FIVE FLEETS: PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 6
The possibility of not returning home on time suddenly became very real for more than 5,000 Americans.
January—the fifth month of our deployment—began with a pace substantially slower than at any time since we left. In Washington and New York, officials were enjoying the holiday vacation period. In the Arabian Gulf region, Ramadan had begun and military activity in both Iraq and Iran had subsided somewhat. The Nimitz (CVN-68) left Jebel Ali on New Year's Day and joined the George Washington (CVN-73) operating in the northern Arabian Gulf.