Events During Operation Deliberate Force

(All times Central European Time, CET)

August 30, 1995
  • Initial strike package cleared "feet dry" into Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Adriatic at 0140 by the CAOC Director, Maj Gen Hornburg.
  • First bomb impact at 0212.
  • Strike packages attacked IADS targets in SE B-H followed by 5 waves of strikes on targets in the vicinity of Sarajevo.
  • Pre- and post-strike recce, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) coverage for all packages, close air support (CAS), and UN Rapid Reaction Force (RRF) artillery fire were deconflicted and coordinated for entire period.
  • Around the clock coverage was provided by combat air patrol (CAP), air refueling (AAR), NATO airborne early warning (NAEW), airborne battlefield command, control and communications (ABCCC), and electronic intelligence/ surveillance (ELINT/ESM) aircraft.
  • At 1716, EBRO 33, a French Mirage 2000K was shot down by a man-portable surface-to-air missile, 20 NM SE of Pale; two good chutes were observed; efforts to locate and rescue the downed aircrew continued around the clock, supported by a wide variety of NATO and National assets, for the duration of operation Deliberate Force.
August 31, 1995
  • Three strike packages attacked targets in the Sarajevo area.
  • Majority of targets attacked were IADS nodes, ammo depots and equipment storage and maintenance facilities.
  • Continuous CAS and SEAD coverage provided.
  • A 24 hour suspension of air strikes beginning at 0400, 1 Sep 95 was requested by COMD UNPROFOR in support of negotiation efforts.
September 1, 1995
  • Request for a 24 hour suspension of air strikes honored; planned strike packages placed on ground alert status.
  • Recce missions focused on bomb damage assessment (BDA).
  • German assets were tasked following RRF request for recce.
  • RRF artillery continued to fire on BSA positions.
  • Uninterrupted CAP, NAEW, AAR, ABCCC, ELINT/ESM, and daylight CAS and SEAD continued.
September 2, 1995
  • 24-hour suspension extended for an undetermined period while diplomatic solutions were pursued.
  • Eight strike packages were planned and placed on alert status.
  • Despite poor weather, CAP, AEW, AAR, ABCCC, and ELINT provided continuous coverage while CAS and SEAD capable aircraft were airborne
    near continuously.
September 3 and 4, 1995
  • Suspension of airstrikes extended to 2300, 4 September 1995 by FC UNPF.
  • Five strike packages were planned and placed on alert status.
  • NATO combat and combat support aircraft maintained a presence around the clock.
  • RRF Artillery continued firing on threatening BSA positions.
September 5, 1995
  • Negotiations were unsuccessful and at 1000, in coordination with the UN, NATO airstrikes resumed.
  • The air strike plan continued with the introduction of re-strike targets identified through the BDA process as requiring additional
    attacks to achieve the desired level of destruction.
September 6, 1995
  • Continuing efforts to locate and rescue the downed French aircrew resulted in acquisition of ground indications (imagery) which justified the launch of a pre-planned reconnaissance mission.
    A NATO helo-borne search and rescue reconnaissance mission, supported by the full range of NATO airpower, was launched in early morning hours.
    Mission turned back by poor weather.
  • Five strike packages and one re-strike package were launched.
  • Target categories were as for earlier packages with the addition of key bridges and chokepoints as required to meet COMD UNPROFOR objectives.
  • Italian Tornados flew airstrike missions for the first time
September 7, 1995
  • A second helo-borne reconnaissance mission to locate and rescue the French aircrew was launched and an extensive search conducted, but dense ground fog impeded efforts.
  • Six strike and two re-strike packages were tasked and flown.
  • Missions were added late in the day against seven targets - six of them bridges and chokepoints, consistent with COMD UNPROFOR's assessment of the ground situation.
September 8, 1995
  • A third helo-borne reconnaissance mission to locate and rescue the French aircrew was executed.
  • Weather was good and a thorough search of the area was performed without result.
  • Mission came under attack from small arms fire; suppressing fire was provided by escorting gunship and fighter aircraft.
  • Two helicopter crew members were wounded and a helo damaged on egress, but all mission aircraft/aircrew recovered safely.
    Note: Efforts to locate and rescue the downed French aircrew continued until September 28, 1995 when French authorities informed CINCSOUTH of their conviction that the French aircrew had been recovered alive and taken into custody by the Bosnian Serbs. CINCSOUTH indicated while search and rescue efforts have been suspended for the present, he is prepared to resume search missions or initiate recovery efforts at any time they are deemed necessary.
  • Planning for attacks on IADS targets in NW B-H was refined; final preparations were made for the use of stand-off weapons which allowed targets in well defended areas to be attacked from outside the range of enemy air defenses.
  • Four strike packages were tasked against fifteen re-strike targets.
  • Nineteen CAS aircraft were re-tasked against eight fixed targets.
  • Recce assets continued to be tasked to gather BDA data.
September 9, 1995
  • Five strike packages planned; two aborted because of weather; three were delayed but successfully conducted planned attacks.
  • Stand-off weapons including High Speed Anti-radiation Missiles (HARM) and GBU-15, 2000 lb glide bombs employed against IADS targets in well-defended NW Bosnia-Herzegowina.
  • Reports of possible BSA vehicles moving out of Sarajevo late at night resulted in a temporary suspension of airstrikes against targets in the immediate vicinity of Sarajevo.
September 10, 1995
  • Strike packages struck targets which were not previously attacked because of weather.
  • Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM), HARM and other stand-off weapons including the Stand-Off Land Attack Missile (SLAM) used to attack key IADS nodes in NW Bosnia-Herzegowina.
  • COMD UNPROFOR requested suspension of strikes on targets in the immediate vicinity of Sarajevo to assess BSA intentions to remove heavy weapons - strike packages re-planned for targets outside the Sarajevo area.
  • Recce mission tasking was increased in support of the effort to verify reports of BSA removal of weapons from Sarajevo.
  • At 1425, UN requested CAS support following BSA shelling of UN positions near the Tuzla airport; three flights of fighters supported the CAS request; two command bunkers and an artillery position were identified, targeted and successfully engaged.
September 11, 1995
  • Four strike packages planned against ten targets taking advantage of favorable weather conditions.
  • Additional attacks using stand-off weapons conducted in NW Bosnia-Herzegowina.
  • Additional recce missions tasked to support on-going efforts to refine target damage assessments and develop re-strike requirements.
September 12, 1995
  • Ammo storage depots in the Doboj area northwest of Tuzla were attacked; these targets were approved on September 11, 1995, following BSA shelling of the Tuzla airport on September 10, 1995.
  • Strike packages assigned re-strike missions placed on alert, then launched after validated re-strike targets assigned and strike plans coordinated and briefed.
September 13, 1995
  • Stand-off weapons used to complete attacks on IADS targets in NW Bosnia-Herzegowina.
  • Poor weather was a factor all day; result was a significant reduction in tempo - over 40% of the day sorties did not fly.
  • After 2000, only SEAD and CAS aircraft continued to operate over Bosnia-Herzegowina.
September 14, 1995
  • At 0930, all missions except AEW and AAR were put on three hour alert due to continued poor weather.
  • Offensive operations were suspended at 2200 in response to an FC UNPF letter to CINCSOUTH; representatives of the warring factions had agreed to the conditions set out in the UN-brokered Framework Agreement:
    • Cease all offensive operations within the Sarajevo TEZ
    • Remove heavy weapons from the TEZ within 144 hours
    • Unimpeded road access to Sarajevo
    • Sarajevo Airport opened for unrestricted use
    • BIH and BSA commanders meet to formalize a cessation of hostilities agreement
    • The initial suspension would last 72 hours (September 17, 1995)
    • Compliance with initial conditions would result in an additional 72 hour suspension after which UN/NATO would review progress toward full compliance with the Framework Agreement (September 20, 1995)
September 20, 1995
  • UN/NATO agree Deliberate Force objectives met, mission accomplished and end states achieved (Safe Areas no longer threatened or under attack)...Adm Smith and Gen Janvier therefore agreed that "the resumption of air strikes is currently not necessary."