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USS West Virginia Earns Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS180713-03
Release Date: 7/13/2018 9:46:00 AM

From Commander, Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs

KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) named the gold crew of Ohio-class ballistic submarine USS West Virginia (SSBN 736) as the recipient of the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for 2017.

Adm. Christopher Grady, commander, USFF, presented the trophy to the crew during an awards ceremony held at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia, July 11.

Grady congratulated the crew for their accomplishments and the strides they made in the last year to achieve excellence, as well as their ability to improve.

"This award embodies the ability to get better every day at what we do," said Grady. "It's through hard work and self-assessment you have been able to earn this achievement."

Grady reflected on the crew's success in supporting the strategic mission and improvement in multiple battle efficiency areas, setting the standard for the Submarine Force.

USFF presents the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy annually to the ship or aviation squadron from each coast selected that achieved the greatest improvement in battle efficiency during the calendar year, based upon the battle efficiency competition.

The competition is conducted annually to strengthen individual command performance, improve overall force readiness and recognize outstanding performance.

Cmdr. Jay Bijeau, West Virginia gold crew's commanding officer, was very proud of the crew's achievements and success.

"This past year was a phenomenal year for the [gold] crew of the West Virginia," said Bijeau. "They started the year with a very successful strategic deterrent patrol, an at-sea exchange of command over the summer, and finished the year with an efficient and well-executed dry-docking maintenance period."

The crew invested a significant amount of time, and trained the next generation of Sailors to ensure the ship is well positioned for long-term success.

"The significant improvements in battle efficiency are a testament to the crew's commitment to success, motivation and strong work ethic, and will pay dividends as the ship executes its mission of strategic deterrence - the most important mission in the Department of Defense," concluded Bijeau.

The sole mission of ballistic-missile submarines like West Virginia has been strategic deterrence since their inception in 1960. The ballistic missile submarine provides the nations' most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability, always ready and vigilant in a secure and survivable posture to rapidly respond to national tasking.

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