St. John's was floated up on 26 August 1995. The first to be named for Newfoundland's capital city, she was commissioned there on 24 June 1996. She joined SNFL on 7 August 1997 at Norfolk, Va., returning home on 18 December. She took part in NATO Exercise Strong Resolve in Norwegian waters in the early spring of 1998, and that fall joined Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (SNFM), returning to Halifax on 15 December. On 23 March 1999, St. John's and three consorts sailed south for a month's training. The following spring found her in the Caribbean area yet again, making courtesy visits and taking part in the international Exercise Unitas. She sailed on 1 May 2002 to join in Operation Apollo.