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A CH-53E Super Stallion lands at the evacuation site inside the compound at the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania

Operation Silver Wake was a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO) led by the United States to evacuate American citizens, noncombatants and designated third country nationals from Albania in March 1997. The operation was performed by U.S. Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducting operations from the USS Nassau Amphibious Readiness Group. Marines from 1st Battalion 8th Marines secured the U.S. housing compound and held the U.S. Embassy. Over 900 personnel were evacuated during the course of the operation.

Some of the awards presented to participating units included the Meritorious Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Humanitarian Service Medal. Selected Marines were also awarded the Combat Action Ribbon.[1]

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