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Operation Urgent Fury 35th Anniversary

On the morning of October 25th, 1983, America awoke to reports that US forced had invaded the small Caribbean nation of 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 challenges, such as use of joint operational overlays and communications issues.


Several stove pipe problems suffered by the pre-Goldwater-Nichols military were identified during this operation. Additionally, Urgent Fury was conducted with many systems dating from the Vietnam war.

Just six years later, during the invasion of Panama, saw the first employment of several new weapons developed during the Reagan buildup such as the F-117 stealth fighter and the Marine Corps LAV-25. Grenada was a great learning experience for the US military as it highlighted issues with joint service operations, particularly in the communications 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 killed in the conflict.

9 Responses to “Operation Urgent Fury 35th Anniversary”

  1. b_rawrd says:

    You can learn more about Grenada in the accurate documentary known as “HEARTBREAK RIDGE”.

  2. GANDIS says:

    I second that, I learned a lot in that doc. “You cant handle the truth!” It was shocking to see how far some leaders had gone.

  3. Gunnie_Highway says:

    With all due respect, sir, you’re beginning to bore the hell out of me.

  4. FormerDirtDart says:

    An interesting document from the U.S. Army Center of Military History
    Highlights the numerous planning and execution problems encountered

    The Rucksack War
    U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983
    Straight to pdf

  5. Bob says:

    35th anniversary of Operation: Distract America from Beirut.

    • Gerald Holt says:

      Except for the fact that we were already alerted, forward deployed to GA and planning BEFORE Beirut…

  6. Will Rodriguez says:

    Some mention Heartbreak Ridge as a source for understanding what happened at Grenadas. The problem is that the movie was actually written to portray an Army unit. The Army went PC with the platoon sergeant not being portrayed as a kumbaya warrior.

    The events depicted actually happened to Soldiers and SEALs, not Marines.