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Somalia Operations:   Lessons Learned

Missions and Tasks of the UNITAF Civil-Military Operatins Center

The CMOC was the key coordinating point for Humanitarian Relief Organizations in their dealings with UNITAF.


1. Validation of requests for military support. This included requests within the Mogadishu area, long haul convoy, security escorts to the interior, and requests for support at specific sites within the UNITAF area of operations. Military support to HROs within a Humanitarian Relief Sector was usually the responsibility of the local military commander and his CMOC.

2. Coordination of requests for military support within the various military components of UNITAF.

3. Convening and hosting ad hoc mission planning groups as an arm of the UNITAF J-3, for requests involving complicated military support and/or numerous military units and HROs.

4. Promulgating and explaining UNITAF policies to the humanitarian community.

5. Providing information on UNITAF operations and the general security situation via daily security briefings.

6. Administering and issuing HRO identification cards.

7. Validating HRO personnel requests for space- available seats on UNITAF aircraft.

8. Acting as an interface, facilitator and coordination agency between UNITAF elements and HROs and UNOSOM headquarters staff.

9. Chairing Mogadishu Port Shipping Committee which dealt with pier space, port access and related issues important to HROs.

10. Acting as the agency that retrieved and returned weapons confiscated from HRO organizations.

11. Responding to emergency requests for assistance from HROs in the Mogadishu area either by responding directly with CMOC assets or by requesting assistance via the UNITAF Joint Operations Center (JOC).

12. Maintaining and operating a 24-hour watch in the CMOC.

13. Maintaining contact with regional CMOCs.

14. Supporting, as required, a six-person Civil Affairs Team.

15. Facilitating the creation of a Food Logistics System for Somalia which factored in food stocks, delivery dates, warehousing capacities, transport availability and road repair efforts to create a basic matrix for food relief efforts within the UNITAF area of operations.

Headquarters Structure




Colonel Director
Lt. Colonel Deputy Director


Major Operations/Civil Affairs
     Operations Officer
Captain (2) Asst Operations Officer
MSgt Operations Chief
SFC Admin Chief
Sgt Asst Admin Chief
Cpl and Below Driver/Security/Clerk


Major Convoy/Control/
    Transportation Officer
Captain Asst Transportation Officer
Cpl Driver/Security/Clerk

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