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.
Canada as Operation Mobile
France as Operation Harmattan, where main focus was around Brega, to the south of Benghazi
UK as Operation Ellamy, where main focus was to the west of Misrata.
Other participating nations were Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the UAE & the US.
In addition to the surface units mentioned below, the UK also deployed HMS Triumph
and then HMS Turbulent
from the Silent Service.