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Operation Able Sentry

On 11 November 1992 the President of Macedonia, voicing concern about the impact of fighting in the former Yugoslav republics and the effect upon his newly created country, requested the preventive deployment of a UN observer group to Macedonia. By Security Council Resolution 795 of 1 December 1992 UNPROFOR's mandate was enlarged to establish a presence on Macedonia's borders with Albania, Serbia and Kosovo in order to monitor and report developments in the border areas that might prove a security threat to Macedonia. A Macedonia Command was established with headquarters in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, consisting of one battalion of up to 700 all ranks, 26 civilian staff members, 10 civil affairs officers, 35 military observers, and 45 administrative staff and interpreters. This brought total UNPROFOR strength in Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia to over 23,000.

For the first time US armed forces were placed under UN command, deployed to Macedonia on 6 July 1993 as part of UNPROFOR. Three hundrett members of the Berlin Brigade were airlifted into Macedonia to train and operate alongside UN Scandinavian forces of NORDBAT.

On July 6 1993 soldiers of Company C, 6th Battalion, 502nd Infantry landed at Petrovec Airport close to Skopje, Macedonia. It was the first US Army unit to deploy to Macedonia and it was the last deployment of the BBDE outside of Berlin. The reinforced company (additional elements came from HHC BBDE, 42nd Eng Co, D Co (TOW) 6th Bn 502nd, FIST 5th Bn 502nd, 287th MP Co) from the Berlin Brigade was to take part in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) mission to monitor the Macedonia-Serb border. The operation was named "Able Sentry". Lt. Col. Walter Holton was the commander of the 315 member task force in Macedonia. It was under operational control of the UNPROFOR commander, Danish Brig. Gen. F. Saermark Thomsen.

The vehicles were already painted white in Berlin and the soldiers wore blue helmets and UN berets.
Berlin Brigade troops were best suited for this mission because it was similar to their mission in Berlin - to preserve peace in a very fragile environment. Their equipment, basically light M-113 APCs instead of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, reflected their mission to observe and report.