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(Left)The guided-missile submarine USSOhio(SSGN-726) is underway during ANNUALEX 2008. ANNUALEX is a bilateral exercise between the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Clifford L. H. Davis.
Crew members of the guided-missile submarine USSOhio(SSGN-726) prepare to moor at Naval Station Pearl Harbor for the
final stop before returning to homeport at Bangor, Wash. Photo by Lt. Cmdr. David Benham.

The guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN-726) received the Battle Efficiency award, or Battle “E”, during ceremonies held in late February aboard Naval Base Kitsap.

“The crew worked extremely hard during the ship’s 14-month deployment to the Western Pacific,” said Ohio (GOLD) Commanding Officer, Capt. Dennis Carpenter. “Both crews worked extremely hard, even while in port, to be trained and certified in all aspects of our mission areas. We also performed well during those missions while deployed, which helped us to be able to win the Battle ‘E’.”

In addition to the Battle “E,” the Ohio received other honors, such as the Tactical “T” and the Deck Seamanship “D” awards.

“The Tactical ‘T’ was for tactical employment of the ship within our certifications and the exercises and operations that we conducted,” said Carpenter.

“The Deck Seamanship ‘D’ was due to a lot of hard work by a small portion of the crew to keep our topside in excellent condition. We had very high level visitors that were coming down every time we pulled into port, and each time those guys had to paint the entire topside of our ship and keep it up. Even while some of the other guys were going on liberty, and even some times at night, these guys are topside painting the ship.”

The Ohio (BLUE) crew was also awarded the Navigation “N” and the Engineering “E”.

“The crew has very high standards and this award reflects that,” said Capt. Murray Gero, Ohio (BLUE) commanding officer. “We are very proud of the entire crew. The Ohio (BLUE) team’s focus is on the mission and we work hard to perfect our individual and team expertise.”

Carpenter said that the Battle “E” award is a testament of the crew working together as a team to accomplish the mission.

“The success of a submarine is not due to just any one person. Everyone’s job is very important, down to the most junior Sailor. If he’s not doing his job, we have problems. The success of the Ohio, both crews, is due to teamwork, everyone showing up and contributing to the success of the ship.”

For the crew, earning this award is a good way for them to be recognized for the work they do.

“It’s a great sense of accomplishment for how hard we worked this past year and all the training we’ve done,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class (SS) Shaun Wintink, Ohio (GOLD) crew. “It’s nice to be recognized for how well we’ve operated the ship at sea. I think it’s a great way for the whole crew to be recognized that we can proficiently operate the ship at sea and do it well.”

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Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kimberly Clifford.

Commander, Submarine Group TEN held a change of
command ceremony aboard Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, Ga., June 26. Rear Adm. Barry L. Bruner relieved Rear Adm. Timothy M. Giardina, re-establishing a full-time flag officer in Kings Bay responsible for ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs). Bruner’s arrival to Kings Bay marks the first time since 2005 that a Navy flag officer will reside full time in Kings Bay. The full-time flag officer will increase focus on the unique capabilities of the SSGN platform and re-emphasize commitment to the strategic deterrence mission of the SSBNs. Giardina took command of Submarine Group TEN Nov. 8, 2007.

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