Originally Posted by kakslurp
My Battalion was with the AMF from 87/90. My unit the 3/325 ABCT (3rd battalion,325 inf. regiment. airborne battalion combat team) based in N/Italy, was the only us airborne group in Europe and permanently assigned overseas to the Southern European Task Force (SETAF) --which "Attached" us to the AMF/Land "South".i guess the attached & south part has allways confused me and my knowlege as a young infantrymen was limited to by what was in front and under me
. While i dont think that the amf was a true "Rapid" strike force (language & politics,etc..)the amf "worked" in bringing nato's "smaller" units & those commanders together, Most of them are "still" working together in combat operations in the middle east.
The AMF as i would think would be a kind of fire brigade one source states that only the jump unit in italy was the sole u.s. unit assigned to the AMF, this might be true as there may have been a shift in docrine in the mid 70s and the previous info i gave may have pertained to the 60's, in that it would be held back and commited only if there was a hole to plug up or a massive rupturing of the front line, which given soviet/warsaw pact doctrine would no doubt be likely ,thus the AMF could be connsiderd a rapid srike force. Im gathering in your case that the unit you where in(in my day it was the 1/509 abn inf) was by definition already a strike force as it had when i was in the army in 80-83 a unique assignment , to be commited to west germany in the event of the eastern block invading western europe, but it stationed to stationed in italy. In the 50s through the 80s the political situation was very complex, not only with the commies, but also among certain nato countries.To take two example's, one being france. France under Charles De Gaulle had serious problem's internally he was the target of assination attemps by not only communist group's in france but also by officer's in the french army, these men where primerally officer's in the french foregin legion, who wanted to kill him because they felt he should not be granting independence to the colonies. When De Gaulle stated his intention to grant independence to algeria which at that time was in a state of civil war, with the white french natives called the pied noir,s with the support of the french goverment, and the marxist backed algerian,s.the army went ballistic.
la Legion etrangere who was in the thick of the fighting revolted when word came down, the legion bascically took over the goverment of the colony, most other french unit's either went along wholeheartedly or tacitedly . it was then the the coup was planed. It failed but the damage to the french goverment was significant. De gaulle in the mid 60's had a major falling out with the u.s. and great britian, mostly with the u.s., because of it's ongoing involment in laos and vietnam, both part of the former french indochina and subsiquint escalation in 1965. This and other thing,s like france aquiring nuclear weapons, prompted De Gaulle to kick all u.s. personel out of france close those base's, and withdraw totaly from NATO, to include withdrawing the french army from west germany.This was a major blow for NATO,and the subject of much hand wringing and recrimination.It also caused a major diplomatic flap with our goverment as you could imagine.
The other example accured in the mid 70's when two NATO countries where inaffect, in a state of war, these being greece and turkey. clash's accureing over the situation on the island of cyprus. Cyprus bening controlled by greece, it also had a large turk population who resented the greek's as these people whether on the main land, or on cyprus had been enemies for centuries they the turk's appealed to the mother country and the mother country obiliged. It caused alot of problem's for NATO. Like, can we count on these two countries to be an effective force within NATO? It caused a serious rethink of stategies regarding southern europe. Which is where the u.s. unit in italy comes into play.It was because of this that the 1/509 was given more of a mission directed to the adiratic then to west germany, it's well known that the 82nd had a brigade that was slated to go to west germany if the ballon went up. And that the 1/509 should focus on misson's only in southern europe. For instence when i was in, the UN sent a multi national force in 1981 to sinai, the logical unit would have been the 1/509 since this type of RAPID deployment was right up there ally, and where very close to the sinai pennisular, but it was not sent, a battalion forom the 82nd was sent out from ft bragg, this leads to belive that as a componate of AMF it would not be commited any where exept europe.It was also i believe an attempt to test out unit of the stateside rapid deployment force tthat had been recintly formed and which cetain elements of thre 82nd was a part of. Anyway i hope you find this quote interresting and that i did'nt stay to off topic. I do have one question this time around. Do recall where the AMF patch anywhere on your uniform?, as it is an autherized patch in the u.s. army.