Coming of Age: Theater Special Operations Commands
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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In Spring 1996, U.S. Special Operations Command, Europe SOCEUR, was supporting the NATO Implementation Force in the former Yugoslavia. When the plane carrying the Secretary of Transportation crashed near Dubrovnik, SOCEUR was tasked to employ its unique capabilities in a search and rescue effort. Special operations forces SOF helicopters searched by hovering up and down mountainsides in extremely hazardous weather conditions. A joint force comprised of Army Special Forces SF, Navy Sea, Air, Land teams SEALs, and both Air Force special tactics personnel and Pave Low helicopters located the downed aircraft. The SOCEUR commander then assumed total responsibility for the mission, organizing British, French, German, Spanish, Croat, and U.S. forces in the grim task of recovering the 35 victims of the crash. With the recovery complete, the SOCEUR commander and his staff started their return trip to Stuttgart. While they were still in the air, a new mission arose. A deteriorating situation called for rapid evacuation of noncombatants from the civil war in Liberia.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics