GROTON, Conn. (NNS) -- Commander Submarine Squadron (CSS) 4 presented the 2009 Battle Effectiveness, or Battle "E," award to Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) Jan. 29 aboard the boat at Naval Submarine Base New London.
The prestigious Battle "E" is awarded annually to ships demonstrating a maximum condition of readiness for their class, and for their capability to perform wartime responsibilities. The competition is conducted to strengthen individual command performance, overall force readiness, and to recognize outstanding performance.
New Hampshire was selected from all five units assigned to CSS4, and the presentation marked another milestone in the Virginia-class program.
"This is truly a significant achievement," said Capt. Robert E Clark II, CSS 4 commodore. "Through their hard work and dedication, New Hampshire reached and exceeded all expectations; accelerated their transition to the fleet, and deployed forward in the interests of national security; all within their first year of commissioning."
Cmdr. Mike Stevens, New Hampshire commanding officer, attributed those successes to the material condition of the ship upon delivery.
"The fact that the ship was delivered in such phenomenal shape enabled us to be ready to deploy," said Stevens. "I believe this adds encouragement to the shipyard boats that better times are ahead."
"The crew is excited to be recognized for their outstanding efforts." he added. "With all those other fantastic boats out there, we are honored and humbled to be selected for this award."
With the "you're only as good as tomorrow" mentality, Stevens looks ahead to the coming year.
"For us, [the award] is now the past. It's time to look forward as we get ready for a safe execution of our Post Shakedown Availability," Stevens said. "We would like to quickly finish and return to operations as a part of our Submarine Force."
With their leadership team's "never say die" attitude, Clark said, they reflect the tenacity of submarine Sailors.
New Hampshire and other Virginia-class submarines use advanced technologies to increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth. Virginia-class submarine are flexible, multi-mission platforms designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the Submarine Force: anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; special operations forces; strike; irregular warfare; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; and mine warfare.
For more news from Commander Submarine Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/Subgru2/.