SIG Sauer Academy

Operation Urgent Fury

On the morning of October 25th, 1983 America awoke to reports that our troops had invaded a small Caribbean nation named Grenada in order to liberate American medical students from danger posed by political instability. Joined by Regional Security System troops from a variety of Caribbean partner nations they swiftly overwhelmed the Grenadian and Cuban troops. While Operation Urgent Fury was in name, a joint force operation, and included the use of Special Operations Forces, it highlighted many interoperability issues such as use of joint operational overlays and communications issues.


Several stove pipe issues suffered by the pre-Goldwater-Nichols military were identified during this operation. Additionally, Urgent Fury was conducted with many systems still in use which dated from the Viet Nam war. Our next time at bat, in Panama, saw several new weapons developed during the Reagan buildup such as the F117 stealth fighter and the Marine Corps LAV. Grenada was a great learning experience for the US military as it highlighted issues with joint service operations, particularly in the comms arena as well as interoperability between Special Operations and General Purpose forces. For example, SOF also took a much more prominent role in operation Blue Spoon during the Panama invasion. We’ve come even further in the past three decades.

Finally, as with any conflict, lives were lost. Let us not forget the 19 Americans killed in action and the 116 who were wounded. Unfortunately, there were also 24 Grenadian civilians also killed in the conflict.

8 Responses to “Operation Urgent Fury”

  1. Joaquin Aviles says:

    Was there with a platoon from Bco 27th Engineer Bn (CBT) (ABN) from Ft. Bragg, NC.

  2. Disco says:

    It was the first time since Vietnam that US forces openly fought Communist forces. OG-107s may have been necessary for the Carribean but it was fitting.

  3. Jon, OPT says:

    A turning point for the post Vietnam military.

  4. JS says:

    That great learning experience cost my cousin his life. Ranger KIA. However, I learned what I could about the battle history. I used some of the lessons learned in my LE job. I used the communication break-down and difficulties of too many different branches examples, with a few F words, to point out to a clueless administrator how important it was to have communication capability with surrounding agencies after a major incident almost became a major disaster. Names withheld for op sec at current job.

  5. USASOF says:

    Thought it was just another darn EDRE! Lots of lessons learned across the board during this event!

  6. Attack 7 says:

    I remember reading the 2-505 PIR RTO logs from Urgent Fury.

  7. SGT Rock says:

    After I joined the Army, most of the guys wearing CIB’s were from the Vietnam conflict, but then you had a few younger guys sporting theirs earned in Grenada. Little did I know that I’d earn mine soon enough…

  8. CeleGear says:

    Thank you always to men who played a role in Operation Urgent Fury, because of their sacrifice it played a huge role in the man I am today and the soldier I was yesterday. Always a honor to shake the hand and say thank you to the vets that’s were in Grenada.