The invasion commenced at 05:00 on25October 1983. American forces refuelled and departed from the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby Caribbean island of Barbados before daybreak en route to Grenada. It was the first major operation conducted by the US military since the Vietnam War.
Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf, III, Commander Second Fleet, was the overall commander of US forces, designated Joint Task Force 120, which included elements of each military service and multiple special operations units. Fighting continued for several days and the total number of US troops reached some 7,000 along with 300 troops from the OAS. The invading forces encountered about 1,500 Grenadian soldiers and about 700 Cubans.