Captain Chris Miller's experiences in the former Republic of Yugoslavia
The Mission : In and Out of Sarajevo : Back in Germany : Write Me
|Yugoslavia was a loose conglomeration of about two dozen ethnic and religious groups forced together at the end of World War I - part of the old Austria-Hungary Empire. Marshal Tito, who declared himself dictator for life following World War II, built a communist government under his strict rule, and was the driving force holding the country together for four decades. Following Tito's death in 1980, ethnic and religious factions within Yugoslavia became agitated and demanded more autonomy from the central government. It was the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 that finally broke the camel's back, causing communist Yugoslavia to disintegrate into its component parts. War broke out between ethnic Serbs, Croats, Bosniacs, and Slavs. Muslims were also persecuted by the Serb majority. The capital of Sarajevo became a war torn ghetto.|
|Delta Squadron - later redesignated the 38th Tactical Airlift Squadron (Provisional) - was the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard rotation unit at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany (later moved to Ramstein Air Base) that flew roughly half to two-thirds of the Provide Promise missions. The 37th Tactical Airlift Squadron, permanently assigned to Rhein-Main AB, flew the remainder.|
|Operation Provide Promise began on July 2, 1992, with 21 nations forming a coalition to resupply a war-ravaged Sarajevo. Continued Serbian resistance to humanitarian efforts forced the U.N. to establish "no-fly" zones over Bosnia and to launch air strikes. Bosnian Serbs remained belligerent and fired on aircraft flying humanitarian missions. When it became too dangerous to land at Sarajevo Airport, airlifters airdropped supplies. After three and a half years, 160,000 tons of food, 18,000 tons of medicine and supplies, and 13,000 flights, the longest humanitarian airlift in history ended on January 9, 1996.|
Although Delta Squadron still exists, and missions are still being flown into the former Republic of Yugoslavia states, Provide Promise is over. Reserve and National Guard crews and support personnel continue to provide airlift for NATO and UN peacekeeping forces under the banner of JOINT FORGE.
Last updated on 24 May 2006 by Chris Miller
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