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Special Forces Berlin
by James Stejskal




Home > Conflicts > Haiti

Operation Uphold Democracy. In September 1994 the United States intervened in Haiti to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'etat that overthrew President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This operation was named Operation Uphold Democracy and lasted from 19 September 1994 to 31 March 1995.

Forced Entry. The invasion was to be a force entry but this was averted at the very last minute. Participating units included the Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, elements of the Joint Special Operations Command (Rangers, SEALs and Delta Force), US Army 7th Transportation Group, and 10th Mountain Division. In addition the 3rd Special Forces Group was participating. The 82nd Airborne Division had units in the air about to conduct a combat parachute operation into Haiti. In fact, over 62 aircraft were in the air prior to the invasion being called off. 1.

Diplomatic Agreement. With the main force of the invasion just hours from reaching Haiti (some advanced elements had already infiltrated) an agreement was reached for the leaders of Haiti to step down and depart the country. The elected officials, including President Aristide, were allowed to return.

Change in Mission. As a result of the diplomatic agreement the operation changed from a combat operation to one of peace-keeping and nation-building.

Participating Units. Over the course of time there were a number of units that participated in the mission. On the Special Operations side this included Navy SEALs, JSOC, and Special Forces. The bulk of the initial SF elements was provided by the 3rd Special Forces Group from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. SF teams were deployed around the country to establish order and provide humanitarian assistance. Some units provided Coalition Support Team (CST) duties with counterpart units. For instance, a split A detachment from 1st Special Forces Group deployed to Haiti with a battalion from the Pakistani Army. In 1995 several companies from the 19th and 20th Special Forces Group deployed to Haiti for several months providing relief to companies from the 3rd Special Forces Group.

United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). Operation Uphold Democracy officially ended on March 31, 1995 and was replaced by the UNMIH.

SF Unit Deployments to Haiti

1994 - 3rd SFGA
1995 - A/1/20th SFGA (with augmentation from SFODA 2035 MA NG)
1995 - B/2/19th SFGA
1995 - 3rd SFGA

Websites with Info on Operation Uphold Democracy

Operation Uphold Democracy by Wikipedia

Intervention in Haiti, 1994-1995, Department of State Office of the Historian

Operation Uphold Democracy, Deployment Health Clinical Center

U.S. PSYOP in Haiti - Operation Uphold Democracy

Papers and Publications about Haiti

Pastor, Dr. Robert et al. Assessment Mission to Haiti, The Carter Center, January 1995.

Shaw, Robert C., Special Operations Forces Doctrine in Haiti, thesis presented to the faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1996.

Kretchik, Walter E., Robert F. Baumann, and John T. Fishel. Invasion, Intervention, 'Intervasion': A Concise History of the U.S. Army in Operation Uphold Democracy, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 1998.

News Reports about SF in Haiti

April 17, 1995. "The Siege of Mirebalais", The New Yorker,  by Tracy Kidder. Story about a Special Forces troops in Haiti as part of Operation Uphold Democracy.

January 13, 1995. "Special Forces Soldier Dies in Haiti". DoD News Release. SFC Gregory D. Cardott, age 36, died in Haiti on January 12, 1995 after being shot by a Haitian gunaman in Gonaives. He was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group.

October 30, 1994. "Haiti Turns U.S. Soldiers into Cops". Chicago Tribune. A news story about a 3rd SFGA detachment located in the town of Miragoane, Haiti that assume the role of police in their area of operations. More than half of Haiti's police had deserted and the remainder were dispised by the population.

October 26, 1994. "A Yank Called Marconi Symbolizes U.S. in Haiti". Los Angeles Times. Story on SF team in Jacmel, Haiti.

October 4, 1994. "US Troops in Southern Haiti Town Face Showdown with Local Military". The Christian Science Monitor. The story about the US taken control of Les Cayes, Haiti.



1. See page 76 of Invasion, Intervention, 'Intervasion'', by Walter Kretchik et al, Fort Leavenworty, KS, 1998.





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