INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (NNS) -- Operation Northern Watch will officially stand down here May 1 in a formal ceremony, having defending the no-fly zone over Northern Iraq for more than one decade.
Senior leaders from coalition partner countries - the United States, United Kingdom and host nation Turkey - will join together to commemorate the partnership and teamwork that spanned the 12 years between Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Operation Northern Watch began Jan. 1, 1997, and succeeded another coalition effort, Operation Provide Comfort, which began in April 1991 and delivered more than 12,400 tons of food, supplies, medical aid and fuel to more than a million Kurdish refugees along the Turkish and Iraqi border.
For more than a decade, more than 100,000 U.S., United Kingdom, Turkish and French airmen rotated through Incirlik Air Base to support the operations. The last Operation Northern Watch combat patrol was flown on March 17 prior to the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The United States, United Kingdom and Turkey contributed more than 1,400 troops and approximately 50 fighter, tanker, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance aircraft to Operation Northern Watch at any given time. The U.S. contribution included Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen from active-duty, National Guard and Reserve units serving 45-to-90-day tours.
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