The ship's first deployment to the Mediterranean and Red Seas came in 1990 as part of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During Desert Storm, the ship fired ten Tomahawk cruise missiles and boarded many merchant vessels during coalition actions against Iraq including that one hostile boarding with the MV Omdurmat. For its service, Philippine Sea received the Navy Unit Commendation, the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. While deployed, the ship transited the Suez Canal six times and visited Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, returning home in the spring of 1991.
In 1991, the ship served as the flagship for a joint task force conducting counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean, earning the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and having a great port call in Cartajena, Colombia. In May 1992, the War Dogs went on their second Med cruise and were again in the Red Sea. While deployed, the ship made two Suez Canal transits and boarded thirty-nine vessels in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq, earning a second Southwest Asia Service Medal. The ship left its mark in Spain, France, Italy, Egypt and Israel. The ship returned from deployment in November 1992 and received the James F. Chezek Award for the highest Naval Gunfire Support score in the Atlantic fleet in 1992.
In January 1994, the ship deployed again with the Sorry Sara Joint Task Group for its third Med cruise, returning again to the Yugoslavian coast in support of U.N. Operations in the Adriatic. While deployed, the ship participated in numerous exercises with NATO forces. PHILIPPINE SEA made port calls in Spain, Turkey, Greece and Italy, and returned home in June 1994. For this deployment, the ship was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
In the summer of 1994, and again in the early winter of 1994, the ship again conducted counter narc ops in the Caribbean. The following year, Philippine Sea was the flagship for U.S. Baltic Operations '95 in Northern Europe from May to July. She was then in the yards for the latter part of 95. In the summer of 1996, Philippine Sea deployed to the Med and Adriatic with the Big E Battle Group. There they supported U.N. operations in what is left of Yugoslavia. They also did some NATO exercises.
Funny how things come around. Philippine Sea was once again in the Med in 1999 dropping Tomahawks on those idiots in Yugoslavia. If you were watching CNN, you could get some groovy footage of the ship and the current crew. The links below bring you a little multimedia about her (hopefully you have better bandwidth than the Navy does). I've also included some links to some Navy News Service reports on her.
Report (32.8 KB WAV)
Day One CNN Video (11.6 MB Windows Media Video (WMV)
Day Two CNN Video (11.2 MB Windows Media Video (WMV)