First strike

March 24, 1999

In the first days of Operation Allied Force, approximately 350 aircraft were committed to this operation. Many of them were already present because of previous or ongoing operations.

The first attack occurred on March 24, 1999, around 2000 local time. Thirteen of the nineteen NATO members contributed aircraft, of which 8 countries actually were engaged in combat:

Operation Allied Force — First strike
Country Assets
Belgium F-16A

France Jaguar, Mirage 2000C/D, Super Etendard, C-135 (total 40)

Germany Tornado

Italy Tornado, AMX, F-104

Netherlands F-16AM (6), KDC-10 (2)

Spain EF-18, KC-130

United Kingdom L-1011, Harrier GR.7 (8), E-3D (3)

United States F-16CG, F-16CJ, F-15E, F-117, B-2, B-52

NATO Fleet of NATO ships
12,000 ground troops on stand-by in Macedonia
Source: NATO.

The total number of allied aircraft varied. After the 15th day, almost 600 allied aircraft in total were contributing to air operations against Yugoslavia. See Operations from day to day.

Source: NATO, Washington Post.