Saipan Expeditionary Strike Group MED 96 Deployment
Omnius Fasimus: "We Do It All"
In June 1996, the Saipan made a deployment to the Med with the 24th MEU. By the second week in July, Saipan entered the Straits of Gibraltar and then the Mediterranean Sea. The ship's pace quickened as flight operations are conducted on a daily basis and various bilateral exercises begin. Exercise Atlas Hinge involved U.S. and Tunisian armed forces conducting an amphibious landing on the North African Coast. Exercise Rescue Eagle saw the ship steam with select Albanian military units in the Adriatic Sea. During these exercises, EWs maintained their watch stations and took part in various exercises with other amphibious ships such as USS Austin (LPD 4) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).
Exercises were held with EA-6B Prowler and E2-C Hawkeye aircraft, allowing EWs a chance to hone their skills as radar emitter hunters and electronic warfare jammers. Combined with long hours, there are some days that are harder than others. The additional troops on board make waiting in line a form of art and frayed nerves affect everyone's mood. Standing watches and abnormal sleeping hours is the norm underway.
Dec 1996 - returns to Norfolk
Jul 1996 - deploys for MARG 2-96
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