KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- The Blue and Gold crews of USS Maryland (SSBN 738) were presented the Submarine Squadron Twenty 2009 Battle Efficiency award, or Battle "E," at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., Jan. 20.
"The prestigious Battle "E" award goes to the one ship in squadron whose two crews demonstrate the greatest readiness to conduct their wartime tasks throughout a year long evaluation," said Capt. Kevin Brenton, Commander Submarine Squadron Twenty commodore. "Some of the most important areas evaluated include: operational and material readiness, personnel readiness, performance during external examinations and performance during deployment preparations."
The ballistic missile submarine's (SSBN) mission is to preserve world peace by remaining an undetected, battle ready presence. With terror networks actively pursuing nuclear weapons the silent patrols and strike capability of the SSBN is the nation's most reliable deterrent against attack.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Grimes, commanding officer USS Maryland (Gold), attributes earning the CSS-20 Battle "E" to his crew. "It's the hard wok of each of the Fightin' Mary Sailors who show up every day, dedicated to their jobs to the utmost of their ability while working toward one common goal - accomplishing the mission each and every day."
In 2009, Maryland completed three strategic deterrent patrols, conducted a major engineering evolution known as a dual media discharge, and underwent an extended refit period involving a common radio room installation.
"Maryland's Battle 'E' recognition is a wonderful recognition of our crew's hard work everyday during a very operationally demanding year. I am proud of the great effort and results in 2009. The crew is fired up about 2010 and looking forward to building on this success," said Cmdr. John Newton, commanding officer, USS Maryland (Blue).
Submarine Squadron Twenty's Battle "E" presentation is the second consecutive award for Maryland, which also received the Engineering "E", Communications "C", Damage Control "DC", Supply Blue "E" and the Navigational "N" for excellence in those departments. The submarine also earned the prestigious Omaha Trophy, presented by United States Strategic Command for 2008, in recognition of Maryland's Blue and Gold crews combined superior effort in maintaining Maryland at the highest level of readiness and safety.
"Both Maryland crews worked extremely hard throughout the year to meet their mission tasking while achieving very high standards of performance in a tough competition," Brenton said. "I couldn't be more proud of the officers, chief petty officers and crews of Maryland and they should be justifiably proud of their significant accomplishments.
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