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Timeline Macedonia (Operation Bessemer) 1 August 2001 – 12 October 2001

In August 2 PARA were deployed with 16 Air Assault Brigade to Macedonia on Op BESSEMER. After growing tensions in Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia between the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian Army (ARM), a NATO brokered peace agreement was signed between the two parties.

HQ 16 Air Asslt Bde became HQ Task Force Harvest with a multinational force of 15 nations under command. Their mission was to deploy to collect and dispose of NLA weapons and ammunition in order to restore stability in the FYROM.

As the NLA operated primarily in the mountains of Western Macedonia, the terrain was eminently suitable for light operations. 2 PARA took under command 9 Para Sqn RE and the Dutch Coy for all missions. An Italian Mechanised Sqn was also placed under command for the third mission to Brodec. B Company also conducted missions with the French 2 REI, and C (Gurkha) Company independent missions with the Harvest Liaison Teams (Special Forces).

2 PARA successfully conducted 3 major arms collection operations and then recovered to UK on 12 October.

 

by Paradata Editor

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