Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis known as the October Crisis of 1962, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union initiated by the American discovery of Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961 and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles on the island to deter a future invasion. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July 1962, construction of a number of missile launch facilities started that summer; the 1962 United States elections were under way, the White House had for months denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. The missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missile facilities.
The US established a naval blockade on October 22 to prevent further missiles from reaching Cuba. The US announced it would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union. After several days of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between US President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a US public declaration and agreement to avoid invading Cuba again. Secretly, the United States agreed that it would dismantle all US-built Jupiter MRBMs, deployed in Turkey against the Soviet Union; when all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 21, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow.
As a result, the Moscow–Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements reduced US–Soviet tensions for several years until both parties began to build their nuclear arsenal further. With the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War, the United States had grown concerned about the expansion of communism. A Latin American country allying with the Soviet Union was regarded by the US as unacceptable, it would, for example, defy the Monroe Doctrine, a US policy limiting US involvement in European colonies and European affairs but holding that the Western Hemisphere was in the US sphere of influence. The Kennedy administration had been publicly embarrassed by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in May 1961, launched under President John F. Kennedy by CIA-trained forces of Cuban exiles. Afterward, former President Dwight Eisenhower told Kennedy that "the failure of the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets to do something that they would otherwise not do." The half-hearted invasion left Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and his advisers with the impression that Kennedy was indecisive and, as one Soviet adviser wrote, "too young, not prepared well for decision making in crisis situations... too intelligent and too weak".
US covert operations against Cuba continued in 1961 with the unsuccessful Operation Mongoose. In addition, Khrushchev's impression of Kennedy's weaknesses was confirmed by the President's response during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 to the building of the Berlin Wall. Speaking to Soviet officials in the aftermath of the crisis, Khrushchev asserted, "I know for certain that Kennedy doesn't have a strong background, nor speaking, does he have the courage to stand up to a serious challenge." He told his son Sergei that on Cuba, Kennedy "would make a fuss, make more of a fuss, agree". In January 1962, US Army General Edward Lansdale described plans to overthrow the Cuban government in a top-secret report, addressed to Kennedy and officials involved with Operation Mongoose. CIA agents or "pathfinders" from the Special Activities Division were to be infiltrated into Cuba to carry out sabotage and organization, including radio broadcasts. In February 1962, the US launched an embargo against Cuba, Lansdale presented a 26-page, top-secret timetable for implementation of the overthrow of the Cuban government, mandating guerrilla operations to begin in August and September.
"Open revolt and overthrow of the Communist regime" would occur in the first two weeks of October. When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, one of his key election issues was an alleged "missile gap" with the Soviets leading; the US at that time led the Soviets by a wide margin that would only increase. In 1961, the Soviets had only four intercontinental ballistic missiles. By October 1962, they may have had a few dozen, with some intelligence estimates as high as 75; the US, on the other hand, had 170 ICBMs and was building more. It had eight George Washington- and Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarines, with the capability to launch 16 Polaris missiles, each with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. Khrushchev increased the perception of a missile
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west and Hungary to the north and Romania to the east, Albania and Greece to the south; the nation was a socialist state and a federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia with Belgrade as its capital. In addition, it included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Vojvodina; the SFRY's origin is traced to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II. On 29 November 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed after the deposition of King Peter II, thus ending the monarchy.
Until 1948, the new communist government sided with the Eastern Bloc under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito at the beginning of the Cold War, but after the Tito–Stalin split of 1948, Yugoslavia pursued a policy of neutrality. It became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, transitioned from a planned economy to market socialism; the SFRY maintained neutrality during the Cold War as part of its foreign policy. It was a founding member of CERN, the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, IFAD, WTO, BTWC. Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation; the economic crisis led to a rise in ethnic nationalism in early 1990s. With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation failed. In 1991 some European states recognized their independence; the federation collapsed along federal borders, followed by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, the final downfall and breakup of the federation on 27 April 1992.
Two of its republics and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", but this union was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to the SFRY. The term "former Yugoslavia" is now used retrospectively; the name Yugoslavia, an Anglicised transcription of Jugoslavija, is a composite word made up of jug and slavija. The Slavic word jug means'south', while slavija denotes a'land of the Slavs'. Thus, a translation of Jugoslavija would be'South-Slavia' or'Land of the South Slavs'; the full official name of the federation varied between 1945 and 1992. Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 under the name Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. In January 1929, King Alexander I assumed dictatorship of the kingdom and renamed it the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, for the first time making the term "Yugoslavia"—which had been used colloquially for decades —the official name of the state. After the Kingdom was occupied by the Axis during World War II, the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia announced in 1943 the formation of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia in the substantial resistance-controlled areas of the country.
The name deliberately left the republic-or-kingdom question open. In 1945, King Peter II was deposed, with the state reorganized as a republic, accordingly renamed Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, with the constitution coming into force in 1946. In 1963, amid pervasive liberal constitutional reforms, the name Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was introduced; the state is most referred to by the latter name, which it held for the longest period of all. Of the three main Yugoslav languages, the Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian language name for the state was identical, while Slovene differed in capitalization and the spelling of the adjective "Socialist"; the names are as follows: Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian languages Latin: Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija Cyrillic: Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: Macedonian pronunciation: Slovene language Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija Due to the length of the name, abbreviations were used to refer to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, though the state was most known as Yugoslavia.
The most common abbreviation is SFRY, though SFR Yugoslavia was used in an official capacity by the media. On 6 April 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers led by Nazi Germany. Yugoslav resistance was soon established in two forms, the Royal Yugoslav Army in the Homeland and the Communist Yugoslav Partisans; the Partisan supreme commander was Josip Broz Tito, under his command the movement soon began establishing "liberated territories" which attracted the attention of occupying forces. Unlike the various nationalist militias operating in occupied Yugoslavia, the Partisans were a pan-Yugoslav movement promoting the "brotherhood and unity" of Yugoslav nations, representing the republican, left-wing, socialist elements of the Yugoslav political
Patrol Squadron Eight is a U. S. Navy land-based patrol squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. VP-8 is tasked to undertake maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence and reconnaissance missions; the Squadron is equipped with the Boeing P-8A Poseidon. The squadron was established as Patrol Squadron 201 on 1 September 1942, redesignated Patrol Bombing Squadron 201 on 1 October 1944, redesignated Patrol Squadron 201 on 15 May 1946, redesignated Patrol Squadron, Medium Seaplane 1 on 15 November 1946, redesignated Patrol Squadron, Medium Landplane 8 on 5 June 1947 and redesignated Patrol Squadron 8 on 1 September 1948, it is the second squadron to be designated VP-8, the first VP-8 was redesignated VP-24 on 1 July 1939. VP-201 was established at NAS Norfolk, Virginia on 1 September 1942, under the operational command of FAW5, ﬂying PBM-3 Mariner seaplanes; the squadron was sent on 6 October 1942 to NAS Banana River, where most of the operational unit training was undertaken.
The squadron received its own new PBM-3C aircraft on 1 December 1942. On 6 February 1943 VP-201 returned to its home port at NAS Norfolk. Flight crew training continued concurrently with patrol operations along the Atlantic seaboard as a part of Task Force 28 in the Eastern Sea Frontier. On 27 May 1943 the squadron's PBM-3C aircraft were replaced by the newer PBM-3S with improved radar. After refitting, a six-aircraft detachment deployed to NAS Bermuda. Patrols were ﬂown ranging out to 800 miles. Convoys to and from Europe were covered in a radius of 500 miles from Bermuda. On 9 July 1943 Lieutenant Soverel and crew attacked U-134 off Bermuda, the submarine, caught on the surface, manned its potent anti-aircraft defenses and damaged the PBM-3S, forcing it to return to base; as a result of this encounter, subsequent patrols were made in pairs of aircraft. On 30 July 1943 VP-201 held a change of command at NAS Norfolk, the former commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander M. H. Tuttle, half of the squadron personnel and assets were transferred to form the cadre of a new PB4Y-1 Liberator squadron, VB-111, the remainder of the squadron and its newly assigned personnel were transferred the next week to a new home port at NAS Bermuda under the administrative control of the Commander Bermuda Air Group.
An intensive period of training ensued. On 8 June 1944 VP-201 was transferred back to its original home port at NAS Norfolk under the administrative control of FAW-5, assigned duties involving regular ﬂights between Bermuda and Norfolk carrying supplies and personnel. On 12 June the squadron deployed to NAS Key West, under the operational control of FAW-12 for a two-week period of Anti-submarine warfare refresher training. On 12 July VP-201 deployed to NAS Coco Solo, Panama Canal Zone, under the operational control of FAW-3 under the Commander Panama Sea Frontier. Upon completion of the deployment, the squadron was reassigned to a new home port at NAS Key West under control of FAW-12, on 27 July 1944. From 1 November half of the squadron’s PBM-3S aircraft were outfitted with L-8C Leigh searchlights at NAS Key West. After training in use of the new British-designed equipment, the squadron was assigned routine operational ﬂights involving ASW patrols and convoy escort. From 1 April 1945 squadron ﬂight crews were divided into three sections and sent in rotation to Harvey Point, North Carolina, to pick up replacement aircraft, the PBM-5.
Familiarization training on the new seaplanes was conducted at Harvey Point before sending the section back to NAS Key West. On 29 May VPB-201 was transferred to a new home port at NAS Coco Solo, under the operational control of FAW-3; the squadron engaged in ASW, searchlight tactics, gunnery and instrument training ﬂights. Following the end of World War II, the squadron’s aircraft inventory was reduced from 15 to 9 and it experienced a reduction in personnel due to the postwar demobilization. On 15 March 1946 VPB-201 was assigned a new home port at NS San Juan, Puerto Rico, under the operational control of FAW-11; the squadron was supported by USS San Carlos during the relocation from Panama to Puerto Rico. Upon arrival, a detachment of three aircraft was sent to NAS Trinidad to serve as part of the Air Sea Rescue Task Unit. In December 1947 VP-ML-8 received its first contingent of replacement aircraft, the new P2V-2 Neptune; the squadron, home ported at NAS Norfolk, was under the control of FAW-5.
A period of transition training commenced for the switch from seaplanes to landplanes. On 1 March 1949 VP-8 deployed to Newfoundland; the primary emphasis during this tour of duty was the testing of the P2V aircraft in cold weather conditions, ﬂying in temperatures as low as -55 °F. Aircrews received training in instrument and night ﬂying and GCA landings. VP-8 made its first deployment to NAS Argentia with it new P2V-5F aircraft July 15, 1955 Detachments from the squadron operated out of Goose Bay, Frobisher Bay, Thule, providing air cover to supply convoys for Distant Early Warning radar installations. In April 1958, VP-8 transferred to its new home base at Chincoteague and began operating with Task Force Alfa, a Hunter-Killer group created to develop improved ASW tactics and technology by integrating carrier-based ASW aircraft, land-based patrol aircraft, refitted destroyers, hunter-killer submarines into a single task force structure. During the next two years, VP-8 participated in the evolution of antisubmarine warfare, to including the development and evaluation of new tactics and equipment.
The VP-8 moved to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland in July 1961. After relinquishing the last of
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
South Korea the Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and lying to the east of the Asian mainland. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo, one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. South Korea has a predominantly mountainous terrain, it comprises an estimated 51.4 million residents distributed over 100,363 km2. Its capital and largest city is Seoul, with a population of around 10 million. Archaeology indicates that the Korean Peninsula was inhabited by early humans starting from the Lower Paleolithic period; the history of Korea begins with the foundation of Gojoseon in 2333 BCE by the mythic king Dangun, but no archaeological evidence and writing was found from this period. The Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in 11th century BCE, its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era; the written historical record on Gojoseon was first mentioned in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE.
Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Unified Silla in CE 668, Korea was subsequently ruled by the Goryeo dynasty and the Joseon dynasty. It was annexed by the Empire of Japan in 1910. At the end of World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U. S. zones of occupations. A separate election was held in the U. S. zone in 1948 which led to the creation of the Republic of Korea, while the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established in the Soviet zone. The United Nations at the time passed a resolution declaring the ROK to be the only lawful government in Korea; the Korean War began in June 1950. The war lasted three years and involved the U. S. China, the Soviet Union and several other nations; the border between the two nations remains the most fortified in the world. Under long-time military leader Park Chung-hee, the South Korean economy grew and the country was transformed into a G-20 major economy. Military rule ended in 1987, the country is now a presidential republic consisting of 17 administrative divisions.
South Korea is a developed country and a high-income economy, with a "very high" Human Development Index, ranking 22nd in the world. The country is considered a regional power and is the world's 11th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 12th largest by PPP as of 2010. South Korea is a global leader in the industrial and technological sectors, being the world's 5th largest exporter and 8th largest importer, its export-driven economy focuses production on electronics, ships, machinery and robotics. South Korea is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, the United Nations, Uniting for Consensus, G20, the WTO and OECD and is a founding member of APEC and the East Asia Summit; the name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name; the 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo, thus inherited its name, pronounced by the visiting Persian merchants as "Korea". The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel.
Despite the coexistence of the spellings Corea and Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically. After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted; the new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon. In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk; the name Daehan, which means "Great Han" derives from Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula. However, the name Joseon was still used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.
Following the surrender of Japan, in 1945, the Republic of Korea was adopted as the legal English name for the new country. Since the government only controlled the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, the informal term South Korea was coined, becoming common in the Western world. While South Koreans use Han to refer to the entire country, North Koreans and ethnic Koreans living in China and Japan use the term Joseon as the name of the country; the Korean name "Daehan Minguk" is sometimes used by South Koreans as a metonym to refer to the Korean ethnicity as a whole, rather than just the South Korean state. The history of Korea begins with the founding of Joseon in 2333 BCE by Dangun, according to Korea's foundation mythology. Gojoseon expanded until it controlled parts of Manchuria. Gija Joseon was purportedly founded in the 12th century BC, but its existence and role have been controversial in the modern era. In 108 BCE, the Han dynasty defeated Wiman Joseon and installed four commanderies in the n
Operation Sharp Guard
Operation Sharp Guard was a multi-year joint naval blockade in the Adriatic Sea by NATO and the Western European Union on shipments to the former Yugoslavia. Warships and maritime patrol aircraft from 14 countries were involved in searching for and stopping blockade runners; the operation began on 15 June 1993. It was suspended on 19 June 1996, was terminated on 2 October 1996; the operation replaced naval blockades Sharp Fence. It put them under a single chain of command and control, to address what their respective Councils viewed as wasteful duplication of effort; some maintain that despite the nominal official joint command and control of the operation, in reality it was NATO staff that ran the operation. The operation's purpose was, through a blockade on shipments to the former Yugoslavia, to enforce economic sanctions and an arms embargo of weapons and military equipment against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, rival factions in Croatia and Bosnia; the Yugoslav Wars were being waged, the participants hoped to limit the fighting by limiting supplies to it.
Fourteen nations contributed ships and patrol aircraft to the operation. At any given time, 22 ships and 8 aircraft were enforcing the blockade, with ships from Standing Naval Force Atlantic and Standing Naval Force Mediterranean establishing a rotating duty, and eight maritime patrol aircraft, were involved in stopping blockade runners. Most contributors to the operation supplied two ships; the Turkish Navy, for example, participated with frigates and tankers. The operational area was divided into a series of "sea boxes", each the responsibility of a single warship; each boarding team was composed of a "guard team" to board and wrest control of the target ship, a "search team", to conduct the search. The ships were authorized to board and seize both ships seeking to break the blockade and their cargo; the Combined Task Force 440 was commanded by Admiral Mario Angeli of Italy. It marked the first time since its founding in 1949. On 11 March 1994, a combined British and Italian intelligence operation led to the capture of the Maltese merchant ship Jadran Express by the Italian frigate Zeffiro, which forced the freighter into the port of Taranto.
The ship had departed from Odessa bound to Venice with a cache of 2,000 tons of Soviet-designed weaponry, valued at U$S 200 million. Manned by Italian marines from the San Marco battalion, the Jadran Express was escorted by Zeffiro to the naval base of La Maddalena, where her cargo was unloaded under heavy security; the issue of differing views among nations in the coalition as to the use of force authorized by rules of engagement arose in April 1994. Faced with the Maltese tanker Lido II making its way towards Montenegrin port with 45,000 tons of fuel oil, the American cruiser USS Philippine Sea asked the NATO commander for guidance, received authorization to use "disabling fire" to stop the tanker, if necessary, he received confirmation that he should follow the British commodore's guidance from his own higher authority. Under U. S. Navy standards, "disabling fire" means firing rounds into the ship's engineering space; the U. S. cruiser was about to pass the order along to the Dutch Kortenaer-class frigate HNLMS Van Kinsbergen.
However, the fact that the Dutch definition of "disabling fire" involves launching rounds into the bridge of the target ship, with an increased risk of loss of life, became important. The ship was boarded by Dutch Marines inserted by helicopter from HNLMS Van Kinsbergen and stopped without firing a shot on the first of May. Three Yugoslav Navy Končar-class corvettes challenged the NATO operation and one of them tried to ram the British frigate HMS Chatham as it was assisting Van Kinsberger; the corvettes fled following the reaction of the British warship, supported by Italian Tornado aircraft which scrambled from an airbase at Gioia Del Colle. Lido II had to undergo repairs before being diverted to Italy, since the crew had sabotaged the ship's engine room; the leaking was contained by an engineer party from HMS Chatham. Seven Yugoslav stowaways were found on board. A similar incident had taken place off Montenegro a year before, on 8 February 1993, when a boarding party from the Italian frigate Espero forcibly seized the Maltese freighter Dimitrakis, which feigned an emergency in order to divert her route to the port of Bar.
The merchant was smuggling coal to the Serbs from Romania. The "NATO and WEU forces challenged more than 73,000 ships and inspected 6,000 at sea, diverted 1,500 suspect ships to ports for further inspection." Of those, nearly a dozen vessels were found to be blockade runners, some carrying arms in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. NATO officials said no ships were able to run the blockade and that the maritime blockade had a major effect in preventing escalation of the conflict; the blockade was suspended following a UN decision to end the arms embargo, NATO's Southern Command said that: "NATO and WEU ships will no longer challenge, board or divert ships in the Adriatic". The Independent warned at the time that "In theory, there could now be a massive influx of arms to Bosnia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, although senior military and diplomatic sources yesterday said that they thought this would be unlikely." The blockade was conducted in accordance with numerou