KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- The Kings Bay-based fleet ballistic missile submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) was recognized as the U.S. Navy's best Trident submarine Oct. 1.
Vice Admiral Carl V. "Van" Mauney, deputy commander, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and James L. Mounce, member of the Strategic Command Consultation Committee, made the trip from Omaha, Neb., to Kings Bay, Ga., to present both Maryland crews with the 2008 Omaha Submarine Ballistic Missile Trophy.
The Omaha trophy is presented annually to strategic commands with the highest performance standards, based on evaluations, safety and meritorious achievements. The annual award is given to four operational units, recognizing their outstanding contributions to USSTRATCOM's diverse mission of strategic deterrence, including intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine ballistic missile, strategic aircraft and strategic space and information operations.
The Omaha trophy is awarded to Maryland's Blue and Gold crews for their combined superior effort in maintaining Maryland at the highest level of readiness and safety.
Maryland received multiple additional awards in 2008 for performance, including the Battle "E", Deck Seamanship, Communication, Operations Navigation, Engineering Excellence and Tactical "T" Awards that distinguished Sailors for outstanding performances in these departments.
Mauney publicly acknowledged the efforts of all of the officers and Sailors of Maryland.
"You are part of a superb fighting team - you fight by not fighting. We deter by not using these weapons that we have, and we hope to continue that long and distinguished record of deterrence. If our nation calls, we need to be ready, and the standard that your mission area carries are some of the highest in the military," said Mauney. "A bravo zulu to all of you and your families. I know that you wouldn't be here, if your families weren't firmly behind you. Congratulations on winning the Omaha trophy!"
Mounce describes how Maryland represents eleven submarines that compete for the Omaha trophy and how each member of the Blue and Gold crews exemplifies performance of duty.
"The Omaha trophy is about you, about your resolve and about your commitment to active duty. It's your knowledge, skills, your ability, your passion that you possess and then provide that makes you the best of the best," said Mounce.
The Omaha trophy was accepted by Cmdr. Jeff Grimes, commanding officer of Maryland's Gold crew, and Cmdr. John Newton, commanding officer of Maryland's Blue crew.
Grimes acknowledged the crews' work to earn the trophy as being "the best of the best."
"Number one is our families. Second is the wonderful Kings Bay team who trains us, maintains us and sustains us, so that we can accomplish the mission," said Grimes. "On behalf of the crew and the proud history of the Fighting Mary, thank you," said Grimes.
Maryland is a virtually, undetectable undersea launch platform for the Trident II D-5 submarine ballistic missile with the mission of strategic deterrence and serves as the most survivable leg of our nation's nuclear strike triad.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 10, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg10/.