that the first combat action by NATO forces took place in 1994, 45 years after the creation of the Alliance?
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 this No-Fly Zone.
Then in April 1993 NATO agreed to conduct air operations to enforce the No-Fly Zone, and Operation DENY FLIGHT began. On 28 February 1994 NATO aircraft shot down four Bosnian Serb fighter-bombers conducting a bombing mission in clear violation of the UN No-Fly Zone.
This was the first combat action in NATO's history.