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Operation Odyssey Dawn was the U.S. code name for the American role in the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 during the initial period of 19–31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector. The initial operation implemented a no-fly zone that was proposed during the Libyan Civil War to prevent government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out air attacks on Anti-Gaddafi forces. On 19 March 2011, several countries prepared to take immediate military action at a summit in Paris. Operations commenced on the same day with a strike by French fighter jets, then U.S. and UK forces conducting strikes from ships and submarines via 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles and air assets bombing Gaddafi forces near Benghazi. The goal of coalition forces has been to impose a no-fly zone and to destroy forces that threaten civilians – in effect this has meant forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Operation Odyssey Dawn
Part of the 2011 military intervention in Libya and the Libyan Civil War
USS Barry fires Tomahawk missile Libya.png
The USS Barry (DDG-52) fires a Tomahawk cruise missile during Operation Odyssey Dawn.
Date 19–31 March 2011
Location Libya
Result Decisive NATO victory
Effective no-fly zone established
Operations handed over to NATO Operation Unified Protector
Belligerents
 Belgium
 Canada
 Denmark
 Italy
 Netherlands
 Norway
 Qatar
 Spain
 United Arab Emirates
 United Kingdom
 United States of America
 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Commanders and leaders

United States Barack Obama
United States Robert Gates
United States GEN Carter Ham, USA
United States ADM Samuel Locklear, USN
United States VADM Harry Harris, USN

United States Maj Gen Margaret Woodward, USAF

Libya Muammar Gaddafi
Libya Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
Libya Khamis al-Gaddafi

Libya Ali Sharif al-Rifi
Strength
See deployed forces 490 tanks
240 mobile rocket launchers
35 helicopters
113 air-land attack fighters
229 air fighters
7 bombers
Casualties and losses
United States 1 F-15E (mechanical failure, aircrew survived)
1 MQ-8B Fire Scout (possibly shot down)
Multiple anti-aircraft defenses and air force targets damaged or destroyed
114 civilians killed and 445 wounded (Libyan health ministry claim)*
40 civilians killed (in Tripoli; Vatican claim)
*Libyan health ministry claim has not been independently confirmed and Libyan government figures have been shown as unreliable or misinformation. The U.S. military claims it has no knowledge of civilian casualties.

Operation Odyssey Dawn was the U.S. code name for the American role in the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 during the initial period of 19–31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector. The initial operation implemented a no-fly zone that was proposed during the Libyan Civil War to prevent government forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi from carrying out air attacks on Anti-Gaddafi forces. On 19 March 2011, several countries prepared to take immediate military action at a summit in Paris. Operations commenced on the same day with a strike by French fighter jets, then U.S. and UK forces conducting strikes from ships and submarines via 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles and air assets bombing Gaddafi forces near Benghazi. The goal of coalition forces has been to impose a no-fly zone and to destroy forces that threaten civilians – in effect this has meant forces loyal to Gaddafi.

The U.S. initially had strategic command of the military intervention, coordinated missions between coalition members and set up Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn on the USS Mount Whitney for the tactical command and control in the area of operations. but passed complete military command of the operation to NATO and took up a support role on 31 March 2011. Prior to that, an agreement to pass command of the arms embargo to NATO was reached on 23 March, and a handover of enforcement of the no-fly zone to NATO was agreed to on 24 March and became effective the following day. With the handover of coalition command to NATO, Operation Odyssey Dawn became the name for only the activities of U.S. forces, and the coalition's objectives continued to be carried out under Operation Unified Protector. However, NATO's objectives do not include aiding the rebel forces' efforts to take control of territory currently held by Gaddafi.

The British name for its military support of Resolution 1973 is Operation Ellamy, the Canadian participation is Operation Mobile, and the French participation is Opération Harmattan. NATO's military activity is Operation Unified Protector.


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