In response to the African Union request for strategic airlift support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the USA has conducted airlift missions under the NATO banner in support of the Ugandan troop rotations.
The airlift, which commenced on 5 Mar 2010 and was completed on 16 Mar 2010, was undertaken by USA contracted DynCorps International, transporting 1700 Ugandan troops from Uganda into Mogadishu and re-deploying 850 Ugandan troops out of Mogadishu.
NATO began providing support to the African Union in May 2005. The NATO approach in Africa is based on the recognition of the African Union's desire to provide African solutions to African problems. As such, all assistance is based on specific requests from the African Union.
Part of this policy is the NATO standing agreement to provide Strategic sealift and airlift support for African Union Troop Contributing Countries willing to deploy to Somalia, recently extended by NATO until 31 January 2011. Besides NATO's significant airlift contributions to the AU mission in SUDAN (AMIS), before this last airlift request, the first and only support to AMISOM was given in June 2008 to transport a battalion of Burundian peacekeepers to Mogadishu.
SHAPE delegated the authority to Joint Command Lisbon to have the operational lead for NATO engagements with the African Union and they provide the majority of the personnel to support the mission.