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BHR Wins 2006 Battle "E"

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070218-05
Release Date: 2/18/2007 6:44:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dustin Mapson, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) BHR learned Feb. 17 their ship won the Battle Efficiency Award, or Battle E, for 2006.

Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Greene announced the news over BHR's 1MC Saturday as the ship takes part in Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) off the coast of Southern California.

According to Commander, Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet’s (COMNAVSURFPAC) Surface Force Training Manual, the Battle “E,” recognizes sustained superior performance in an operational environment. Eligibility for the award demands excellence demonstrated day-to-day in addition to superior achievement during certifications and qualifications conducted throughout the competitive period. To qualify for the Battle “E,” a ship must be nominated by its immediate superior in command, as well as win a minimum of three of five command excellence awards, which include the Type Commander Ship’s Safety; Maritime Warfare Excellence; Engineering and Survivability; Command, Control and Information Warfare Excellence; and the Supply and Management Awards.

The news that BHR had secured its 4th Battle “E” since the ship was commissioned in August 1998, was well received by the crew and seen as a sign that their hard work is paying off.

“Winning this award is the result of the sustained superior performance of this crew,” said Long Beach, Calif., native, Store Keeper 2nd Class (SW/AW) Ricky Oliver. "This is a real pat on the back for every Sailor on this ship.”

Greene said this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of his crew and is a good motivational tool as they inch closer to deployment.

“This ship has a reputation for excellence,” said Greene. “This award buttresses that reputation, and is a tribute to every BHR Sailor. Their professionalism and enthusiasm is truly inspirational.”

For Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Fuels Airman Liz Litton of College Station, Texas, winning the award was truly an honor.

“I think it’s pretty cool and it’s only my second award,” said Litton. “I think when people see me wearing the Battle “E” they will say ‘she came from a place that is pretty squared away.’”

BHR’s skipper said it is impossible to link this award to one or two single accomplishments.

“It takes a great deal of teamwork to reach this level of excellence,” said Greene. “The outside support the BHR crew received all year from its maintenance team, and the Surface Force, Amphibious Group Three, Amphibious Squadron Seven, and Afloat Training Group Pacific staffs, contributed to our success too. Now we have to make sure we turn this achievement into a launching pad and not a lounge chair.”

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