Invasion of Grenada
Overview
 
The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was a 1983 United States-led invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 of Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, a Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 with a population of about 100,000 located 100 miles (160.9 km) north of Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Triggered by a military coup which had ousted a four-year revolutionary government, the invasion resulted in a restoration of constitutional government. It was controversial due to charges of American imperialism, Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 politics, the involvement of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, the unstable state of the Grenadian government, and Grenada's status as a Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

.

Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1974.
Encyclopedia
The Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, was a 1983 United States-led invasion
Invasion
An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all, or large parts of the armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory controlled by another such entity, generally with the objective of either conquering, liberating or re-establishing control or authority over a...

 of Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, a Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 island nation
Island nation
An island country is a state whose primary territory consists of one or more islands or parts of islands. As of 2011, 47 of the 193 UN member states are island countries.-Politics:...

 with a population of about 100,000 located 100 miles (160.9 km) north of Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Triggered by a military coup which had ousted a four-year revolutionary government, the invasion resulted in a restoration of constitutional government. It was controversial due to charges of American imperialism, Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 politics, the involvement of Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, the unstable state of the Grenadian government, and Grenada's status as a Commonwealth realm
Commonwealth Realm
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations that has Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state. The sixteen current realms have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² , and a population of 134 million, of which all, except about two million, live in the six...

.

Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1974. The leftist New Jewel Movement
New Jewel Movement
The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement, was a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada...

 seized power in a coup in 1979 suspending the constitution. After a 1983 internal power struggle ended with the deposition
Deposition (politics)
Deposition by political means concerns the removal of a politician or monarch. It may be done by coup, impeachment, invasion or forced abdication...

 and murder of revolutionary Prime Minister Maurice Bishop
Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...

, the invasion began on 25 October 1983. A combined force of about 7,600 troops from the United States, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, and members of the Regional Security System
Regional Security System
The Regional Security System is an international agreement for the defence and security of the eastern Caribbean region.The Regional Security System was created out of a need for collective response to security threats, which were impacting on the stability of the region in the late 1970s and...

 (RSS) defeated Grenadian resistance. The military government
Military government
Military government can refer to conditions under either Military occupation, or Military dictatorship.-Military Government:Military government is the form of administration by which an occupying power exercises governmental authority over occupied territory.The Hague Conventions of 1907 specify...

 of Hudson Austin
Hudson Austin
Hudson Austin is a former general in thePeople's Revolutionary Army of Grenada. After the killing of Maurice Bishop, he formed a military government with himself as chairman to rule Grenada.-History:...

 was deposed and replaced by a government appointed by Governor-General Paul Scoon
Paul Scoon
Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE was Governor General of Grenada for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992.-Biography:Sir Paul was born on 4 July 1935 in Gouyave, a town on the west coast of Grenada. He attended St. John's Anglican School and then the Grenada Boys' Secondary School...

 until elections were held.

While the invasion enjoyed broad public support in the United States, and received support from some sectors in Grenada from local groups who viewed the post-coup regime as illegitimate, it was criticized by the United Kingdom, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

, which condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

".

The date of the invasion is a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, and the Point Salines International Airport
Point Salines International Airport
Maurice Bishop International Airport , formerly known as Point Salines International Airport, is located in the parish of St. George's. The town of St. George's is about north of the airport and is the capital of the island nation of Grenada...

 was renamed in honor of Bishop.
The invasion highlighted issues with communication and coordination between the branches of the United States military, contributing to investigations and sweeping changes, in the form of the Goldwater–Nichols Act and other reorganizations.

Background

Sir Eric Gairy
Eric Gairy
Sir Eric Matthew Gairy was the first Prime Minister of Grenada, serving from Grenada`s independence in 1974 until his overthrow in a coup by Maurice Bishop in 1979...

 had led Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

 to independence from the United Kingdom in 1974. His term in office coincided with civil strife in Grenada. The political environment was highly charged and although Gairy – head of the Grenada United Labour Party
Grenada United Labour Party
-History:The party was founded by Eric Gairy in 1950. It was the only party to contest the first elections held under universal suffrage in 1951, and won six of the eight seats. The 1954 elections saw the same outcome...

 – claimed victory in the general election of 1976, the opposition did not accept the result as legitimate. The civil strife took the form of street violence between government supporters and gangs organized by the New Jewel Movement
New Jewel Movement
The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement, was a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada...

 (NJM). In the late 1970s, the NJM began planning to overthrow the government. Party members began to receive military training outside of Grenada. On 13 March 1979 while Gairy was out of the country, the NJM – led by Maurice Bishop
Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...

 – launched an armed revolution and overthrew the government, establishing the People's Revolutionary Government
People's Revolutionary Government
The People's Revolutionary Government was proclaimed on 13 March 1979 after the New Jewel Movement overthrew the government of Grenada in a revolution...

.

On 14 October 1983, a party faction led by Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard
Bernard Coard
Winston Bernard Coard was Grenadian Deputy Prime Minister in the People's Revolutionary Government of the New Jewel Movement, who placed Maurice Bishop under house arrest and took control of the government on 14 October 1983....

 seized power. Bishop was placed under house arrest. Mass protests against the action led to Bishop escaping detention and reasserting his authority as the head of the government. Bishop was eventually captured and murdered along with several government officials loyal to him. The army under Hudson Austin
Hudson Austin
Hudson Austin is a former general in thePeople's Revolutionary Army of Grenada. After the killing of Maurice Bishop, he formed a military government with himself as chairman to rule Grenada.-History:...

 then stepped in and formed a military council to rule the country. The Governor-General of Grenada, Paul Scoon
Paul Scoon
Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE was Governor General of Grenada for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992.-Biography:Sir Paul was born on 4 July 1935 in Gouyave, a town on the west coast of Grenada. He attended St. John's Anglican School and then the Grenada Boys' Secondary School...

, was placed under house arrest. The army announced a four-day total curfew where anyone seen on the streets would be subject to summary execution.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States , created in 1981, is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean...

 (OECS), as well as the nations of Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 and Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, appealed to the United States for assistance. According to a reporter for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, this formal appeal was at the request of the U.S. government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, which had already decided to take military action. U.S. officials cited the murder of Bishop and general political instability in a country near U.S. borders, as well as the presence of U.S. medical student
Medical Student
Medical Student may refer to:*Someone studying at medical school*Medical Student Newspaper, a UK publication...

s at St. George's University
St. George's University
St. George’s University is an independent international university in Grenada, West Indies, offering degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences, and business....

 on Grenada, as reasons for military action. Sivapalan also claimed that the latter reason was cited in order to gain public support.

On October 25, Grenada was invaded by the combined forces of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the Regional Security System
Regional Security System
The Regional Security System is an international agreement for the defence and security of the eastern Caribbean region.The Regional Security System was created out of a need for collective response to security threats, which were impacting on the stability of the region in the late 1970s and...

 (RSS) based in Barbados, in an operation codenamed Operation Urgent Fury. The U.S. stated this was done at the request of Dame Eugenia Charles
Eugenia Charles
Dame Mary Eugenia Charles, DBE was Prime Minister of Dominica from 21 July 1980 until 14 June 1995. She was Dominica's first, and to date only, female prime minister, as well as the nation's longest serving prime minister...

, of Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

. While the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

, Sir Paul Scoon
Paul Scoon
Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE was Governor General of Grenada for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992.-Biography:Sir Paul was born on 4 July 1935 in Gouyave, a town on the west coast of Grenada. He attended St. John's Anglican School and then the Grenada Boys' Secondary School...

, later stated that he had also requested the invasion, it was highly criticised by HM Queen Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 and the governments of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. The United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 condemned it as "a flagrant violation of international law" by a vote of 108 in favor to 9, with 27 abstentions. The United Nations Security Council considered a similar resolution, which failed to pass when vetoed by the United States.

Airport

The Bishop government began constructing the Point Salines International Airport
Point Salines International Airport
Maurice Bishop International Airport , formerly known as Point Salines International Airport, is located in the parish of St. George's. The town of St. George's is about north of the airport and is the capital of the island nation of Grenada...

 with the help of Britain, Cuba, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Algeria, and other nations. The airport had been first proposed by the British government in 1954, when Grenada was still a British colony. It had been designed by Canadians
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, underwritten by the British government, and partly built by a London firm. The U.S. government accused Grenada of constructing facilities to aid a Soviet-Cuban military build-up in the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, and to assist the Soviet and Cuban transportation of weapons to Central American insurgents. Bishop’s government claimed that the airport was built to accommodate commercial aircraft carrying tourists, pointing out that such jets could not land at the existing airport on the island’s north. Neither could the existing airport, itself, be expanded as its runway abutted a mountain.

In 1983, then-Member of the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 Ron Dellums
Ron Dellums
Ronald Vernie "Ron" Dellums served as Oakland's forty-fifth mayor. From 1971 to 1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S...

 (D, California), traveled to Grenada on a fact-finding mission, having been invited by the country's Prime Minister. Dellums described his findings before Congress:
...based on my personal observations, discussion and analysis of the new international airport under construction in Grenada, it is my conclusion that this project is specifically now and has always been for the purpose of economic development and is not for military use.... It is my thought that it is absurd, patronizing and totally unwarranted for the United States Government to charge that this airport poses a military threat to the United States’ national security.


In March 1983, Ronald Reagan began issuing warnings about the threat posed to the United States and the Caribbean by the "Soviet-Cuban militarization" as evidenced by the excessively long airplane runway being built as well as intelligence sources. He said that the 9000 feet (2,743.2 m) runway and the oil storage tanks were unnecessary for commercial flights, and that evidence pointed that the airport was to become a Cuban-Soviet military airbase.

The invasion

The invasion, which commenced at 05:00 on 25 October 1983, began when forces refuelled and departed from the Grantley Adams International Airport
Grantley Adams International Airport
Grantley Adams International Airport , is found in Seawell, Christ Church on the island of Barbados. The former name of the airport was Seawell Airport before being dedicated in honour of the first Premier of Barbados, Sir Grantley Herbert Adams in 1976. The airport's timezone is GMT –4, and is...

 on the neighboring Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

-isle of Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 before daybreak en-route to Grenada. It was the first major operation conducted by the U.S. military since the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. Vice Admiral
Vice Admiral
Vice admiral is a senior naval rank of a three-star flag officer, which is equivalent to lieutenant general in the other uniformed services. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral...

 Joseph Metcalf, III
Joseph Metcalf, III
Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf, III was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1951 and retired from active duty in 1987.- Experience :...

, Commander Second Fleet, was the overall commander of U.S. forces, designated Joint Task Force 120, which included elements of each military service and multiple special operations units. Fighting continued for several days and the total number of U.S. troops reached some 7,000 along with 300 troops from the OECS. The invading forces encountered about 1,500 Grenadian soldiers and about 700 Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

ns. Also present were 60 advisors from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, North Korea, East Germany, Bulgaria, and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. According to journalist Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward
Robert Upshur Woodward is an American investigative journalist and non-fiction author. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post....

 in his book Veil, the supposed captured "military advisers" from the aforementioned countries were actually accredited diplomats and included their dependents. None took any actual part in the fighting. Some of the "construction workers" were actually a detachment of Cuban Military Special Forces and combat engineers.

Official U.S. sources state that the defenders were well-prepared, well-positioned and put up stubborn resistance, to the extent that the U.S. called in two battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s of reinforcements on the evening of 26 October. The total naval and air superiority of the coalition forces – including helicopter gunships and naval gunfire support
Naval gunfire support
Naval gunfire support is the use of naval artillery to provide fire support for amphibious assault and other troops operating within their range. NGFS is one of a number of disciplines encompassed by the term Naval Fires...

 – overwhelmed the local forces.

Nearly eight thousand soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines had participated in URGENT FURY along with 353 Caribbean allies of the CPF. U.S. forces had sustained 19 killed and 116 wounded; Cuban forces sustained 25 killed, 59 wounded and 638 combatants captured. Grenadian forces casualties were 45 killed and 358 wounded; at least 24 civilians were killed.

Reaction in the United States

A month after the invasion, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine described it as having "broad popular support." A congressional
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 study group concluded that the invasion had been justified, as most members felt that U.S. students at the university near a contested runway could have been taken hostage as U.S. diplomats in Iran
Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian...

 had been four years previously. The group's report caused House Speaker
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 Tip O'Neill
Tip O'Neill
Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. was an American politician. O'Neill was an outspoken liberal Democrat and influential member of the U.S. Congress, serving in the House of Representatives for 34 years and representing two congressional districts in Massachusetts...

 to change his position on the issue from opposition to support.

However, some members of the study group dissented from its findings. Congressman Louis Stokes
Louis Stokes
Louis Stokes is a Democratic politician from Ohio. He served in the United States House of Representatives....

 stated: "Not a single American child nor single American national was in any way placed in danger or placed in a hostage situation prior to the invasion." The Congressional Black Caucus
Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks, and its chair in the 112th Congress is Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri.-Aims:...

 denounced the invasion and seven Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 congressmen, led by Ted Weiss, "introduced a quixotic resolution to impeach Reagan...which would, of course, go exactly nowhere."

In the evening of 25 October 1983 by telephone, on the newscast Nightline
Nightline
Nightline, or ABC News Nightline is a late-night news program broadcast by ABC in the United States, and has a franchised formula to other networks and stations elsewhere in the world. It airs weeknights, usually for 31 minutes. Created by Roone Arledge, the program featured Ted Koppel as its main...

, anchor Ted Koppel
Ted Koppel
Edward James "Ted" Koppel is an English-born American broadcast journalist, best known as the anchor for Nightline from the program's inception in 1980 until his retirement in late 2005. After leaving Nightline, Koppel worked as managing editor for the Discovery Channel before resigning in 2008...

 spoke to medical students on Grenada who stated that they were safe and did not feel their lives were in danger. The next evening, again by telephone, medical students told Koppel how grateful they were for the invasion and the Marines, which probably saved their lives. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 officials had assured the medical students that they would be able to complete their medical school education in the United States.

International reaction

By a vote of 108 in favor to 9 (Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

, Barbados, Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

, El Salvador, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Jamaica, Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is an island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. It covers a land area of 620 km2 and has an...

, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and the United States voting against) with 27 abstentions, the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 adopted General Assembly Resolution 38/7 which "deeply deplores the armed intervention in Grenada, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of that State". The government of China
Government of the People's Republic of China
All power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the People's Republic of China, State Council, and the People's Liberation Army . This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities...

 termed the United States intervention an outright act of hegemonism. The USSR government observed that Grenada had for a long time been the object of United States threats, that the invasion violated international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, and that no small nation not to the liking of the United States would find itself safe if the aggression against Grenada was not rebuffed. The governments of some countries stated that the United States intervention was a return to the era of barbarism. The governments of other countries said the United States by its invasion had violated several treaties and conventions to which it was a party.

A similar resolution was discussed in the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 and although receiving widespread support it was ultimately vetoed by the United States.
The then president of the United States Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, when asked if he was concerned by the lopsided 108–9 vote in the UN General Assembly said "it didn't upset my breakfast at all."

Grenada is part of the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and, following the invasion, it requested help from other Commonwealth members. The invasion was opposed by the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada, among others. British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 personally opposed the U.S. invasion, and her Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe
Geoffrey Howe
Richard Edward Geoffrey Howe, Baron Howe of Aberavon, CH, QC, PC is a former British Conservative politician. He was Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister, successively holding the posts of Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary, and finally Leader of the House of Commons...

, announced to the British House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 on the day before the invasion that he had no knowledge of any possible U.S. intervention. At 12:30am Tuesday 25 October, on the morning of the invasion, Prime Minister Thatcher sent a message to President Reagan: This action will be seen as intervention by a Western country in the internal affairs of a small independent nation, however unattractive its regime. I ask you to consider this in the context of our wider East-West relations and of the fact that we will be having in the next few days to present to our Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 and people the siting of Cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s in this country...I cannot conceal that I am deeply disturbed by your latest communication. ... hope that even at this late stage you will take it into account before events are irrevocable (The full text remains classified). She telephoned Reagan twenty minutes later, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, President of the United States, assured Thatcher that an invasion was not contemplated. Reagan later said, "She was very adamant and continued to insist that we cancel our landings on Grenada. I couldn't tell her that it had already begun."

Aftermath

Following the U.S. victory, Grenada's Governor-General Paul Scoon
Paul Scoon
Sir Paul Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE was Governor General of Grenada for 14 years, from 1978 to 1992.-Biography:Sir Paul was born on 4 July 1935 in Gouyave, a town on the west coast of Grenada. He attended St. John's Anglican School and then the Grenada Boys' Secondary School...

 formed a government in December 1983 by appointing Nicholas Brathwaite
Nicholas Brathwaite
Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite was the prime minister of Grenada from 1983 to 1984 and from 1990 to 1995.Brathwaite was born in Carriacou, Grenada. Following the 1983 invasion of Grenada, Brathwaite, a member of the National Democratic Congress, was appointed by Governor-General Sir Paul Scoon...

 as acting head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. Democratic elections held in December 1984 were won by the Grenada National Party
Grenada National Party
-History:The party was founded in 1955 and took its support from the urban middle class and landowners. It first contested national elections in 1957 when it won two of the eight seats, tied with the Grenada United Labour Party and the People's Democratic Movement. Its leader Herbert Blaize became...

 and a government was formed led by Prime Minister Herbert Blaize
Herbert Blaize
Herbert Augustus Blaize was a Grenadian politician and leader of the Grenada National Party. When Grenada was still a British Crown Colony he served as the first Chief Minister from 1960-61, and again, from 1962-67. He became the first Premier of the autonomous Associated State of Grenada briefly...

.
U.S. forces remained in Grenada after combat operations finished in December as part of Operation Island Breeze. Elements remaining, including military police, special forces, and a specialized intelligence detachment
Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army)
In the United States Armed Forces, Military Intelligence refers specifically to the intelligence components of the United States Army...

, performed security missions and assisted members of the Caribbean Peacekeeping Force and the Royal Grenadian Police Force.

United States

The invasion showed problems with the U.S. government's "information apparatus," which Time described as still being in "some disarray" three weeks after the invasion. For example, the U.S. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 falsely claimed that a mass grave
Mass grave
A mass grave is a grave containing multiple number of human corpses, which may or may not be identified prior to burial. There is no strict definition of the minimum number of bodies required to constitute a mass grave, although the United Nations defines a mass grave as a burial site which...

 had been discovered that held 100 bodies of islanders who had been killed by Communist forces. Major General Norman Schwarzkopf, deputy commander of the invasion force, said that 160 Grenadian soldiers and 71 Cubans had been killed during the invasion; the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 had given a much lower count of 59 Cuban and Grenadian deaths. Ronald H. Cole's report for the Joint Chiefs of Staff showed an even lower count.

Also of concern were the problems that the invasion showed with the military. There was a lack of intelligence about Grenada, which exacerbated the difficulties faced by the quickly assembled invasion force. For example, it was not known that the students were actually at two different campuses and there was a thirty-hour delay in reaching students at the second campus. Maps provided to soldiers on the ground were rudimentary, did not show topography
Topography
Topography is the study of Earth's surface shape and features or those ofplanets, moons, and asteroids...

, and were not marked with crucial positions. The U.S. Navy ships providing naval gunfire and U.S. Marine and Navy fighter bomber support, as well as U.S. Air Force aircraft providing close air support mistakenly fired upon and killed U.S. ground forces due to differences in maps and location coordinates, datum, and methods of calling for fire support. The landing strip was drawn-in by hand on the map given to some members of the invasion force.

A heavily fictionalized account of the invasion from a U.S. military perspective is shown in the 1986 Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

 movie, Heartbreak Ridge
Heartbreak Ridge
Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 American war film, starring Clint Eastwood and Mario Van Peebles, surrounding the 1983 U.S. invasion of Grenada, West Indies. A portion of the movie was filmed on the island itself....

.

Goldwater-Nichols Act

Analysis by the U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 showed a need for improved communications and coordination between the branches of the U.S. forces. U.S. Congressional investigations of many of the reported problems resulted in the most important legislative change affecting the U.S. military organization, doctrine, career progression, and operating procedures since the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 – the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
Goldwater-Nichols Act
The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 , , made the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947 by reworking the command structure of the United States military...

 (Pub. L.99–433).

The Goldwater-Nichols Act reworked the command structure of the United States military, thereby making the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act
National Security Act
National Security Act can refer to*National Security Act , law to provide for preventive detention*National Security Act , regarding seditious activities...

 of 1947. It increased the powers of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and created the concept of a truly unified joint U.S. forces (i.e., Army, Air Force, Marines, and Navy forces organized under one command). One of the first reorganizations resulting from both the Department of Defense analysis and the legislation was the formation of the U.S. Special Operations Command in 1987.

Other

25 October is a national holiday in Grenada, called Thanksgiving Day, to commemorate the invasion.

St. George's University
St. George's University
St. George’s University is an independent international university in Grenada, West Indies, offering degrees in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, the health sciences, nursing, arts and sciences, and business....

 built a monument on its True Blue campus to memorialize the US servicemen killed during the invasion, and marks the day with an annual memorial ceremony.

In 2008, the Government of Grenada announced a move to build a monument to honor the Cubans killed during the invasion. At the time of the announcement the Cuban and Grenadian government are still seeking to locate a suitable site for the monument. On 29 May 2009 the Point Salines International Airport
Point Salines International Airport
Maurice Bishop International Airport , formerly known as Point Salines International Airport, is located in the parish of St. George's. The town of St. George's is about north of the airport and is the capital of the island nation of Grenada...

 was officially renamed in honor of the slain pre-coup leader Maurice Bishop
Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...

 by the Government of Grenada.

U.S. land forces

  • 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit
    22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit
    The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel...

  • 1st Corps Support Command COSCOM, 7th Trans Battalion, 546th LMT
  • 82nd Airborne Division – large contingent
  • 548th Engineer Battalion
  • 27th Engineer Battalion
    27th Engineer Battalion (United States)
    The 27th Engineer Battalion and its subordinate companies has often used the Fort Bragg/XVIII Airborne Corps standard of "Airborne!" for its motto.-History:...

  • 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron
    21st Tactical Air Support Squadron
    -Assignments and Stations:The 21st Tactical Air Support Squadron was a U.S. Air Force forward air control squadron. It was organized on 8 May 1965 under the initial command of Lieutenant Colonel Jack Martin, and was assigned to the 2nd Air Division and attached to the 6250th Tactical Air Support...

     – jump qualified FACs
    Forward air control
    Forward air control is the provision of guidance to Close Air Support aircraft intended to ensure that their attack hits the intended target and does not injure friendly troops. This task is carried out by a forward air controller . For NATO forces the qualifications and experience required to be...

     deployed with 82nd Airborne
  • U.S. Air National Guard
    Air National Guard
    The Air National Guard , often referred to as the Air Guard, is the air force militia organized by each of the fifty U.S. states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia of the United States. Established under Title 10 and...

     – provided A-7D Corsair II
    A-7 Corsair II
    The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-based subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the United States Navy's Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, initially entering service during the Vietnam War...

     ground-attack aircraft for close air support
    Close air support
    In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...

  • 437th Military Airlift Wing
    437th Airlift Wing
    The 437th Airlift Wing is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to 18th Air Force, Air Mobility Command. It is the mission wing at Charleston Air Force Base, Joint Base Charleston, in the City of North Charleston, South Carolina....

     – provided airlift support with C-141 Starlifter
    C-141 Starlifter
    The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was a military strategic airlifter in service with the Air Mobility Command of the United States Air Force...

    s
  • 443rd Airlift Wing,443rd Security Police Squadron (Altus AFB, Oklahoma) – provided a 44 man Airbase Ground Defence flight (Oct-Nov 1983)
  • 16th Special Operations Wing – flew AC-130H Spectre
    Lockheed AC-130
    The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily-armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, while Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support...

     gunships
  • 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing – provided air superiority cover for allied forces with F-15 Eagle
    F-15 Eagle
    The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is a twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat. It is considered among the most successful modern fighters with over 100 aerial combat victories with no losses in dogfights...

    s
  • 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions
  • Navy SEALs
    United States Navy SEALs
    The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

    : SEAL Team FOUR and SEAL Team SIX
    United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
    The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

  • 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta
    Delta Force
    1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta Force, Delta, or The Unit, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense...

  • E co 3/60th Inf Reg (later designated: E co 109th MI Battalion 9th ID LRSC (1984)
  • 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)
  • 5th Weather Squadron, 5th Weather Wing (MAC) – Jump qualified Combat Weathermen who deployed with the 82nd
  • 317th Military Airlift Wing – provided airlift support with Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Pope AFB NC)
  • 63rd Military Airlift Wing – 63rd security police squadron provided air field security support with 44 man air base ground defense team – (Norton AFB CA)
  • 44th Medical Brigade – Personnel from the 44th Med. Brigade and operational units including the 5th MASH were deployed in support of combat operations.

U.S. naval forces

Amphibious Squadron Four
, , , ,

Independence Task Group
, , , , , , with the Invasion Tactical Planning and Hands On Operational Control conducted by the Air Staff of the USS Independence

In addition, the following ships supported naval operations: , , , , , , ,, , , , , , and
Caribbean Peace Force
Caribbean Peace Force
The Caribbean Peace Force , also known as the Eastern Caribbean Peace Force , was an OECS mandated 350-member Peacekeeping Force operating in Grenada, from October 1983 to June 1985, after the Invasion of Grenada, codenamed Operation Urgent Fury, by the United States of America and several other...

(CPF)

External links

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