NORFOLK (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) received the prestigious Battenberg Cup in recognition of outstanding achievements over the course of the past year.
The Battenberg Cup annually goes to the best all-around ship or submarine based on the accumulation of crew successes in the Atlantic Fleet. For Ike, the cup completed a trifecta of recent awards in recognition of the hard work of the crew.
"We're honored to represent the fleet as recipients of the Battenberg Cup. I believe the team excelled at every mission they were assigned -- they're the most inspiring men and women I've ever served with," said Capt. Dan Cloyd, commanding officer.
"Looking back on the past year -- particularly our recent deployment -- we know we made a difference, that we saved lives every day and that we contributed significantly to the security and stability of uniquely important and remarkable parts of the world. We also know that our families helped make this excellence possible. We can't thank them enough for their sacrifices, support and direct contributions to this achievement," Cloyd added.
Command Master Chief (SS/SW/AW) Phil Russell further described the distinction of the award and the significance of the crew's recent accolades.
"The Ramage Award recognized us and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 as the best ship/air wing team and the Battle "E" proved we were the best ship in our class," said Russell. "The Battenberg Cup, however, recognizes us as the best ship on the waterfront."
Russell attributes Ike's success to cumulative efforts of the crew, not to individual performance and those who contributed should be proud of the accomplishment.
"This isn't for one person," said Russell. "It's purely a teamwork award and rewards each Sailor for their level of sacrifice and service getting this ship to where it is."
Ike recently completed an extended deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime operations and Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, though the journey to winning the Battenberg Cup started long before deployment, according to Russell.
"It began when we first rolled out of the yards," said Russell, referring to Ike's four and a half year Reactor Complex Overhaul that was completed in January 2005. "We had to relearn how to set Zebra and take man overboard musters before we could start launching aircraft. Every time we got underway, we did things better."
With a Battenberg Cup under Ike's belt for the first time since it's commissioning in 1977, the crew looks toward the future.
"The expectations are high," said Russell. "While it was hard work getting here, there are so many great crews out there that it'll be even harder staying here."
Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, with its embarked air wing, CVW 7, and embarked Destroyer Squadron 28, all homeported in Norfolk.
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.