News: Nebraska and Ohio win 2013 Battle 'E'
Story by Chief Petty Officer Ahron Arendes
BANGOR, Wash. - Ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) and guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726), were announced as the Submarine Group 9 recipients of the 2013 Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award (Battle "E"), Jan 1.
Nebraska's Blue and Gold crews won the Battle "E" for Submarine Squadron 17, while Ohio's Blue Crew was named the Battle "E" for Submarine Squadron 19.
This is Nebraska's first Battle "E" since 2011. Nebraska also won the Navigation/Operations Readiness Red and Green "N" in the Battle "E" competitive areas.
"It is amazing how well both the Blue and Gold crews have sustained and even improved performance over such a long period of time. This is their third Battle "E" in the last four years. The percentage of sailors on board now that was on board when Nebraska won the Battle "E" four years ago is very small," said Cmdr. Jason Wartell, former Nebraska Blue crew commanding officer, now assigned to Submarine Squadron 17.
"The officers, chiefs and crew take very seriously their responsibility to train and develop newly reporting sailors to perpetuate the longstanding excellence of our Submarine Force. I am very proud of the Nebraska sailors, for what they have accomplished and to have served with them," he said.
Ohio won last year's award and its fourth award since becoming a SSGN in 2005. In this year's competitive areas they won the Engineering Readiness Red "E" and Weapons Readiness White "W" in the Battle "E".
"Ohio Blue has the best [ownership] that I have observed in 29 years in this business," said Submarine Squadron 19 Commodore Capt. Charles Logan. "Every person seems to care deeply about the ship, their shipmates and their mission and work together as a team to overcome every challenge they face. The credit goes to the CO, his philosophy, his vision, and his ability to motivate his crew to strive for and achieve excellence.
"Our nation's defense is well served by every member of the Submarine Force, and especially well served when the elements of leadership and dedication produce a truly exceptional crew like we have on Ohio Blue. I could not be more proud to be associated with Squadron 19 and the great sailors we have - those on Ohio Blue and every other crew," he said.
Other submarines won awards in competitive areas as well.
USS Alabama (SSBN 731) Blue crew won the Weapons Readiness White "W" and Strategic Readiness White "S," USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) won the Supply Readiness Blue "E," USS Maine (SSBN 741) Gold crew won the Personnel Readiness White "P," USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) Gold crew won the Engineering Readiness Red "E" and the Supply Readiness Blue "E" and USS Michigan (SSGN 727) Gold crew won the Navigation/Operations Readiness Red and Green "N" and Personnel Readiness White "P."
The Battle "E" is an award of merit presented to the most proficient submarine crew in each squadron and recognizes sustained superior technical performance and continual combat readiness throughout the year. The awards are presented by the commodore of each squadron to the submarine under their command, which has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness.