NATO's mission was to protect civilians, and civilian populated areas, in Libya against attack or threat of attack.


NATO carried out Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in Libya. NATO implemented all military aspects of UN Resolution 1973 related to the protection of civilians, the no-fly zone, and the arms embargo.

Once authorized, in one week, the Alliance rapidly put together a complete package of operations in support of the United Nations Resolution by sea and by air to enforce an arms embargo and no-fly zone and to protect civilians against the threat of attack. NATO was in full command and control of enforcing UNSCR 1973 from 31 March.

During that time NATO continued to degrade Gaddafi's military; with action that was decisive, far reaching and sustained. NATO struck decisively against weaponry being targeted against civilians and acted in close coordination with our international and regional partners. NATO was part of the global effort to protect the people of Libya. There was no simple military solution to the crisis.

In order to protect the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people we needed a political process and we appreciate all contributions towards the peaceful transition to democracy in Libya.


This was a NATO operation. Political direction was provided by the North Atlantic Council to SACEUR Admiral James Stavridis. The chain of command went from SACEUR through the Commander of Joint Force Command Naples (JFCN) Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, III to the Commander of the Joint Task Force of OPERATION UNIFIED PROTECTOR, LtGen Charles Bouchard (Canada) and then to the Commander of Air Component Command Izmir, LtGen Ralph Jodice (US) for all air operations and to the Commander of Maritime Command Naples, Vice Admiral Rinaldo Veri (Italy) for all naval operations.