Building on a legacy of good performance and hard work, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay was awarded the coveted Battle Effectiveness Award for 2015, the fourth year in a row.
Winning one Battle “E” award is no small feat; it is only awarded to the best ship in each class. The award is based on a yearlong evaluation of the overall readiness of a command to carry out assigned wartime responsibilities.
“Winning the Battle ‘E’ four years in a row is an accomplishment for any ship,” said Cmdr. Lynn Hazlett, executive officer aboard Mobile Bay. “Mobile Bay is 29 years old right now, but looks and performs better than many other warships on the waterfront. It is sustained superior performance and a crew that truly cares that makes this happen. It is an honor to have that white ‘E’ on the bridge wing with three hashes underneath it.”
Lt. Mark Olson, Mobile Bay’s combat systems officer, added that winning the award for 2015 meant meeting numerous prerequisites, but came down to the motivation of the crew aboard the ship.
“For me, this award is significant because it demonstrates simply how much people matter in today’s Navy,” he said. “Though systems may deliver the ordnance or maintain the battle picture, Sailors make all the difference. Our ability to keep Mobile Bay, the Navy’s second-oldest cruiser, at the peak of readiness doesn’t come down to checklists, trackers or money. It comes down to people with pride and a competitive spirit.”
Sailors who were aboard the ship at any time in calendar year 2015 earn a Battle “E” ribbon for their uniform. For most, the ribbon reflects the pride and hard work that Sailors have put in over the last year.
“It feels great to be recognized like this while out on deployment,” said Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Phillip Killough. “This is my first ship and it’s great to be a part of something that is bigger. We are all working hard to be successful while we’re out here and hopefully, we take the Battle ‘E’ home next year as well.”
Olson added that the crew aboard the ship consistently focused on being ready for deployment and that focus helped establish the right priorities for last year.
“If you’re always ready to deploy, there’s a good chance everything else will piece [itself] together,” said Olson. “Awards are great because they illustrate the hard work of the crew, but our strive for success isn’t about being able to say we ranked here or there against other ships, it’s more about pride in our ship and our crew.”
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mobile Bay is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.