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Lake Champlain Takes 2009 Battle "E"

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100223-08
Release Date: 2/23/2010 4:44:00 PM

From Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) was selected as the Carrier Strike Group 3 recipient of the Navy "E" Award for 2009 on Feb. 11.

The Navy "E" Award, commonly known as the "Battle E," is awarded annually to commands attaining the highest levels of excellence in all warfighting categories. Twenty-seven of 168 eligible ships across the fleet were awarded the prestigious honor.

"Our leadership and crew accomplished a tremendous amount during the year and have lived up to our own personal motto of 'One Team - One Fight - Fighting 57'!" said Lake Champlain Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin P. Campbell.

Acting Lake Champlain Command Master Chief Timothy Gallihugh said that despite a demanding operational tempo and a challenging year, the crew consistently rose to the occasion and excelled in all facets of mission accomplishment.

"The hard work and dedication shown by each and every Sailor onboard is a testament to their professionalism and sense of ownership of [Lake Champlain]," said Gallihugh. "The crew not only won the Battle 'E,' they earned it!"

Award criteria includes an evaluation of the ship's abilities in logistics, material management, engineering, damage control, navigation, command and control, and air, surface and subsurface warfare.

"We went a year without any environmental issues, all of our critical programs were effective, we conducted hundreds of drills in preparation for a successful Engineering Operational Certification and ULTRA E (Unit Level Training Readiness Assessment – Engineering)," said Lake Champlain Main Propulsion Division Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class (AW) Jonathan Mackey. "We completed a seven-month deployment with no major casualties, which allowed us to meet all operational requirements during that period."

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class (SW) Gregory Emmons said that while the Battle "E" competition was important to the command, mission readiness remained at the forefront of everyone's mind.

"In the 5th Fleet area of operation, Iraqi oil platform defense, anti-piracy operations and the rescue of 52 Somali migrants stranded at sea made the USS Lake Champlain a known and valuable unit," said Emmons. "With four successful fleet communications cutovers and an Electronic Key Management System inspection, Lake Champlain proved itself as a very valuable command and control unit despite being the smallest command within the strike group."

Lake Champlain is a part of the Carl Vinson Strike Group and is conducting unit level training in preparation for a regularly scheduled deployment.

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