USS Mississippi nears end of current Med deployment (1995)

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. Mississippi
was selected to steam ahead of the battle group at high speed to assume duties as "Red Crown."

Red Crown is the title given the U.S. cruiser or destroyer in the Adriatic Sea to enforce United Nations
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 a large-scale
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 warfare commander.

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 Academy,
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. Mississippi next
visited Kalamata, Greece, becoming the first U.S. naval vessel to pay a port visit since 1987.

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