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GROUNDHOG STATION, Mogadishu, Somalia, 90 miles offshore

 

Referring to unpleasant, unchanging, repetitive situations as "Groundhog Day" was widespread throughout the U.S. military very soon after the movie's release in February 1993. A magazine article about the aircraft carrier USS America mentions its use by sailors in September 1993. Around the same time, the movie was a favorite of soldiers in Mogadishu, who identified with the protagonist's situation. By March 1994, there was a defensive zone in Somalia called Groundhog Station. In February 1994, the crew of the USS Saratoga referred to its deployment in the Adriatic Sea, in support of Bosnia operations, as Groundhog Station.

Groundhog Station 001.jpg

Groundhog Station 002.jpg

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RED SEA YACHT CLUB - OPERATION DESERT SHIELD 1990

 

USS SARATOGA (CV-60) - The Saratoga Task Force was on deployment in the Eastern Med before the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq. Saratoga along with embarked airwing CVW-17 participated in Operation Desert Storm primarily in the Red Sea. Saratoga based US Navy SEALs conducted the first wartime boardings of merchant shipping in the Red Sea in support of Operation Desert Shield.

CV 60 USS SARATOGA 1990 Desert Shield Red Sea Yacht Club 001.jpg

CV 60 USS SARATOGA 1990 Desert Shield Red Sea Yacht Club 002.jpg

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Persian Gulf Highway Patrol - 1980's

 

Soon after we began staging P-3s in the Persian Gulf to fly nighttime patrols, patches began appearing, like this Persian Gulf Highway Patrol. Despite the humor, our patrol planes were attacked from time to time, mostly by small caliber fire from Iranian oil drilling platforms and Boghammer patrol boats operated by the Iranian Guards.

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USS INDEPENDENCE (CV-62) Last of the Forrestal class in service 1959 to 1998

Mother ship of the Persian Gulf Harbor Patrol - Desert Storm 1990 Cruise

In June 1990, with Carrier Air Wing 14 embarked, Independence departs San Diego on a routine WESTPAC. On 2 August, in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Independence was sent to deter further Iraqi aggression during Operation Desert Shield. Arriving on station in the Gulf of Oman on 5 August, Independence was the first carrier to enter the Persian Gulf since 1974. The ship remained on station for 112 days and permanently reestablished a U.S. naval presence in the region. She returned to San Diego on 20 December 1990.

 

CV 62 USS INDEPENDENCE WESTPAC 90 001.jpg

CV 62 USS INDEPENDENCE WESTPAC 90 005.jpg

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USS WILLIAM H. STANDLEY (CG-32) Belknap class in service 1966 to 1994

 

MEF Middle East Force (Tanker War) 1989, Auxiliaries Division Persian Gulf Yacht Club

 

More from the convoy escorts, Tanker War period, Persian Gulf 1980's Joint Task Force Middle East

Following the initial establishment of U.S. Central Command, the boundary between USCENTCOM and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) was the Strait of Hormuz. To direct forces of multiple services operating over the boundary, Joint Task Force Middle East was established on 20 September 1987

 

‘Guerrilla Warfare At Sea’: Persian Gulf, 1987-88

Joint Task Force Middle East 1987 1988 001.jpg

Joint Task Force Middle East 1987 1988 002.jpg

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