USS Mississippi nears end of current Med
By LT.J.G.JEFF SANDEN
USS Mississippi (CGN- 40) crew members are
counting the days until the guided-missile
cruiser pulls back
into its berth at Naval Station Norfolk.
As Mississippi entered the second half of
its present deployment to the Mediterranean
as part of the USS
Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) Battle Group,
its crew celebrated with an "over-the-hump"
steel beach picnic
complete with hamburgers, chicken and pasta
salad. When the deployment began last March.
was selected to steam ahead of the battle
group at high speed to assume duties as "Red
Red Crown is the title given the U.S. cruiser
or destroyer in the Adriatic Sea to enforce
sanctions against the former Republic of
"Yugoslavia. Ships serving as Red Crown
support Operations Deny Flight,
Provide Promise and Sharp Guard and serve
as the enforcement mechanism for the no-fly
zone over Bosnia-
Herzegovina, humanitarian relief flights
and the embargo against arms and war material
to the former Yugoslavian
Mississippi also participated for 10 days
in the multiship NATO exercise entitled,
"Operation Destined Glory."
The purposecf the exercise was to develop
and train NATO forces in combined amphibious
operations and improve
the concept of Combined Amphibious Forces
Mediterranean- The exercise culminated with
demonstration on the beaches of Capo Teulada,
Sardinia. Mississippi fired more than 140
rounds in support of the
operation and received a "bravo zulu"
for its superb shooting and its role as anti-surface
Five Mississippi sailors also did their part
to maintain foreign relations during Med
2-95 by participating in a cross-deck
visit with the Italian warship ITS Ardito
(DDG-50). The crew members also met with
personnel from the Spanish frigate
Infanta Christina who were also touring Ardito.
Latec, Mississippi bade farewell to Commanding
Officer Capt William J. Laz and gave a warm
reception to its seventh
commanding officer, Capt. Lawrence A. Lewandowski.
LewandowskL a 1972 graduate of the U.S. Naval
has commanded USS Peter-son (DD-969) and
most recently served as engineering officer
aboard USS Enterprise
In mid-June, Mississippi was awarded its
fifth Battle Efficiency Award. The Battle
"E" recognizes sustained performance
in an operational environment, day-to-day
demonstrated excellence and superior achievements
during the competitive
cycle. Rear Adm. Charies S. Abbot, Commander
TR Battle Group/Carrier Group 8, visited
Mississippi to deliver the award.
He addressed the crew and congratulated crew
members for their hard work and perseverance.
Mississippi sailors found that it was not
all work and no play. They found top quality
rest and relaxation in such ports as
Naples, Italy, which afforded the crew excursions
to Pompeii, Sorrento and Rome.
Naples was followed by a brief visit to Toulon,
France, with its opportunities for the crew
to visit Monte Carlo, Cannes
and the worid famous French Riviera.
After a few weeks of Red Crown duties, the
ship pulled into Souda Bay, Crete, for a
repair period with USS Simon Lake
(AS-33). Sailors had the opportunity to travel
to Hania for good food and exceptional shopping.
visited Kalamata, Greece, becoming the first
U.S. naval vessel to pay a port visit since
Mississippi departed Greece for its fourth
stint of Red Crown duties before its scheduled
departure from the 6th fleet and
subsequent return to Norfolk Sept 2L