Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group MED 05 Deployment
Omnius Fasimus: "We Do It All"
USS Saipan along with the surface ships that will make up the Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group conducted a Group Sail March 15-19, 2004. This was the first time these ships have operated together, and it was a chance for their crews to focus on the teamwork and communications that will be vital to the success of their upcoming deployment. USS Trenton (LPD 14), USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Hue City (CG 66), USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Underwood (FFG 36) makeup the Group.
The Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group got underway on or about April 2, 2004 for an ESG/MEU Integration exercise. Expeditionary Strike Group Four wraps up its nine-day exercise April 7. After a short rest over the Easter weekend, the Marines and sailors return to work and begin to focus on their upcoming urban-training exercise, set for the first three weeks of May in and around Morgantown, W.V. Meanwhile, once the Saipan and its sister ships - the USS Trenton and USS Oak Hill - drop the MEU off at Camp Lejeune, they and the rest of the Saipan Strike Group will steam north toward their homeport at Norfolk, Va.
Nearly 1,000 Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66), the guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and the guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) departed Naval Station Mayport 20 August 2004 for deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. As part of the USS Saipan (LHA 2) Expeditionary Strike Group, Hue City, The Sullivans and Undwerwood will participate in regional exercises with allies, make diplomatic port calls and respond to any contingency, including those associated with the ongoing war on terrorism. The ships can operate independently or in conjunction with other maritime forces to support joint and allied forces afloat and ashore.
USS Saipan (LHA 2) participated in a unique exercise with other Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL) ships Nov. 12, 2004, the sinking of ex-Research Vessel Gosport, or SINKEX. Saipan fired live rounds from its gun mounts in an attempt to sink the decommissioned ship about 300 miles off the East Coast of the United States. Members of Saipan's Ship Self-Defense Force (SSDF) team manned 40mm grenade launchers, as well as .50-caliber and 25mm mounted guns. About 50 personnel got a chance to fire the weapons before Saipan moved on to allow other ships to open fire on the target. Personnel fired more than 80 grenades and approximately 1,500 other live rounds before the exercise was concluded.
After Saipan moved out of the firing area, Sailors on other ships got a chance to open fire. Later in the evening, helicopters were scheduled to fire missiles at the target to sink the ship. In the event Gosport remained afloat at the completion of the exercise, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel were standing by to detonate charges to complete the exercise. The ex-USS Haylor was also fired on during the exercise. EOD personnel detonated charges to sink the ex-Haylor Nov. 15 as Saipan personnel watched from the flight deck.
By 09 February 2005 Saipan sat pier side on board Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Saipan had pulled into port for the on load of stores and fuel after being deployed to Haiti, in support of New Horizons, a three month humanitarian and civic assistance exercise by Commander U.S. Southern Command. Saipan arrived off the coast of Haiti 01 February 2005, and delivered Navy Seabee construction personnel, U.S. Army military police, and nearly 1,200 tons of construction supplies and equipment via helicopters and landing craft units. The Task Force conducting New Horizons built three schoolhouses, drilled three potable water wells and conducted free health clinics.
During the deployment, Saipan, USS Oak Hill (LSD 51), USS Trenton (LPD 14) and embarked Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Six (HC-6) also conducted Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) and counter-drug operations and multinational exercises with marines from Honduras and Colombia.
On 09 March, 2005 Saipan returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after deploying to the Caribbean.
USS Saipan (LHA 2) and two other Norfolk Naval Station-based ships deployed May 25, under the Fleet Response Plan (FRP), in support of the global war on terrorism. Saipan is one of five East Coast ships carrying more than 2,800 Sailors rapidly deploying or "surging" for an approximately three-month deployment to the European and Central Command maritime areas of responsibility. Other ships that departed from Norfolk Naval Station include USS Nicholas (FFG 47) and USS Nashville (LPD 13).
Approximately 1,000 U.S. Sailors and Marines from USS Saipan (LHA 2) participated in Trafalgar 200 commemorative events in Portsmouth, England, June 23-28. Saipan participated in the U.S. Navy's exercise Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Surge 05 - evidence of the flexibility and capability of the Navy to operate under the Fleet Response Plan (FRP). GWOT Surge 05 was an implementation of the FRP and illustrates the U.S. Navy's capacity to operate jointly with allies and partners to strengthen maritime capabilities.
Navy and Marine Corps personnel participated in a multinational exercise with Albania and Macedonia, July 11-30, in the Adriatic Sea. Named Adriatic Engagement 2005, the exercise is focused on developing the individual and collective combat proficiencies of participating nations, as well as promoting friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation with NATO and regional allies. A comprehensive agenda will provide all countries with numerous opportunities to operate together and develop productive relationships through diverse and challenging training scenarios.
15 Aug 2005 - Atlantic Ocean
8 Aug 2005 - Port visit, Rota, Spain
5 Aug 2005 - Mediterranean Sea
2 Aug 2005 - Port visit, Augusta Bay, Sicily, Italy
1 Aug 2005 - Mediterranean Sea
28 Jul 2005 - Port visit, Durres, Albania
26 Jul 2005 - Port visit, Split, Craotia
11-30 Jul 2005 - Adriatic Engagement 2005 Exercise
21 Jun 2005 - Atlantic Ocean
17 Jun 2005 - North Sea
13 Jun 2005 - Port visit, Rotterdam, Netherlands
06 Jun 2005 - Port visit, Oslo, Norway
25 May 2005 - Atlantic Ocean - Surge deployment
27 Apr 2005 - Atlantic Ocean
9 Mar 2005 - Returns to Norfolk
07 Mar 2005 - Atlantic Ocean
03 Mar 2005 - Caribbean Sea
28 Feb 2005 - Port visit, Curacao, Venezuela
25 Feb 2005 - Port visit, Guantanamo Bay
22 Feb 2005 - Carribean Sea
17 Feb 2005 - Port visit, San Juan, P.R.
11 Feb 2005 - Caribbean Sea
09 Feb 2005 - Port visit, Guantanamo Bay
03 Feb 2005 - Caribbean Sea
01 Feb 2005 - Port visit, Gonaives, Haiti
31 Jan 2005 - Caribbean Sea
27 Jan 2005 - Gulf of Mexico
26 Jan 2005 - Leaves Pascagoula
24 Jan 2005 - Port visit, Pascagoula, Miss
19 Jan 2005 - Atlantic Ocean
12 Nov 2004 - Takes part in SINKEX
26 Oct 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
25 Oct 2004 - Port visit, Halifax, N.S.
12 Oct 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
08 Oct 2004 - Port visit, New York, NY
13 Aug 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
Aug 2004 - Deploys
?? Apr 2004 - Norfolk
02 Apr 2004 - ESGINT
02 Apr 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
25 Mar 2004 - port visit, Earle
19 Mar 2004 - Completes Group Sail
15 Mar 2004 - Atlantic Ocean, Group Sail
?? Feb 2004 - Norfolk
05 Feb 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
mid Jan 2004 - Norfolk
07 Jan 2004 - Atlantic Ocean
mid Nov 2003 - Norfolk
12 Nov 2003 - Atlantic Ocean
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