BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- The blue and gold crews of USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) were presented the Omaha Trophy during a ceremony on Delta Pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash., Sept. 29.
The Omaha Trophy, sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and the STRATCOM Consultation Committee, is given annually to the best ballistic missile submarine as well as units with intercontinental ballistic missiles, strategic aircraft and strategic space and information operations.
Rear Adm. Frank Caldwell, commander, Submarine Group 9 praised both crews of the Kentucky for their outstanding performance.
"When I think of the USS Kentucky I think of operational excellence," said Caldwell. "I am tremendously proud of the Kentucky crews and all they have done as well as their families because they too are an important part of our mission."
With 14 ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in the U.S. Navy and 28 crews, Kentucky was chosen as the number one SSBN for 2009.
During this time the Kentucky successfully completed three strategic deterrent patrols, had 100 percent strategic navigation performance and more than 1,200 hours of community service time given by Sailors of both crews.
Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. Kevin Chilton, spoke about the continued importance of strategic deterrence while addressing both crews.
"Let's give the Navy 600 ships, let's give the Air Force 45 fighter wings, let's give the Army 10 divisions of tanks and let's take away our nuclear weapons and give 10 nuclear weapons to any country in the Western Hemisphere," said Chilton. "Then you tell me who you fear most. It won't be a 600 ship Navy, a 45 wing Air Force, or a 10 battle tank division Army. It will be the country with the nuclear weapons."
Nuclear deterrence underpins every other element of our entire nation's defense, Chilton added.
Strategic Command Consultation Committee member, Mr. Joe Moglia, was on hand to present the award on behalf of the committee and the citizens of Omaha, Neb.
"I pride myself in the respect and appreciation I have for achievement of excellence," said Moglia. "You cannot find a better boat or crew in terms of what USS Kentucky has achieved, and it is my incredible honor to be here."
The opportunity to recognize excellence and help present the highest STRATCOM achievement to the crew was important to Chilton.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg9/.