Four, Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class George Boucher Jr. staged ammunition for vertical replenishment to the other four ships of the Marine amphibious group--USS Barnstable County (LST-1197), USS Manitowoc (LST-1180), USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) and USS Trenton (LPD-14). He wondered why Marine CH-46 pilots were flying in unfavorable winds on that dark night of Oct. 24; the helicopters had trouble lifting the pallets as the ships rushed through the water.
Stateside, Army Rangers and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers assembled and prepared for departure to Grenada. Out of sight in the darkness, the USS Independence (CV-62) task group, including USS Richmond K. Turner (CO-20), USS Coontz (DDG-40), USS Caron (DD-970), USS Moosbrugger (DD-980), USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16) and USS Suribachi (AE-21), steamed into position off the coast of Grenada.
To secure objectives in Grenada and to facilitate operations, the island was operationally split in half. The Marines covered the northern half of the island while Army rangers covered the south. The invasion in the south focused on an unfinished runway at Point Salines.
The 22d Marine Amphibious Unit was diverted to Grenada while en route to Lebanon. The Marine amphibious unit conducted landings as part of Operation Urgent Fury at Grenada on 25 October and at Carriacou on 1 November.
The first heliborne landing force launched before dawn from Guam's flight deck. When the helicopters touched down at Pearls Airport at 5 a.m. on 25 Oct., the PRA--People's Revolutionary Army--greeted the Marines with bursts from small arms and machine guns. In pairs, the Marines scrambled out of the helos and immediately dug in, waiting for the choppers to leave. Three Soviet-made 12.7mm guns on a nearby hill fired at helicopters bringing in the second assault--Marines of Fox Company--to the town of Grenville, just south of Pearls, at 6 a.m. Sea- Cobra [two-bladed, single turbine engine] attack helicopters were called in to silence the guns and Fox Company landed amid light mortar fire. Echo and Fox companies moved slowly and cautiously after their landings; after a couple of hours, most of the resistance at Pearls and Grenville was beaten down.
Preceding the operations in the north and south, Navy seal teams were airdropped near St. Georges to secure the safety of the Grenadian Governor General who was being held under house arrest by opposing forces in the governor's mansion and to capture the government radio station at St. Georges. A Navy SEAL team which was to have provided intelligence on the airfield at Salines was unable to get ashore.
At 0534 the first Rangers began dropping at Salines, and less than two hours elapsed from the first drop until the last unit was on the ground, shortly after seven in the morning. Army Rangers, arriving in four-engine turboprop C-130 Hercules aircraft, met much stiffer resistance than the Marines encountered at Pearls. To avoid the anti-aircraft fire, the Rangers jumped from a very low altitude--500 feet. Machine-gun fire blasted at aircraft and Rangers on the ground. But US Air Force four-engine turboprop AC-130 Spectre gunships silenced the hostile fire with devastatingly accurate blasts.
After the rangers had secured the runway, 800 more troops would land, freeing the rangers to press northward where they were to secure the safety of American medical students and bring under control the capital of St. Georges. At the end of the first day in Grenada, the Rangers had secured the airfield and True Blue Campus at a cost of five dead and six wounded. Once the Rangers had secured the runway, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division landed, and late in the evening of the 26th the 82d Division's 3d Brigade began to deploy across the island. In the north, 400 Marines would land and rescue the small airport at Pearls.
Even before securing Point Salines airfield on the first day, Rangers had moved to evacuate American students at the True Blue campus of St. George's Medical Center. The campus, located at one end of the 10,000-foot runway the Cubans had been building, was reached easily and the students were rescued. A second campus at Grand Anse was farther away, and retreating Cubans and PRA units blocked the Rangers from the students. By afternoon the Point Salines air field was secured from all but sporadic mortar and small arms fire, and Rangers were moving against PRA positions near St. George's, the capital. Other Rangers removed obstacles on the Point Salines runway, and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division flew in to add more people and heavier weapons to the assault.
During the evening, Marines of Golf Company, from the tank landing ships Manitowoc and Barnstable County, landed at Grand Mal beach, just north of St. George's, with 13 amphibious vehicles and five tanks. Throughout the first night, a constant stream of logistics aircraft landed and took off from the partially completed runway at Point Salines. Gunfire roared from ships and aircraft. At first light on the second day, Marine armor supporting the Rangers and 82nd Airborne began final assaults on Cuban and PRA positions around St. George's. With close air support from Navy attack aircraft from Independence, Golf Company captured the governor's residence at 7:12 a.m., freeing several civilians and Sir Paul Scoon, governor-general of Grenada and representative of Queen Elizabeth.
On the morning of the third day of operations, Rangers and Marines, with close air support from the carrier Independence, attacked heavily fortified positions at Fort Adolphus, Fort Matthew and Richmond Hill prison above St. George's. U.S. aircraft flying in the vicinity during the first two days had met a torrent of anti-aircraft fire; three helicopters had been shot down. One of the heavily defended positions in the area later turned out to be a hospital.
The 82nd Airborne, with close air and naval gunfire support, moved against the Calivigny military barracks east of Point Salines. The assault completed the last major objective for the peacekeeping forces. After wards, the Rangers were airlifted out of Grenada.
The next day--Oct. 28--the 82nd Airborne and Marines linked forces at Ross Beach. They secured St. George's and began mopping up the last few pockets of resistance scattered around the island.
From 22 October-4 November 1983, Eighth Air Force sent its KC-135 and KC-10 tankers to provide refueling support for the US assault on Grenada. Eighth Air Force tankers, operating from several stateside locations, refueled various fighters, reconnaissance planes, and other aircraft for URGENT FURY. They completing all assigned missions without degrading their ability to perform their strategic mission. General Charles A. Gabriel, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recognized all participating units for their efforts.
By Nov. 2, all military objectives had been secured. Next day, hostilities were declared to be at an end. Grenadians went about putting their country back in order--schools and businesses reopened for the first time in two weeks or more.
By 3 November, the Marine amphibious unit was reembarked aboard its amphibious shipping and had resumed its passage to Lebanon.
Urgent Fury was a success, but not without the inevitable tragedies of battle. People did get hurt and die. At the end of the operation, 18 American men had died and 116 were wound ed. Guam had treated 77 wounded, and many others had been sent to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico.
In total, an invasion force of 1,900 U.S. troops, reaching a high of about 5,000 in five days, and 300 troops from the assisting neighboring islands encountered about 1,200 Grenadians, 780 Cubans, 49 Soviets, 24 North Koreans, 16 East Germans, 14 Bulgarians, and 3 or 4 Libyans. Within three days all main objectives were accomplished. Five hundred ninety-nine (599) Americans and 80 foreign nationals were evacuated, and U.S. forces were successful in the eventual reestablishment of a representative form of government in Grenada.
That is not to say, however, that the invasion went without challenge. The first challenge was the lack of good intelligence data. For example, at Point Salines operations bogged down because resistance was much greater than expected. In attempting to rescue the Governor General, American forces were stymied by larger Cuban and Grenadian forces than anticipated. By listening to Cuban radio broadcasts, it seemed that the resistance was being directed from a place called Fort Frederick. As it turned out, but not previously known, Fort Frederick was the nerve center for the Cuban and Grenadian forces and once it was destroyed resistance simply melted away.
The invasion force lacked precise data on the location of the American medical students they were to rescue. One account noted that attack planners did not realize that the American medical students were spread out over three locations.
The final challenge to invading forces was the lack of a fully integrated, interoperable communications system. Unlike the fighting elements which were organized to conduct operations independent of one another, communications systems were not allowed such freedom. Communications was to have been the glue that would tie together the operation of the four independent United States military service elements. Unfortunately, communications support failed in meeting certain aspects of that mission. It cannot be said that communications capability itself was abundant. Several participants cite shortages of communications.
Shortages were not the only communications problems found during the invasion of Grenada; interoperability was another. For example, uncoordinated use of radio frequencies prevented radio communications between Marines in the north and Army Rangers in the south. As such, interservice communication was prevented, except through offshore relay stations, and kept Marine commanders unaware for too long that Rangers were pinned down without adequate armor. In a second incident, it was reported that one member of the invasion force placed a long distance, commercial telephone call to Fort Bragg, N.C. to obtain C-130 gunship support for his unit which was under fire. His message was relayed via satellite and the gunship responded.
Several factors have been cited as the cause of the communications problems which were confronted in Grenada. Among them were insufficient planning for the operation, lack of training, inadequate procedures, maldeployment of communications security keying material for the different radio networks, and lack of preparation through exercise realism.
One of the more noted intelligence shortcomings of the operation was the lack of up to date topographical information (maps) on Grenada. When adequate maps were found, they apparently had to be flown to the Grenada task force rather than being sent by electrical transmission.
No journalists were on the island of Grenada to provide live reporting on the invasion, nor had any been taken along with the invading force. Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf, in charge of the operation, had originally planned to exclude the media completely from the operation until he was convinced that they could do no harm. As word of the imminent invasion spread, hundreds of journalists moved into the area but were blocked from proceeding to Grenada. Indeed, there were no first-hand reports from Grenada until 2½ days after the operation began. The media, citing the American people's right to know, and frustrated at their inability to provide the current reporting that they would have liked, protested loudly about the military's gross oversight in failure to permit journalists to accompany the operation.. Hide
USS Boxer (LPH-4) was acting as flagship for Amphibious Squadron 10 when she answered an urgent call on 25 April from the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She steamed to the
... More revolt-torn country to assist in the evacuating of U.S. and other nationals. On Tuesday, 27 April, 294 persons were brought aboard Boxer and were then transferred to USS Raleigh (LPD-1) on Wednesday morning. As the situation worsened, later that same day 705 additional persons were brought aboard. During the entire week Boxer evacuated more than 1,000 men, women and children from the island, administering medical aid, hospital facilities and food, and providing sleeping spaces.
More than 500 Marines from the Sixth Expeditionary Unit and Marine Helicopter Squadron 264, embarked in Boxer, were deployed to insure the safety of the evacuees. Men were berthed in the troop berthing areas, and the women and children in the officers' staterooms. After three days aboard Boxer they were transferred to adjoining ships, USS Ruchamkin (APD-89), Raleigh [LPD-1], and Wood County (LST-1178) for transit to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hide
The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the Caribbean Crisis or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day (October 16-28, 1962) confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union concerning American b
... Moreallistic missile deployment in Italy and Turkey with consequent Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation, elements of which were televised, was the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war.
In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961, and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to agree to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future harassment of Cuba. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July 1962 and construction of a number of missile launch facilities started later that summer.
The 1962 midterm elections were under way in the United States and the White House had denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. These missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range (SS-4) and intermediate-range (R-14) ballistic missile facilities. The United States established a military blockade to prevent further missiles from entering Cuba. It announced that they would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the USSR.
After a long period of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a U.S. public declaration and agreement never to invade Cuba again without direct provocation. Secretly, the United States also agreed that it would dismantle all U.S.-built Jupiter MRBMs, which were deployed in Turkey and Italy against the Soviet Union but were not known to the public.
When all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 20, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick, clear, and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow. As a result, the Moscow-Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements sharply reduced U.S.-Soviet tensions during the following years. Hide
Tension in the Middle East began to increase in 1957, when it seemed as though Syria was about to fall to communism. Acting on his recent increased commitment to the region, and in order to protect ne
... Moreighboring Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan, President Eisenhower approved the deployment of USAF fighters from Germany to Adana. The crisis quickly abated, but set the stage for the next upheaval the following year in Lebanon.
Lebanese Moslems rebelled and rioted over fears that the delicate balance between Christianity and Islam in the Lebanese government was in peril. Adding to the regional tension, leftist Iraqi officers assassinated their nation's king and prime minister on 14 July 1958. This prompted the President of Lebanon and the King of Jordan to request military assistance from the US.
The purpose of Operation Blue Bat in Lebanon was to bolster the pro-Western Lebanese government of President Chamoun against internal opposition and threats from Syria and the United Arab Republic. The plan was to occupy and secure the Beirut International Airport, a few miles south of the city, then to secure the port of Beirut and approaches to the city. The operation involved approximately 14,000 men, including 8,509 Army personnel and 5,670 officers and men of the Marine Corps.
Army participation was conducted by USAREUR under the February 1958 revision of its Emergency Plan (EP) 201. The plan called for a task force (Army Task Force 201) to cope with any emergencies in the Middle East. The task force consisted of two airborne battle groups reinforced with minimum essential combat sand service support elements. The task force would comprise five echelons, four of which were actually committed to the operation in Lebanon.
While both Army and Marine forces were ordered to Lebanon on 15 July, only Marine units made assault landings. Army forces from USAREUR did not close in Beirut until 19 July. On this date, Force ALPHA, composed of 1 reinforced airborne battle group and the task force command group (1,720 personnel) arrived at Beirut by air. Since combat did not develop in Lebanon, Force BRAVO, a second airborne battle group and the advance headquarters of the task force (1,723 personnel) never left its station in Germany.
Force CHARLIE, containing combat, combat support and combat service units, left Germany by sea and air on 19 July and closed at Beirut by 25 July. According to EP 201, Force CHARLIE contained the main headquarters, the task force artillery (2 airborne batteries of 105-mm. howitzers), 1 section of a 762-mm. rocket battery, and the headquarters element-an airborne reconnaissance troop, an engineer construction company, the advance party of the task force support command, an evacuation hospital unit, elements of an airborne support group, and an Army Security Agency detachment. Political considerations subsequently eliminated the 762-mm rocket battery from the operations in Lebanon.
Force DELTA comprised the sea-tail of the airborne battle group, including 2 light truck companies, a section of a 762-mm. rocket battery, an engineer construction battalion (-), an antiaircraft artillery (AW) battery, technical service support units, and a military police unit. This echelon left Germany on 26 July and closed in Beirut from 3 to 5 August.
Force ECHO, a 90-mm. gun tank battalion, was to move by sea, according to EP 201. Its embarkation was delayed at Bremerhaven pending a decision whether to send one tank company or the entire battalion. Leaving Germany on 22-23 July, the echelon arrived at Beirut on 3 August 1958.
By 5 August, all major ATF-201 forces had reached Beirut and the bulk of their equipment and initial resupply had arrived or was en route. By 26 July, the Marines had deployed, in and around Beirut, four battalion landing teams and a logistical support group.
Besides authorizing the Navy's Sixth Fleet to conduct air operations and to land Marines in Beirut, the President ordered Tactical Air Command (TAC) Composite Air Strike Force Bravo to deploy from the US to Incirlik AB. The strike force, under command of Maj Gen Henry Viccellio, was in place by 20 July. It consisted of F-100s, B-57s, RF-101s, RB-66s, and WB-66s. These aircraft and supporting personnel overwhelmed the facilities at Incirlik, which also supported cargo and transport aircraft deploying an Army battalion from Germany to Lebanon. As no ground fighting involving Americans broke out, the strike force flew missions to cover troop movements, show-of-force missions over Beirut, aerial reconnaissance sorties, and leaflet drops. The Air Force had no tactical controllers in Lebanon, therefore the Navy established procedures for all tactical aircraft involved in the operation.
All operations had gone according to plan. Stable conditions were maintained until a new government was installed in Lebanon. American troops left in October, after the tension diminished.
The absence of opposition, and the underlying problem of whether such contingency forces should be supplied by USAREUR or STRAC in the United States, were factors in the Lebanon operation. The major logistical problems developed primarily from the non-combat status of the task force. The airlift of a Marine battalion from the continental United States to the objective area demonstrated that such a movement was both feasible and expeditious. It further pointed up the difficulty of reconciling the need for a USAREUR contingency force for the Middle East when STRAC was being maintained for this very purpose. Hide
Upon the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allied powers asserted their joint authority and sovereignty over 'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German
... MoreReich which lay west of the Oder–Neisse line; having declared the extinction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler (see 1945 Berlin Declaration). The four powers divided 'Germany as a whole' into four occupation zones for administrative purposes, creating what became collectively known as Allied-occupied Germany (German: Alliierten-besetztes Deutschland). This division was ratified at the Potsdam Conference (17 July to 2 August 1945).[not verified in body] In autumn 1944 the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union had agreed on the zones by the London Protocol. The powers at Potsdam approved the detachment from 'Germany as a whole' of the German eastern territories east of the Oder-Neisse line; with the exact line of the boundary to be determined at a final German Peace Treaty. This treaty was expected to confirm the "shifting westward" of Poland's borders (back to approximately as they were before 1722), as the United Kingdom and the United States committed themselves to support there the permanent incorporation of former eastern German territories into Poland and the Soviet Union. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, United States forces had pushed beyond the agreed boundaries for the future zones of occupation, in some places by as much as 320 kilometres (200 mi). The so-called line of contact between Soviet and American forces at the end of hostilities, mostly lying eastward of the July 1945-established inner German border was temporary. After two months in which they had held areas that had been assigned to the Soviet zone, U.S. forces withdrew in the first days of July 1945. Some have concluded that this was a crucial move that persuaded the Soviet Union to allow American, British and French forces into their designated sectors in Berlin, which occurred at roughly the same time (July 1945), although the need for intelligence gathering (see Operation Paperclip) may also have been a factor. Hide
The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth. Unlike in the oc
... Morecupation of Germany, the Soviet Union was allowed little to no influence over Japan. This foreign presence marked the only time in Japan's history that it had been occupied by a foreign power. It transformed the country into a parliamentary democracy that recalled "New Deal" priorities of the 1930s politics by Roosevelt. The occupation, codenamed Operation Blacklist, was ended by the San Francisco Peace Treaty, signed on September 8, 1951, and effective from April 28, 1952, after which Japan's sovereignty – with the exception, until 1972, of the Ryukyu Islands – was fully restored. Hide
On 7 July 1941, the defence of Iceland was transferred from Britain to the (still officially neutral) United States, by agreement with Iceland, and US marines replaced the British. Iceland's strategic
... More position along the North Atlantic sea-lanes, perfect for air and naval bases, could bring new importance to the island. The 1st Marine Brigade consisting of approximately 4,100 troops garrisoned Iceland until early 1942 when they were replaced by U.S. Army troops, so they could join their fellow Marines fighting in the Pacific.
Iceland cooperated with the British and then the Americans, but officially remained neutral throughout World War II.1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) was formally organized; its commander was Brigadier General John Marston. The troop list included:
Brigade Headquarters Platoon
5th Defense Battalion (less 5-inch Artillery Group)
2d Battalion, 10th Marines
Company A, 2d Tank Battalion (less 3d Platoon)
Company A, 2d Medical Battalion
Company C, 1st Engineer Battalion
1st Platoon, Company A, 2d Service Battalion
3d Platoon, 1st Scout Company
Chemical Platoon Hide
The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted
... More from early April until mid-June 1945. After a long campaign of island hopping, the Allies were approaching Japan, and planned to use Okinawa, a large island only 340 mi (550 km) away from mainland Japan, as a base for air operations on the planned invasion of Japanese mainland (coded Operation Downfall). Four divisions of the U.S. 10th Army (the 7th, 27th, 77th, and 96th) and two Marine Divisions (the 1st and 6th) fought on the island. Their invasion was supported by naval, amphibious, and tactical air forces.
The battle has been referred to as the "typhoon of steel" in English, and tetsu no ame ("rain of steel") or ("violent wind of steel") in Japanese. The nicknames refer to the ferocity of the fighting, the intensity of kamikaze attacks from the Japanese defenders, and to the sheer numbers of Allied ships and armored vehicles that assaulted the island. The battle resulted in the highest number of casualties in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Based on Okinawan government sources, mainland Japan lost 77,166 soldiers, who were either killed or committed suicide, and the Allies suffered 14,009 deaths (with an estimated total of more than 65,000 casualties of all kinds). Simultaneously, 42,000–150,000 local civilians were killed or committed suicide, a significant proportion of the local population. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki together with the Soviet invasion of Manchuria caused Japan to surrender less than two months after the end of the fighting on Okinawa. Hide
The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June–9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking
... Morethe expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.
Bombardment of Saipan began on 13 June 1944. Fifteen battleships were involved, and 165,000 shells were fired. Seven modern fast battleships delivered twenty-four hundred 16 in (410 mm) shells, but to avoid potential minefields, fire was from a distance of 10,000 yd (9,100 m) or more, and crews were inexperienced in shore bombardment. The following day the eight older battleships and 11 cruisers under Admiral Jesse B. Oldendorf replaced the fast battleships but were lacking in time and ammunition.
The landings began at 07:00 on 15 June 1944. More than 300 LVTs landed 8,000 Marines on the west coast of Saipan by about 09:00. Eleven fire support ships covered the Marine landings. The naval force consisted of the battleships Tennessee and California. The cruisers were Birmingham and Indianapolis. The destroyers were Norman Scott, Monssen, Colahan, Halsey Powell, Bailey, Robinson and Albert W. Grant. Careful Japanese artillery preparation — placing flags in the lagoon to indicate the range — allowed them to destroy about 20 amphibious tanks, and the Japanese strategically placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximize the American casualties. However, by nightfall the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had a beachhead about 6 mi (10 km) wide and 0.5 mi (1 km) deep. The Japanese counter-attacked at night but were repulsed with heavy losses. On 16 June, units of the U.S. Army's 27th Infantry Division landed and advanced on the airfield at Ås Lito (which is now the location of Saipan International Airport). Again the Japanese counter-attacked at night. On 18 June, Saito abandoned the airfield.
The invasion surprised the Japanese high command, which had been expecting an attack further south. Admiral Soemu Toyoda, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Navy, saw an opportunity to use the A-Go force to attack the U.S. Navy forces around Saipan. On 15 June, he gave the order to attack. But the resulting battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the Imperial Japanese Navy, which lost three aircraft carriers and hundreds of planes. The garrisons of the Marianas would have no hope of resupply or reinforcement.
Without resupply, the battle on Saipan was hopeless for the defenders, but the Japanese were determined to fight to the last man. Saito organized his troops into a line anchored on Mount Tapotchau in the defensible mountainous terrain of central Saipan. The nicknames given by the Americans to the features of the battle — "Hell's Pocket", "Purple Heart Ridge" and "Death Valley" — indicate the severity of the fighting. The Japanese used the many caves in the volcanic landscape to delay the attackers, by hiding during the day and making sorties at night. The Americans gradually developed tactics for clearing the caves by using flamethrower teams supported by artillery and machine guns.
The operation was marred by inter-service controversy when Marine General Holland Smith, unsatisfied with the performance of the 27th Division, relieved its commander, Army Major General Ralph C. Smith. However, General Holland Smith had not inspected the terrain over which the 27th was to advance. Essentially, it was a valley surrounded by hills and cliffs under Japanese control. The 27th took heavy casualties and eventually, under a plan developed by General Ralph Smith and implemented after his relief, had one battalion hold the area while two other battalions successfully flanked the Japanese.
By 7 July, the Japanese had nowhere to retreat. Saito made plans for a final suicidal banzai charge. On the fate of the remaining civilians on the island, Saito said, "There is no longer any distinction between civilians and troops. It would be better for them to join in the attack with bamboo spears than be captured." At dawn, with a group of 12 men carrying a great red flag in the lead, the remaining able-bodied troops — about 3,000 men — charged forward in the final attack. Amazingly, behind them came the wounded, with bandaged heads, crutches, and barely armed. The Japanese surged over the American front lines, engaging both army and Marine units. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 105th Infantry Regiment were almost destroyed, losing 650 killed and wounded. However, the fierce resistance of these two battalions, as well as that of Headquarters Company, 105th Infantry, and supply elements of 3rd Battalion, 10th Marine Artillery Regiment resulted in over 4,300 Japanese killed. For their actions during the 15-hour Japanese attack, three men of the 105th Infantry were awarded the Medal of Honor — all posthumously. Numerous others fought the Japanese until they were overwhelmed by the largest Japanese Banzai attack in the Pacific War.
By 16:15 on 9 July, Admiral Turner announced that Saipan was officially secured. Saito — along with commanders Hirakushi and Igeta — committed suicide in a cave. Also committing suicide at the end of the battle was Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo — the naval commander who led the Japanese carriers at Pearl Harbor and Midway — who had been assigned to Saipan to direct the Japanese naval air forces based there.
In the end, almost the entire garrison of troops on the island — at least 30,000 — died. For the Americans, the victory was the most costly to date in the Pacific War. 2,949 Americans were killed and 10,464 wounded, out of 71,000 who landed. Hollywood actor Lee Marvin was among the many American wounded. He was serving with "I" Company, 24th Marine Regiment, when he was shot in the buttocks by Japanese machine gun fire during the assault on Mount Tapochau. He was awarded the Purple Heart and was given a medical discharge with the rank of Private First Class in 1945.
The 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions landed on 24 July 1944, supported by naval bombardment and artillery firing across the strait from Saipan. A successful feint for the major settlement of Tinian Town d
... Moreiverted defenders from the actual landing site on the north of the island. The battleship Colorado and the destroyer Norman Scott were both hit by 6-inch (150 mm) Japanese shore batteries. Colorado was hit 22 times, killing 44 men. Norman Scott was hit six times, killing the captain, Seymore Owens, and 22 of his seamen. The Japanese adopted the same stubborn resistance as on Saipan, retreating during the day and attacking at night. The gentler terrain of Tinian allowed the attackers more effective use of tanks and artillery than in the mountains of Saipan, and the island was secured in nine days of fighting. On 31 July, the surviving Japanese launched a suicide charge.
The battle saw the first use of napalm in the Pacific. Of the 120 jettisonable tanks dropped during the operation, 25 contained the napalm mixture and the remainder an oil-gasoline mixture. Of the entire number, only 14 were duds, and eight of these were set afire by subsequent strafing runs. Carried by Vought F4U Corsairs, the "fire bombs", also known as napalm bombs, burned away foliage concealing enemy installations.
Japanese losses were far greater than American losses. The Japanese lost 8,010. Only 313 Japanese were taken prisoner. American losses stood at 328 dead and 1,571 wounded. Several hundred Japanese troops held out in the jungles for months. The garrison on Aguijan Island off the southwest cape of Tinian, commanded by Lieutenant Kinichi Yamada, held out until the end of the war, surrendering on 4 September 1945. The last holdout on Tinian, Murata Susumu, was not captured until 1953.
After the battle, Tinian became an important base for further Allied operations in the Pacific Campaign. Camps were built for 50,000 troops. Fifteen thousand Seabees turned the island into the busiest airfield of the war, with six 7,900-foot (2,400 m) runways for attacks by B-29 Superfortress bombers on targets in the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands and mainland Japan, including the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Four 1000-bed hospitals were planned and located in preparation for the invasion of Japan. None were actually built, as the Japanese surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped, which thus ended the need for the hospitals. Hide
The Presidential Unit Citation may be awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and cobelligerent nations for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy occurring on or aft
... Moreer December 7, 1941. Hide
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION to the
SECOND MARINE DIVISION (REINFORCED)
consisting of Divisi
... Moreon Headquarters, Special Troops (including Company C, 1st Corps Medium Tanks Battalion), Service Troops, 2nd, 6th, 8th 10th and 18th Marine Regiments in the Battle of Tarawa, as set forth in the following
"For outstanding performance in combat during the seizure and occupation of the Japanese-held Atoll of Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, November 20 to 24, 1943. Forced by treacherous coral reefs to disembark from their landing craft hundreds of yards off the beach, the Second Marine Division (Reinforced) became a highly vulnerable target for devastating Japanese fire. Dauntlessly advancing in spite of rapidly mounting losses, the Marines fought a gallant battle against crushing odds, clearing the limited beachheads of snipers and machine guns, reducing powerfully fortified enemy positions and completely annihilating the fanatically determined and strongly entrenched Japanese forces. By the successful occupation of Tarawa, the Second Marine Division (Reinforced) has provided our forces with highly strategic and important air and land bases from which to continue future operations against the enemy; by the valiant fighting spirit of these men, their heroic fortitude under punishing fire and their relentless perseverance in waging this epic battle in the Central Pacific, they have upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
For the President,
Acting Secretary of the Navy
The Guadalcanal Campaign, also known as the Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower by Allied forces, was a military campaign fought between 7 August 1942 and 9 February 1943 on and a
... Moreround the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific theatre of World War II. It was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan.
On 7 August 1942, Allied forces, predominantly American, landed on the islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida in the southern Solomon Islands with the objective of denying their use by the Japanese to threaten the supply and communication routes between the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The Allies also intended to use Guadalcanal and Tulagi as bases to support a campaign to eventually capture or neutralize the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain. The Allies overwhelmed the outnumbered Japanese defenders, who had occupied the islands since May 1942, and captured Tulagi and Florida, as well as an airfield (later named Henderson Field) that was under construction on Guadalcanal. Powerful US naval forces supported the landings.
Surprised by the Allied offensive, the Japanese made several attempts between August and November 1942 to retake Henderson Field. Three major land battles, seven large naval battles (five nighttime surface actions and two carrier battles), and continual, almost daily aerial battles culminated in the decisive Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in early November 1942, in which the last Japanese attempt to bombard Henderson Field from the sea and land with enough troops to retake it was defeated. In December 1942, the Japanese abandoned further efforts to retake Guadalcanal and evacuated their remaining forces by 7 February 1943 in the face of an offensive by the US Army's XIV Corps, conceding the island to the Allies.
The Guadalcanal campaign was a significant strategic combined arms victory by Allied forces over the Japanese in the Pacific theatre. The Japanese had reached the high-water mark of their conquests in the Pacific, and Guadalcanal marked the transition by the Allies from defensive operations to the strategic offensive in that theatre and the beginning of offensive operations, including the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Central Pacific campaigns, that resulted in Japan's eventual surrender and the end of World War II. Hide
The Battle of Tarawa (US code name Operation Galvanic) was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It took place at the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbe
... Morert Islands, located in what is now the nation of Kiribati. Nearly 6,400 Japanese, Koreans, and Americans died in the fighting, mostly on and around the small island of Betio.
The Battle of Tarawa was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region. It was also the first time in the war that the United States faced serious Japanese opposition to an amphibious landing. Previous landings met little or no initial resistance, but this time the 4,500 Japanese defenders were well-supplied and well-prepared, and they fought almost to the last man, exacting a heavy toll on the United States Marine Corps. The US had suffered similar casualties in other campaigns, for example over the six months of the Guadalcanal Campaign, but in this case the losses were incurred within the space of 76 hours. Hide