SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (Blue)(Gold) and USS Nevada (SSBN 733) (Blue) were awarded the Battle Efficiency award, or Battle 'E,' for 2006, Jan. 1.
Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, commander, Submarine Force Pacific, announced the winners by U.S. Navy message.
"I am extremely proud of your outstanding performance," said Walsh. "Well done and congratulations!"
The Battle 'E' competition is conducted to strengthen and evaluate both command and overall force readiness and to recognize outstanding command performance. The overall readiness of a crew to carry out its assigned wartime tasks and performing as an effective part of the fleet are criteria in which winners are selected.
"We went through several weeks of trainers at home and battle station scenarios underway," said Kentucky (Gold) Sonar Leading Chief Petty Officer, Chief Sonar Technician (SS) Travis B. Rogers. "It came down to taking every available opportunity to train as war fighters."
The Battle 'E' is awarded to the crew with the highest performance ratings in each competitive group based upon both yearlong and day-to-day evaluations and battle readiness.
The Kentucky (Gold) crew won the Strategic 'S', Tactical 'T', and their 3rd straight Supply 'S' in conjunction with winning their first Battle 'E'. Kentucky's Blue crew won the Medical 'M' with their Battle 'E' and Nevada (Blue) won the Tactical 'T', Navigation 'N', and Deck Seamanship 'D' along with their Battle 'E'.
"I've always known I've had a great crew," said Cmdr. Jeff Coran, Kentucky (Gold) commanding officer. "They work hard and understand the importance of keeping the Kentucky battle-ready at all times. Each crewmember understands the need for them to be experts in their particular field."
By winning the award, Sailors are now authorized to wear the Battle "E" ribbon. If they have previously been a part of commands that have won, they can add additional "Es" to their ribbon.
"It's nice being recognized," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SS) Brian M. Johnson, of Kentucky (Gold). "I get to wear a ribbon on my chest that says I was part of something that meant something to the Navy. The Navy looks at it like you're the top, you're the best."
"The Kentucky Gold wasn't about winning the Battle 'E'," said Coran. "It was about maintaining the ship at sea and doing its job."
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