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American Forces Press Service News Article

Special Operations Forces In Bosnia

 
By Master Sgt. Stephen Barrett, USA
American Forces Information Service

	WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 -- Special operations forces from the 
Army, Navy and Air Force conduct numerous missions supporting 
NATO’s implementation force in Bosnia. Assistance ranges from air 
support and rescue operations to reconnaissance and liaison 
duties.
	Nearly 700 members of the Army's Special Operations Command 
deployed to Bosnia in mid-December and began numerous operations 
throughout the Balkan nation. Included are more than 100 
reservists serving in Special Forces, civil affairs and 
psychological operations positions.
	Army special operations units in the area include the 1st 
Special Forces Group, Fort Lewis, Wash.; the 5th Group from Fort 
Campbell, Ky.; the 10th Group, Fort Carson, Colo.; and the Army 
National Guard 20th Special Forces Group, Birmingham, Ala. 
Portions of Fort Bragg’s (N.C.) 4th Psychological Operations 
Battalion, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, and 112th and 528th 
Special Operations Signal battalions are also in Bosnia.
	Special operations personnel serve as liaisons between NATO 
forces and local nationals. Other tasks may include 
unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special 
reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and humanitarian or civic 
action.
	Air Force special operations forces are continuing efforts 
started two years ago with Operation Deny Flight. Airmen of the 
16th Special Operations Wing from Hurlburt Field, Fla., and the 
352nd Special Operations Group from Royal Air Force Base 
Mildenhall, Great Britain, are providing search and rescue forces 
for NATO air operations. They also augment Army support to the 
implementation force commander.
	During Deny Flight operations, two Air Force NCOs received 
Purple Hearts for injuries while searching for two downed French 
pilots. Crews flying Air Force AC-130H gunships fired on targets 
enforcing U.N. restrictions in Bosnia. They also transported 
supplies and personnel into the country.
	Air Force sources said special tactics airmen are with all 
liaison teams, coordinating air support between the teams and 
NATO air support. There are also specially trained Air Force 
security police teams serving at critical locations. Air Force 
special operations support forces also serve at both Brindisi and 
San Vito, Italy.
	Navy special operations forces have assisted Army engineers. 
Units building bridges across the Sava River used reconnaissance 
information from Navy SEALs to confirm river depth and map 
obstacles. The SEALs, like their Air Force counterparts, are also 
assisting Army special operations forces in liaison missions.




Updated: 14 Jan 2003
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