1992-1994: Transformation Continues, Involvement in the Balkans Grows

Against the background of the deteriorating situation in Former Yugoslavia, SHAPE continued implementing the major changes underway in ACE during the tenure of the tenth SACEUR, U.S. Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili. The ACE Rapid Reaction Corps was established in October 1992, and the ACE Reaction Forces Planning Staff became fully operational at SHAPE. The following year a Reaction Forces Air Staff was established in Germany. Initial planning began for a Combined Joint Task Force Concept to ensure NATO could command and control forces deployed outside the NATO area of operations.

The reorganisation of SHAPE and ACE was implemented in 1993. Europe's greater voice within the alliance was symbolised by German Gen. Peter Carstens becoming the first European Chief of Staff at SHAPE.  A new regional command called Allied Forces Northwest Europe, which comprised the United Kingdom and Norway, was also established the same year and incorporated the former Allied Command Channel.  Henceforth only two "Major NATO Commanders" remained - SACEUR and SACLANT.

The early 1990s witnessed increased efforts to provide the recently formed European Union with a military component, which resulted in the establishment of the multi-national Eurocorps. In 1993 Gen. Shalikashvili negotiated with the French and German Chiefs of Defence an agreement about the conditions and missions for which the Eurocorps could be employed with NATO.

SHAPE continued to try to improve relations with the Russian military. In addition, many high-level military cooperation trips to and from Central and East European states were conducted. SHAPE also made a major contribution to the development of what eventually became the Partnership for Peace Programme.

SHAPE, AFSOUTH and ACE Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) became increasingly involved in work associated with the on-going tragedy in Bosnia-Herzegovina and NATO's growing involvement in the Balkans. In June 1992 SHAPE established a Crisis Response Cell, and elements of NATO's Northern Army Group Headquarters were used to form the headquarters for United Nations peacekeeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

SHAPE and AFSOUTH planned NATO's first operation in support of the UN in the Balkans, a naval operation to monitor the UN maritime embargo against weapons coming into Former Yugoslavia. In July 1992 NATO ships took up their stations in the Adriatic, and Operation Maritime Monitor began.

Four months later the operation changed to one of enforcement and was called Operation Maritime Guard. Then in June 1993 NATO and the Western European Union combined their ships operating in the Adriatic into a single operation under NATO command, Operation Sharp Guard.

After the United Nations declared a no-fly zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina to prevent air attacks from being carried out by the warring factions, NATO began Operation Sky Monitor in October 1992 to monitor the no-fly zone. Then in April 1993 NATO agreed to conduct air operations to enforce the no-fly zone, and Operation Deny Flight began.

SHAPE and AFSOUTH also conducted detailed contingency planning in support of the UN, including plans to establish and protect humanitarian convoys, monitor heavy weapons and conduct various humanitarian airdrop options. In 1993 AFSOUTH and SHAPE completed CINCSOUTH Operation Plan Disciplined Guard which was NATO's military plan to support implementation of a UN Peace Plan for Bosnia Herzegovina, but the efforts of international mediators to achieve peace remained fruitless.

Shortly before General Shalikashvili relinquished command to become chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, SHAPE and AFSOUTH completed a plan for NATO Close Air Support to UN forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. NATO was thus prepared to take military action if UN peacekeepers were threatened or to conduct a major peacekeeping operation itself if an agreement could be reached to end the fighting.

 

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