I served on the Saratoga from 1977 to 1981. During my last year the ship was modernized at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard under SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) so she could Fly F14s that were replacing our F4 Tomcats. If I remember right they said SLEP would extend the life for another 20 years. They barely made it to 10. She was decommissioned in 1994, and stricken from the Navy List. Back then they said it was destined for scrap, and I’m surprised that took this long. In fact I thought it was already done.
That year I spent in Phily was the main reason I did not re-up. Painting bomb magazines and Standing fire watch for yard-bird welders for 12 months can make you hate what you do real fast.