Description The mission fell to Lt. Gen. Bruce Palmer, the newly-designated commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, and Maj. Gen. Robert York, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division. They initiated "Operation Power Pack" and ordered a task force comprised of U.S. Marines and the 82nd Airborne to deploy beginning on April 28. The 7th Special Forces Group, Psychological Operations units, and various logistical support elements also participated.
For the Army, this was the first test of the new ROAD Concept (Reorganization Objective Army Division) designed to develop flexible, deployable forces capable of responding to multiple contingencies.
The initial Marine force arrived by helicopter from the USS Boxer and landed on the western edge of Santo Domingo. The 82nd Airborne Division's first elements were air-landed at San Isidro airfield east of the capital. Maj. Gen. YorkAca,!a,,cs plan called for a battalion size element from the 82nd to advance westward and secure the Duarte Bridge connecting the eastern and western sections of the city. They would then be assisted by loyalist elements in regaining control of Santo Domingo.
The 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry advanced to secure the bridge with close air support from Marine F-4 Phantom jets. Securing the area around the bridge was a hazardous undertaking, requiring house-to-house clearing operations while under fire from rebel forces. The effort was further complicated by the fact that the rebels were assisted by Dominican military defectors who wore the same uniforms as loyalist forces allied with the United States. By mid-afternoon on April 30, both the bridge and the cityAca,!a,,cs main power station were secure. By the following morning, the 82nd had advanced further west and linked up with Marine forces. Additional troops worked to permanently secure the east-west transportation route and this Line of Communication (LOC) was dubbed the "All-American Expressway" by the 82nd. To demonstrate that the U.S. military was firmly in control, Maj. Gen. York marched the 82nd Airborne Division band all the way through the corridor.
By the end of the first week, 500 Marines and two full battalions from the 82nd were conducting security operations on the ground, and by the end of May, the entire division was in country. Lt. Gen. Palmer directed subordinate commanders to begin stability operations. Soon the troops were conducting constabulary operations and distributing food, water, and medical supplies to the members of both factions. Ultimately, more than 40,000 U.S. troops participated in Operation Power Pack.