libya Operation Unified Protector

off LIbya

27-mar-11    to    31-oct-11

Operation Unified Protector

Multi-national force under NATO command, continuing operations from UN SCR 1973, to support the anti-Gaddafi revolution underway in Libya. This followed up the US-led Operation Odyssey Dawn which started earlier in March. Participants were desperate to devise a strategy which did not involve putting boots on the ground, yet effectively supported the government opposition, focussed largely in the east of the country.

It eventually involved Naval and Air forces of 13 nations, each using their own operation name, based around the Mediterranean and adjacent countries.

The operation also had a political and economic dimension: freezing Libyan overseas assets, supporting democratic reform and jostling for position to win future hydrocarbon-related industrial and commercial work from the new government.

From a UK perspective, the Government was in the van in leading the establishment of the operation but was in the untenable position of decommissioning the very military assets it needed, in order to prosecute the outcome.

Known in:
* Canada as Operation Mobile
* France as Operation Harmattan
* UK as Operation Ellamy.

Other participating nations were Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Spain, Sweden & the UAE.

In addition to the surface units mentioned below, the UK also deployed HMS Triumph and then HMS Turbulent from the Silent Service.


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DatesRotary Wing Aircraft UnitModels
    mar11 to - FR Flottille 36F Aéronautique Navale AS365 Dauphin 2
SA365 Dauphin 2
    mar11 to oct11 UK 815 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Lynx
    may11 to oct11 UK 656 Squadron Army Air Corps WAH-64 Apache
    may11 to 22sep11 UK 857 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Sea King ASaC.7

Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

Individual helicopters

Model IDs
Westland WAH-64 Apache ZJ179     ZJ188     ZJ207     ZJ233    
Westland Sea King HAS.5 ZD636    


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Aircraft Carrier (Nuclear Powered)  Charles de Gaulle class   French Navy R91 Charles de Gaulle,
Guided-Missile Destroyer  De Zeven Provinciën class   Royal Netherlands Navy F803 Hr.Ms. Tromp,
Guided-Missile Destroyer  Type 42 (Batch 1 and 2) class   Royal Navy D92 HMS Liverpool,
Frigate  La Fayette class   French Navy F712 Courbet,
Frigate  Regele Ferdinand class   Romanian Naval Forces F221 Regele Ferdinand,
Frigate  Type 23 Duke class   Royal Navy F81 HMS Sutherland,
Assault Carrier  Ocean class   Royal Navy L12 HMS Ocean,
Assault Carrier  Mistral class   French Navy L9014 Tonnerre,
Landing Ship/Platform Dock  Bay class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary L3008 RFA Mounts Bay,
Support Ship  Fort I class (1978)   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A385 RFA Fort Rosalie,
Support Ship  Wave class   Royal Fleet Auxiliary A389 RFA Wave Knight,

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