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Page 16 text:
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Commander Middle East Force
Rear Admiral Samuel H. Packer
Page 15 text:
USS LA SALLE QAGF-31
Mission and History V
USS LA SALLE QAGF-3i is the flagship for Commander Middle East Force and is
permanently deployed in the Middle East operating area to promote goodwill, understanding,
mutual respect and acceptance between Americans and the people of countries visited by the
ship. The ship has steamed over 370,000 miles paying visits to ports in the Arabian Gulf, Red
Sea, to the east coast of Africa and numerous small islands in the Indian Ocean. A
LA SALLE has been privileged to receive kings, sultans, amirs and numerous heads of state
from both foreign countries and the United States. ln addition, the ship has hosted thousands
of visitors from local communities in her theater of operations.
Commissioned an amphibious transport dock at the New York Naval Shipyard on 22
February 1964, the LA SALLE was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet Amphibious Force as a force
flagship. In early 1972 LA SALLE refitted to flagship configuration in Portsmouth, Virginia, Naval
Shipyard. In July 1972 LA SALLE replaced USS VALCOUR as flagship for COMIDEASTFOR
and has operated in the Arabian Gulf and throughout the Middle East area until the present time.
LA SALLE is a proud ship which has recorded several historical FIRSTS: On 19 May 1969
LA SALLE made naval aviation history by landing and launching the first operational VSTOL
aircraft from her flight deck in evaluation tests for the Navy. On 3 November 1966 LA SALLE
recovered the Gemini Two spacecraft capsule near Ascension Island.
Overall Length ............... ...... 5 21 feet
Extreme Breadth .............. ............ 8 4 feet
Full Load Displacement ....... ....... 1 3,890 tons
Number of Anchors .......... .......................... t wo
Weight of Anchors ........ .................................... 2 2,500 pounds
Speed ................... ................................. M ore than 20 knots
Armament ............ ..... F our Twin 3"l50 Caliber Gun Mounts
Air Department ....... ................... ' .......... O ne SH-3 Helicopter
Page 17 text:
Rear Admiral Samuel H. Packer attended Dartmouth
College, and graduated from Tufts University in 1945, at
which time he was commissioned. He served in USS DENNIS
J. BUCKLEY and USS E-PCE lRl 852 prior to attending
submarine school. He then served in USS SEAOWL, USS
CERO, USS REMORA, USS SIRAGO, and commanded USS
He commanded Submarine Division FIFTY-THREE and
Submarine Development Group ONE and has served on the
Staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet,
Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet,
Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europeg and
Commander U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. His
most recent assignments have been with the Office of the
Chief of Naval Operations, and the Joint Staff, Organization
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rear Admiral Packer commenced
his present assignment as Commander, Middle East Force in
He is a graduate of the Naval War College and has a
Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs from George
He is married to the former Miss Peggy Rebhun of
Cincinnati, Ohio, and they have five children.
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