Commissioned December 9, 1989, USS NORMANDY (CG 60) is the third Bath, Maine built Aegis Cruiser and the 14th ship of the Ticonderoga class. NORMANDY is named after the allied invasion of Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. The armada that conducted the invasion consisted of 702 warships protecting 9000 ships and landing craft. The invasion shifted the tide of WWII in favor of the allies. NORMANDY’s motto is “Vanguard of Victory” and her crew is known as the Vanguardmen.
Just one year after her commissioning in Newport, Rhode Island, NORMANDY sailed into action in support of multinational efforts to free Kuwait. NORMANDY and her crew left on 28 December 1990, to join United Nations forces conducting OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. As part of the USS AMERICA CARRIER BATTLE GROUP, NORMANDY transited to the Arabian Gulf. NORMANDY fired 26 Tomahawk missiles, protected allied ships and aircraft in the area, conducted maritime interdiction operations, and helped to locate and destroy enemy mines.
NORMANDY received the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Southwest Asia Campaign Medal (with two bronze stars), and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon for her efforts in support of OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.
On 11 August 1993, NORMANDY and the USS AMERICA CARRIER BATTLE GROUP deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of United Nations efforts with the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. NORMANDY’s primary duty was Redcrown, Adriatic air-space controller for OPERATIONS PROVIDE PROMISE, DENY FLIGHT and SHARP GUARD.
In a historic first, NORMANDY embarked 9 WWII veterans on May 18, 1994, for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Allied landings on the coast of France. These activities took place in Portsmouth, UK and LeHavre, France. Over 15,000 visitors toured the ship while NORMANDY honor guard and embarked veterans participated in various memorial services and events on both sides of the English Channel. NORMANDY served as a centerpiece over the two-week course of ceremonies, and specifically for national commemorations at Slaptons Sands, UK on 31 May by U.S. Ambassador Crowe, and at the Normandy beachheads on 6 June by President Clinton. NORMANDY received the Navy Unit Commendations in June 1994 for her magnificent performance at the D-Day commemoration.
On 27 June 1994, NORMANDY participated in the Naval Station, New York closing ceremonies. Staten Island’s mayor, Guy Molinari, and his daughter Congresswoman Susan Molinari were the featured speakers as the Navy turned the base over to the city’s Emergency Services prior to departing for their new homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. NORMANDY was stationed in Staten Island, New York for almost four years.
On 28 August 1995, NORMANDY began a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with the USS AMERICA CARRIER BATTLE GROUP. On 8 September 1995, NORMANDY received immediate tasking to proceed at best speed to the Adriatic. NORMANDY sped 1600 nautical miles across the Mediterranean at maximum speed. Arriving in the OPERATIONS DELIBRATE FORCE Theater of Operation in just under 48 hours, NORMANDY launched a thirteen missile Tomahawk strike against hostile air defense command and control sites in Northern Bosnian-Herzegovina. This precision strike, flawlessly executed with extremely short notice, paved the way for the follow-on tactical air strikes against Bosnian-Serb Military positions in the region. This action sent a strong signal of United States resolve and played a significant role in convincing the Bosnian-Serb government to cease hostilities and resume peace negotiations. During this six month deployment NORMANDY again served as Adriatic airspace controller for OPERATIONS DENY FLIGHT, SHARP GUARD, and DECISIVE ENDEAVOR.
NORMANDY received the Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Armed Forces Services Medal, NATO Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon for her efforts in OPERATIONS DENY FLIGHT, SHARP GUARD, and DECISIVE ENDEAVOR.
On 3 October 1997, NORMANDY began a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON BATTLE GROUP. Throughout the month of October, NORMANDY participated, along with 27 other international units, in EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR off the Egyptian Coast. Upon completion of BRIGHT STAR, NORMANDY was directed to proceed at best speed to the Arabian Gulf. Beginning November 16th, NORMANDY, along with other units of the GEORGE WASHINGTON BATTLE GROUP, transited the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Arabian Sea. In a record-setting five days, NORMANDY and GEORGE WASHINGTON entered the Arabian Gulf and joined the NIMITZ BATTLE GROUP in an impressive show of force and United Nations resolve with Iraq. Immediately, NORMANDY assumed the duties as the “Ready Strike” platform in the Gulf and, later, also assumed the duties as Area Air Defense Commander for the United States Fifth Fleet operating in the Arabian Gulf. For four months NORMANDY patrolled the Gulf in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH. During this time, she conducted several successful maritime interception operations along with her strike and air-defense duties. NORMANDY was relieved by the JOHN C. STENNIS BATTLE GROUP and returned to her homeport in Norfolk on April 3, 1998.
On 21 June 2000, NORMANDY embarked on a six-month deployment, which included several operations in the Arabian Gulf, Adriatic, and Mediterranean Seas. In the Gulf Theater, NORMANDY conducted fifteen boardings of merchant ships in support of Maritime Interception Operations. NORMANDY left her mark on both the 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility. During OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH, NORMANDY provided an in-depth tactical picture of forces to operational level commanders. While in the Adriatic, NORMANDY participated in three highly successful NATO exercises: OPERATION DESTINED GLORY, SLUNJ 2000, and SARMENT 2000. In DESTINED GLORY, NORMANDY acted as the regional air defense commander for a multi-national amphibious operation in the Northern Aegean. In SLUNJ 2000, NORMANDY operated with the Croatian Navy to perform coordinated surface and submarine tracking and prosecution exercises. Finally, in SARMENT 2000, NORMANDY conducted a combined training exercise with forces from France and Belgium. Following her highly successful deployment, NORMANDY returned to homeport on 19 December 2000.
NORMANDY then underwent an eight-month long availability period beginning February 2001. There, NORMANDY received major upgrades to her combat and engineering systems. Just one week prior to completing her yard period, the September 11th terrorist attacks took place. NORMANDY then successfully completed the most compressed work-up schedule of the entire GEORGE WASHINGTON BATTLE GROUP in preparation for a deployment that was moved up over two months early.
On 20 June 2002, NORMANDY commenced a six-month deployment in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, which included additional operations in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean, and Adriatic Sea. NORMANDY served as Air Defense Commander for the 5th and 6th fleets and was essential to the success of GEORGE WASHINGTON’s aircraft operations. While in the Gulf, NORMANDY participated in OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH, which included Maritime Interdiction Operations and assumption as regional air defense commander. After two months in 6th fleet, NORMANDY transited the Suez along with the GEORGE WASHINGTON and conducted several highly successful operations in the Mediterranean, including MED SHARK, OPERATION DESTINED GLORY, and SHARK HUNT. In MED SHARK, NORMANDY operated with Moroccan military forces to perform integrated air warfare training. DESTINED GLORY consisted of a multi-national naval operation in which NORMANDY played a role as the opposing force. NORMANDY’s role in this operation was cut short; however, and immediate tasking was received to speed to the Adriatic. NORMANDY’s actions in the Adriatic were essential in preventing the illegal transportation of arms to Iraq. Finally, in SHARK HUNT, NORMANDY participated in an Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise designed to hone the submarine tracking skills of allied ships. NORMANDY was relieved by the HARRY S. TRUMAN BATTLE GROUP and returned to her homeport on December 20, 2002. NORMANDY holds four Battle “E” Awards. She also is the first U.S. warship since 1945 to go to war (DESERT STORM) on her maiden cruise.