The last major First Fleet exercise of the year, the eight-day exercise involved 28 ships and 31 air squadrons, including four Canadian units.
Designed to prepare U.S. units for the conditions encountered in Southeast Asia and throughout the Western Pacific, the exercise consisted of missile firing exercises, bombing practice, close air support and anti-submarine warfare.
Cruisers and destroyers fired their guns at the San Clemente Island Range and at a target hull, the ex-USS Jesse Rutherford, while guided missile ships tested their batteries against drone aerial targets in the Pacific Missile Range.
Carrier and land based aircraft flew strikes against the San Clemente Island Range, while the entire task force guarded against two U.S. submarines playing aggressors.
He was awarded the ribbon during ceremonies aboard the heavy cruiser USS Saint Paul at San Diego, Calif.
The Saint Paul was awarded the Unit Commendation for its exceptionally meritorious service during its last deployment off the coast of Vietnam.
During combat operations from April to October 1968, Saint Paul conducted over 1,300 missions and delivered over 64,000 rounds of accurate and destructive gunfire against enemy coastal defense sites, supply routes, and troop concentrations. The ship was credited with an estimated 380 enemy killed and 800 military structures and bunkers destroyed or damaged.
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