Service in the Balkans

(Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo)

The United Nations Protection Force in the Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) was established in 1991 in response to the civil war between Croats, Serbs, and Bosnian Muslims. NPROFOR was initially deployed in central Croatia but due to ethnic flare ups, Canadian units were eventually moved
south to the area around the town of Bihac, Bosnia. MGen Lewis McKenzie, a Patricia officer, had overall command of Sector Sarajevo during the worst ethnic fighting over the summer of 1992. The Third Battalion was the first Patricia unit to serve and was in theatre during 1992-93;
followed by 2 PPCLI in 1993 and 1 PPCLI in 1994. As in Cyprus, Battle Groups based on different army units rotated every six months until e
conclusion of the mandate in 1995.

Following the signing of the Dayton Agreement by the warring factions, Implementation Force (IFOR) and subsequently, Stabilization
Force (SFOR) were established under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The 2 PPCLI BG served with SFOR in 1997, 2000 and 2003. Patricia sub-units were attached to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) (LdSH (RC)) BG over the winter of 1997/98. 3 PPCLI BG served with SFOR in 2000 and 1 PPCLI BG SFOR in 2002-2003. 1999,1PPCLI provided a BG, complete with tanks and artillery, to assist the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR) in stabilizing the break away Yugoslav province of Kosovo after the Serb army pulled out of the area due to NATO air strikes as “OP ALLIED FORCE.”

The Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation was awarded to the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group (2 PPCLI BG) for courageous and professional execution of duty during the Medak Pocket Operation in the Former Yugoslavia in September 1993. Under conditions of extreme peril and hazard, facing enemy artillery, small arms and heavy machine gun fire as well as anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, the members of the 2 PPCLIBG held their ground and drove the Croatian forces back. The award was presented to Second Battalion on 1 December 2002 at Winnipeg.

D Company trench in Medak Pocket Croatia, 1993.

Accounting seized munitions and weapons.

An SFOR marked LAV III departs on patrol, Bosnia 2002.