Pacific Northwest Sub Crews Win Battle "E"

Story Number: NNS080122-17Release Date: 1/22/2008 5:55:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/NAC) Eric J. Rowley, Fleet Public Affairs Center Det. Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23) and USS Maine (SSBN 741) (Blue and Gold) were awarded the Battle Efficiency "E" award for 2007 in ceremonies Jan. 17 and 18.

USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) (Blue and Gold) was also a 2007 Battle "E" winner for 2007.

"The competition for the battle efficiency awards was extremely tough," said Rear Adm. Joe Walsh, commander Submarine Force Pacific, in the Battle "E" naval message. "These awards recognize commands which were evaluated during the past year to have attained the highest overall or departmental readiness to carry out their wartime tasks. Each crew member of an award winner can be justifiable proud of their contribution to improve Pacific submarine force readiness."

The Battle "E" competition is conducted to strengthen and evaluate both command and overall force readiness and to recognize outstanding command performance. The criterion for the Battle "E" Award is the overall readiness of a crew to carry out its assigned wartime tasks, performing as an effective part of the fleet. The Battle "E" is awarded to the crew standing first within each competitive group based upon a yearlong performance evaluation of both day-to-day and battle readiness.

Along with the Battle "E," submarines were also awarded in special categories. Louisiana (Blue) was awarded the Tactical White "T" and Medical Yellow "M." Louisiana (Gold) was awarded the Deck Seamanship White "D."

"I'm honored, but the thing that impresses me is the crew," said Cmdr. Shannon Kawane, Louisiana (Gold) commanding officer. "It's incredible that I have a good crew that understands the mission. We never focused on the Battle 'E'. We just stuck to the basics and everything else fell into place."

"It's awesome; we deserved it," said Fire Control Technician 2nd Class (SS) Timothy Turgeon, Louisiana (Gold). "We have always done well and it's nice to get the recognition. We just worked the way we always do and it worked out for us."

Maine (Blue) was awarded the Damage Control Red DC while Maine (Gold) was awarded the Supply Blue "E," Medical Yellow "M" and the Strategic Weapons White "S."

"This was a year's worth of extremely hard work; it takes a lot to get to the pinnacle," said Master Chief (SS) Korey Ketola, Maine (Gold) chief of the boat. "I'm real proud of both crews. We worked very hard together. That's probably the biggest reward of all is the fact we were able to help each other get the Battle E."

Jimmy Carter was awarded the Tactical White "T," Damage Control Red DC, Supply Blue "E," and the Medical Yellow "M."

"It is an honor to have been awarded the Battle E," said Cmdr. David Honabach, Jimmy Carter commanding officer. "The crew has worked extremely hard to hone their tactical skills and they have come a long way since new construction. I am very proud of my crew and they continue to exceed my expectations."

"We worked hard the whole year to the best of our ability," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (SS) Frank Toeran, from Jimmy Carter. "Our operations tempo was the key to us winning. When we went out we got better and we wouldn't take 'no' for an answer."

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