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USS Alaska Earns 3rd Consecutive ‘Battle E’ Award

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Jan 06 2014 07:13:46 AM AKST
Updated On: Jan 06 2014 07:06:00 AM AKST
USS Alaska Earns 3rd Consecutive ‘Battle E’ Award

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The Navy says the gold crew of the USS Alaska (SSBN-732) has won a 2013 Battle Efficiency award. The coveted annual honor allows a crew to paint a letter "E" on their ship, indicating that it has the greatest combat preparedness of any ship in its unit.

ANCHORAGE -

A Navy submarine named for the Last Frontier has won its third consecutive annual Navy award for having the best combat preparedness in its squadron.

A statement from the Navy says the gold crew of the USS Alaska (SSBN-732), under the command of Cmdr. Chris Nash, was among those receiving a 2013 Battle Efficiency award and named Jan. 1. The award -- previously won by the Alaska in 2011 and 2012 -- is also known as a “Battle E,” because crews which receive it may paint a letter “E” on their ships to indicate the honor.

“Bravo Zulu and congratulations to all of the awardees,” Vice Adm. Michael J. Connor, commander of the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet submarine force, said in the statement. “The competition for these honors is always extremely keen, and being the recipient of the Battle E should be a source of great pride to each and every crew member.”

According to a Navy website describing the award, ships receiving it must earn four of six command excellence awards in maritime warfare, engineering and survivability, command and control, logistics management, ship safety and efficiency excellence.

“Eligibility for this award demands day-to-day demonstrated excellence in addition to superior achievement during certifications and qualifications conducted throughout the competitive period,” Navy officials wrote. “It should be recognized that (the “Battle E”) is not a qualification award or an award for mere excellence, but an award for being the best ship in the organization.”

The USS Alaska, a member of the Navy’s Submarine Squadron 20, is home-ported at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. The Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, in service since 1986, is the fourth Navy ship to bear the name Alaska.