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'Wolfpack' Earns 2006 Battle 'E'

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070503-05
Release Date: 5/3/2007 4:09:00 PM

By Storekeeper 2nd Class Laura K. Short, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light - 45 Public Affairs and Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rialyn Rodrigo, Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45, the “Wolfpack,” learned Feb. 27 that they had earned the Battle Efficiency Award, also known as the Battle “E,” for 2006.

The Battle “E” award recognizes a command’s sustained superior performance in an operational environment.

To qualify for the award, a ship must win a minimum of three out of four command excellence awards, which includes Maritime Warfare, Engineering/Survivability, Command and Control, and Logistics Management. The command must also be nominated by their superior in command.

To win, a ship or unit must demonstrate the highest state of battle readiness.

“I’m proud to be part of a command that shows a culture of dedication, caring, and professionalism towards their job,” said Cmdr. Lawrence Vasquez, the Wolfpack’s executive officer. “Our Sailors know that this is a team effort, and they take pride in their work.”

According to Master Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic (AW) Dana Pritchett, the squadron’s acting command master chief, donning the coveted ribbon is a valued addition to his crew’s uniform.

“Each Sailor in this squadron is going to wear this ribbon on their uniform for the rest of their time in the Navy, and they will remember what they were part of and accomplished.”

This is the sixth Battle “E” awarded to HSL-45, after being established on Oct. 3, 1986, as the second Light Airborne Multipurpose System MK III fleet squadron in the Pacific Fleet. The squadron was awarded the Battle “E” first in 1988 and won again every year until 1992.

Being battle efficient also means being safe – something Vasquez said was on the tip of HSL-45’s battle-ready “spear.”

“We do maintenance by the book,” said the commanding officer, Cmdr. David Edgecomb. “We have habits and traditions of operating safely.”

HSL-45 has 110,000 mishap-free flight hours, which demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of the Wolfpack.

“This is my first Battle ‘E,’” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Justin Lucas. “I am very proud to be part of an organization that understands the importance of doing maintenance by the book.”

The Wolfpack is no stranger to awards and commendations. Their outstanding dedication to service has earned them, over the years, nine Meritorious Unit Commendations, 12 Navy Unit Commendations, five Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, and now their sixth Battle “E” Award.

Additionally, HSL-45 was awarded the Lockheed Martin Superior Maintenance Award in 2006.

“We must remember why we were awarded the Battle ‘E,’” Edgecomb said to his crew following the announcement of the award. “Our squadron is doing an outstanding job in all areas, and you are the ones that achieved this award, not me or the XO. Be proud of your accomplishments.”

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