LSD 43 | USS FORT MC HENRY
Fort McHenry, MD
FORT MCHENRY's maiden deployment was from June 1988 to December 1988 to the Western Pacific. Following its return, FORT MCHENRY participated in the cleanup of the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill from 28 April to 22 June 1989. In recognition of the crew's effectiveness during the cleanup operation, FORT MCHENRY was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbon.
On 20 June 1990, FORT MCHENRY began its second deployment and spent 10-months in the Arabian Gulf for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Following its return to San Diego on 17 April 1991, FORT MCHENRY received the Navy Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Eight months later, FORT MCHENRY deployed to the Western Pacific on 6 January 1992. After several successful multinational exercises and port visits, FORT MCHENRY returned to San Diego on 6 July 1992.
Following an extensive overhaul period, FORT MCHENRY began the training cycle to prepare for its next deployment. While in the training cycle, FORT MCHENRY transited to the East Coast through the Panama Canal to pick up five new LCACs from Panama City, Florida. At the completion of the training cycle, FORT MCHENRY embarked on its fourth deployment from 9 June to 9 December 1994. While deployed, FORT MCHENRY participated in Operation Restore Hope. The ship also participated in Operation Vigilant Warrior. Following the deployment, FORT MCHENRY was awarded its second Navy Unit Commendation and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and also received its fourth Battle Efficiency Award.
On 1 September 1995, FORT MCHENRY departed San Diego to become one of the units forward deployed to Sasebo, Japan.
Since its arrival to Japan FORT MCHENRY has participated in training exercises and multi-national exercises such as Tandem Thrust and Crocodile in Australia, Cobra Gold in Thailand, Foal Eagle in South Korea, visited ports during those exercises and visited Shanghai, People's Republic of China, and Kure, Japan.
During May of 1998, FORT MCHENRY participated on Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 98), which includes visits and exercises with countries in the Western Pacific such as Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. In addition to its involvement in CARAT 98, FORT MCHENRY received the Commander, Naval Surface Pacific Fleet Wellness Unit Award for 1997 and the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for 1997 on the 1st of June, 1998.
After spending January 1999 in Hong Kong, FORT MCHENRY entered the competitive phase of its training cycle. In April 1999, FORT MCHENRY participated in exercise Tandem Thrust 99 in Guam. FORT MCHENRY was also named a repeat winner of the Commander, Naval Surface Pacific Fleet Wellness Unit Award. Finally, during June 1999, FORT MCHENRY underwent two Total Ship Training Assessments (TSTA), which confirmed the ship’s training progress during the 1999 competitive cycle.
FORT MCHENRY began the new millinium by participating in Exercise Balikatan 2000 with Filippino Armed Forces. The ship was named a repeat winner of the Battle Efficiency Award, Command Excellence Awards for Maritime Warfare, Engineering/Survivability, Command and Control, and Logistics Management for its achievements during the 1999 fiscal year. After Balikatan 2000 was completed FORT MCHENRY continued its hectic schedule by participating in Exercise COBRA GOLD 2000, during May of 2000, with the navies of Thailand and Singapore. The busy schedule continued in October 2000, when FORT MCHENRY participated in Exercise NEPTUNE THUNDER 00 with American Army forces stationed in South Korea. From 27 October to 3 November, FORT MCHENRY concluded the year with its participation in Exercise Foal Eagle which took placed in South Korea.
FORT MCHENRY spent the first half of 2001 in a lengthy Ship Required Availability period. During this period the ship acquired two new weapon systems, Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Launcher and Ship's Self Defense System (SSDS,) both would greatly increased the ship's defensive capabilities.
After returning to sea in June 2001, FORT MCHENRY is in the middle of its training cycle. Recently, the ship completed a port visit to Kagoshima in August 2001, where approximately seven thousand residents of Kagoshima toured FORT MCHENRY.
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