Operation INTENSE LOOK
Military and political crises in one region can bring economic uncertainty and panic in another. For example, during the 1984 "Mines of August" crisis in the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez, the presence of naval mines and damage to some 20 commercial vessels caused maritime insurance rates to rise and jeopardized the safe movement of world shipping through this critical waterway. Operation Intense Look was launched in response to the Red Sea and Gulf of Suez mine crisis, when naval mines were discovered in these vital shipping lanes. Libya's mining of the Red Sea in 1984 focused attention on the need to protect shipping lanes leading to the Suez Canal and the need for more advanced mine countermeasure vessels.
USS SHREVEPORT (LPD 12) deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in July 1984. While in Rota, Spain, SHREVEPORT received mission tasking to off-load her embarked Marines and embark Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fourteen (HM-14). Crossing the Mediterranean Sea, and transiting the Suez Canal in record time, SHREVEPORT participated in Operation INTENSE LOOK, conducting mine clearance operations in the Red Sea. For her actions in support of this critical operation, SHREVEPORT was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
The quick response of U.S. Navy and multinational mine countermeasures (MCM) forces helped calm fears and safeguard international maritime commerce. The AN/AQS-14 Minehunting Sonar, used primarily to detect bottom mines, was first delivered to the Fleet helicopters in 1984, just in time for use in Operation Intense Look.
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