Photo Library – NATO in Kosovo – 12 June 1999 [Updated]


NATO in Kosovo – In the early hours of 12 June 1999 contingents from many countries entered Kosovo under the insignia of KFOR and started the NATO-led mission that marks today its 21st anniversary. Operation Allied Force was the military response of NATO to the 1999 Kosovo crisis, and the first major combat operation in NATO history. On March 24, 1999, NATO launched an attack on Yugoslavia, making good on a long-standing threat to strike if Serbs refused to sign a peace plan for Kosovo. The assault included air- and sea-launched cruise missiles and bombing runs by American, German and French aircraft. The Kosovo Air Campaign began on March 24, 1999, and ended on June 10, 1999. The area of eligibility is the total land area and air space of Serbia (including Kosovo), Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Slovenia; and the waters and air space of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea north of 39 degrees North latitude. The Kosovo Defense Campaign began on June 11, 1999, and will end on a date to be determined.

Paratroops of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment take cover as they prepare to embark on the Puma Helicopters of 33 Squadron RAF.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Paratroops of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment take cover as they prepare to embark on the Puma Helicopters of 33 Squadron RAF.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Kosovo border
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

As dawn breaks over the mountain range that separates Kosovo from Macedonia, the first elements of the NATO air troops cross over the border at first light. The first wave consisited of 8 Chinooks, 4 Pumas and an air squadron of Apache helicopters.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Kacanik pass, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

A Sapper from 9 Independent Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers looks through his weapon sight towards a noise in the tree covered slopes of the Kacanik pass. Behind him is the strategic bridge that is vital to the route into Pristina if the British column is to pass over it. As he guards the bridge Engineers check for hidden explosives.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Kacanik pass, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

A Paratrooper from the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment shows grit and determination as he leads a column of soldiers up the Kacnik pass.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Two Paratroopers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment set up a fire position to cover a strategically vital bridge which lies on the route to Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Paratroops of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment take cover as they prepare to embark on the Puma Helicopters of 33 Squadron RAF.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Paratroopers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment patrol the strategically vital Kacanik road which lies on the route to Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Paratroops of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment get into „chalks“ as they prepare to embark on the Chinook helicopters of 27 Squadron RAF.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

A Sapper from 9 Independent Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers looks towards a noise in the tree covered slopes of the Kacanik pass. Behind him is the strategic bridge that was vital to the route into Pristina if the British column was to pass over it. As he guards the bridge Engineers check for hidden explosives.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

A Supercat vehicle carrying Paratroopers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment moves along the Kacanik road which lies on the route to Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Paratroopers of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment patrol the strategically vital Kacanik road which lies on the route to Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Kacanik, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Sergeant Major Mick Robson (40) from Leicester counts the markers on a site of a mass grave in the Kosovo town of Kacanik as he patrols the outskirts of the town. Mick, from the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was airlifted into Kosovo in an early morning insertion by NATO. The Paras were to secure the only road between the Macedonian border and Pristina.  There are two mass graves in this village with an estimated 98 people in them.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Fusilier Garry O’Brien receives a bouquet of flowers and a kiss from a grateful Kosovar girl as he drives through a ransacked village. Garry, who is 21 years of age and comes from Loch Lomond near Glasgow, is a Warrior Armoured Fighting Vechicle driver with the (Princess Margrets Own Glasgow and Ayreshire) Royal Highland Fusiliers and has only been in the Balkans for two weeks. He said, „Before we crosssed the border we were besiged with waving cheering refugees from the camps. They mobbed the vehicles and kept giving us fruit, flowers and packets of cereal. When we drove through Skopje there were thousands of people lining the street – it was like a cup final crowd“. Garry, who was worried about what the war was doing to the Kosovars before he came out, said, „It all seems worth while when you seee how happy the people are – they are treating us as liberators and you can see why when you drive through the trashed villages“.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina road, southern Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

Fusilier Garry O’Brien receives a bouquet of flowers and a kiss from a grateful Kosovar girl as he drives through a ransacked village.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Southern Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 12 June 1999

British paratrooper private Ian Goldstain from Stoke on Trent returns a welcome kiss to a local Pristina boy after patrolling through his village on the outskirts of Pristina. The Paras flew in on board Chinook helicopters.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Kosovo/Macedonia border
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 12 June 1999

A grateful Kosovar shows his appreciation to NATO soldier Simon Shiel, 24, from Selkirk, by kissing his SA-80 rifle. The old man and his 10 month old grandson were stopped by Simon’s Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle on his return from exile in a Maceonian Refugee Camp. He now felt safe under the protection offered by the British forces and started his long journey home by horse and cart, with his entire world’s belongings with him, along with hay to feed the horse. Simon is a Lance Corporal serving with The Princess Margaret’s Own Royal Highland Fusiliers

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Southern Kosovo border
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 12 June 1999

Warrior AFVs of the Irish Guards are cheered on as they pass refugees from the Brazde camp on the Macedonia/Kosovo border.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Near Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 12 June 1999

Soldiers of 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles guard the route north up through the Kacanik pass towards Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 13 June 1999

RAF Chinooks depart over Pristina after airlifting paratroops to the outskirts.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 13 June 1999

British Army Intelligence warrant officer Andrew Kevill, from Manchester, sifts through hundreds of Albanian passports and identity cards which were found dumped on a site currently used by Headquarters 4 Armoured Brigade. It is believed that these documents may have been confiscated from Albanian Kosovars now residing in refugee camps in Macedonia.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Slatina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 16 June 1999

Russian troops watch British soldiers at Pristina Airport, Slatina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: North of Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 16 June 1999

Warrior Fighting Vehicles of the 1st Battalion The Irish Guards temporarily form into a holding area on the road north out of Pristina on their way towards the Serbian border.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 16 June 1999

Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment set off on patrol in Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 16 June 1999

Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment patrol through the back streets of Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 16 June 1999

British Challenger tanks of the Kings Royal Hussars skirt the city of Pristina, heading north.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 16 June 1999

Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment train binoculars and rifles on a nearby building as they search for a suspected sniper.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Basement of former headquarters of the MUP (Serbian Interior Ministry) Police, Pristina
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 17 June 1999

Soldiers of 1 Para Regt. have opened rooms in the HQ of the Serbian MUP showing the scene as it was when first entered. The rooms are ransacked. Known locally as „The Chamber of Horrors“ there are knuckle dusters, truncheons, axes and other instruments scattered on the floor of the basement. The building was vacated only hours before the Paras entered and the signs of habitation are still in evidence. Bread is still on the table and cigarettes in the ashtrays with personal clothing still in lockers. In the damp basement room with a single light bulb and no furniture various items lay scattered on the floor including a sword, baseball bat and a truncheon.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Upper floor of former headquarters of the MUP (Serbian Interior Ministry) Police, Pristina
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 17 June 1999

Upstairs in the HQ of the Serbian MUP, paramilitary uniforms, steel helmets, holsters and empty ammunition cases lay scattered among the chaos. Along the floor lay documents and identification photographs of local people. Violent pornography and boxes of condoms were also discovered.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Basement of former headquarters of the MUP (Serbian Interior Ministry) Police, Pristina
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 17 June 1999

A soldier of 1 Para Regt. holds a club marked „Mouth Closer“ in the „chamber of horrors“ discovered in the former MUP HQ in Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Basement of former headquarters of the MUP (Serbian Interior Ministry) Police, Pristina
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 17 June 1999

A Para descends the staircase leading to the gloomy basement of the former MUP HQ in Pristina.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 17 June 1999

Two young Kosovar children proudly show a British trooper their inked-on shoulder patches and Union Flags.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 17 June 1999

A Kosovar child shelters under NATO’s umbrella (currently in the hands of 1st Battalion The Irish Guards).

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 17 June 1999

A rural scene is disturbed as Royal Irish Regiment troops look out for Serb snipers threatening returning Albanian Kosovars.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Kevin Capon
Date: 20 June 1999

Major Stephen Cartwright, commanding A Company 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers 1RHF (an independant company from the 1st Battalion RHF, currently serving in Bosnia) lays down the law to local Kosovo Liberation Army fighters in the village of Gornje Zakut, 2.5km from the Serbian border.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Sgt Dave Miles
Date: 24 June 1999

A World War 2 M18 Hellcat tank destroyer rusts near the Royal Engineers‘ camp in Macedonia.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Podujevo, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 20 June 1999

Captain Neil Allison, the Royal Army Chaplains Department Padre of the Kings Royal Hussars Battle Group, sings during a service held in the war torn town of Podujevo, 10km from the Kosovo border with Serbia..

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Metohija, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 20 June 1999

Major Stephen Cartwright, commanding A Company 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers 1RHF (an independant company from the 1st Battalion RHF, currently serving in Bosnia) talks to local villagers from Metohija after they reported the location of a body in the hills surrounding their homesteads.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Gornje Zakut, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 20 June 1999

Soldiers of A Company 1st Battalion Royal Highland Fusiliers 1RHF (an independant company from the 1st Battalion RHF, currently serving in Bosnia) patrol through the war torn village of Gornje Zakut as returning Albanian refugees look on. These troops are responsible for implementing the Military Technical Agreement in this area and have been patrolling non-stop since their arrival in Kosovo on 12 June 1999.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Near Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 20 June 1999

Bomb damage to the roadbridge between Pristina and Podujevo – a British soldier talks to a local villager about the damaged bridge section.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 20 June 1999

A bullet-riddled car serves as a reminder of the racial hatred in Kosovo, a sign of the difficult times ahead for KFOR.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Pristina, Kosovo
Photographer: Capt Gallagher
Date: 21 June 1999

Royal Engineers working for KFOR’s „Chief Refuse Administrator Pristina“ clear away stinking vermin-infested heaps of rubbish, which have become a serious health hazard in the city.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Likovac, Kosovo
Photographer: Sgt Dave Miles
Date: 21 June 1999

Soldiers from The Royal Artillery pose for a picture with villagers from Likovac in Kosovo. They sit on top of a VJ Army T55 Main Battle Tank knocked out during the air war.

NATO in Kosovo Photo Library

Location: Likovac, Kosovo
Photographer: Sgt Dave Miles
Date: 21 June 1999

Soldiers from BRITFOR in Kosovo inspect the damage to the knocked out T55.  The tank was destroyed by Allied air delivered weapons during the NATO bombing campaign.

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