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USS Boise Wins Battenberg Cup
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(left to right) Vice Adm. John M. Richardson, commander, Submarine Forces, and Cmdr. Brian L. Sittlow, commanding officer of USS Boise(SSN 764), look on as Chief of the Boat Stephen Capps and Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Galvin hold the Battenberg Cup plaque presented by Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Danna Morris.

 

USS Boise (SSN 764) received the 2010 Battenberg Cup award as the best all-around ship in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Her competitors included the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), representing Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic, and the amphibious warfare ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), representing Commander, Naval Surface Force, Atlantic. Boise is only the third submarine to win the Battenberg Cup.

"Boise was outstanding this past year. They approached every challenge in a dedicated and very thorough way," said Vice Adm. John M. Richardson, Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic. "Every member on the Boise team knows their job and knows they are valued by their command and the Navy as national treasures. Boise's integrity and humble sense of purpose really set them apart as an example for others to follow."

The Battenberg Cup was originally awarded to the winner of a regular rowing race between the U.S. Navy and Britain's Royal Navy, which British Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg established in 1906 to honor the "good fellowship and wonderful entertainments" he and his men had received on a visit to the U.S. The boat race was discontinued in 1940 due to World War II, but in 1978, Atlantic Fleet Commander Adm. Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., revived the Battenberg Cup as an Atlantic Fleet award for operational excellence.

Throughout 2010, Boise and her crew performed exceptionally across a myriad of challenging operations and initiatives, both in port and at sea. She successfully completed an accelerated deployment preparation period after completing a demanding docking selected restricted availability. While deployed to two different theaters of operations, Boise achieved all operational objectives, maintained an operational tempo of 84 percent, steamed 34,800 nautical miles and had zero missed mission days. The submarine flawlessly executed three missions vital to national security that provided key decision-making intelligence to combatant commanders.

During the 2010 calendar year, Boise earned the 2010 Commander, Submarine Squadron Eight Battle Efficiency "E" award. She also received the Engineering "E," Navigation "N," Communications "C," Supply "E," and Medical "M" awards for departmental excellence.

Senior Chief Stephen Capps, chief of the boat, credits Boise's success to her crew. "The crew is how the work gets done, and without a good crew guided in the right direction, it does not matter what other aspects of planning, leadership, and equipment you have in place," he said. "We asked the captain when he relieved to let the chiefs run the ship so the officers can fight the ship, and, honestly, we have not looked back. The challenge now, in the midst of all the accolades, is continued success, and the determination to not rest on our laurels."

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Boise crewmembers pose with the Battenberg Cup after the July 11 presentation ceremony at Boise's homeport of Norfolk, Va. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Danna Morris.

 

Navy Lays Keel for PCU Minnesota
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U.S. Navy photo.

The Navy celebrated the keel-laying of Pre-Commissioning Unit Minnesota (SSN 783) on May 20 at Huntington Ingalls Industries–Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) in Newport News, Va.

Ship sponsor Ellen Roughead, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, had her initials welded onto a steel plate that will be permanently affixed to Minnesota's hull. "We are honored to have Mrs. Roughead as Minnesota's sponsor," said Rear Adm. (sel.) Michael Jabaley, program manager for the Virginia class. "The keel-laying marks the beginning of a special relationship between Mrs. Roughead, this submarine, and her crew. Her dedication and support of our Sailors and their families is admirable and will pay dividends for the Submarine Force for years to come."

The keel-laying is Minnesota's first major event since construction began in February 2008. The tenth submarine of the Virginia class and the last of the Block II construction contract, Minnesota is on track to continue the Virginia-Class Program's trend of early deliveries.

 

Dive Klaxon Joins Major League Baseball

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The dive klaxon perched high up behind home plate at Nationals Park. Photo by Olivia Logan.

 

 

A high fly ball! Going…going…AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH! AWOOGAH!

This season, the Washington Nationals introduced a new tradition—sounding a submarine dive klaxon after every home run and at the end of every win.

It was a natural for a team that plays ball just a couple blocks from the Washington Navy Yard. "The military live in our community and provide a huge service to our country," said Andy Feffer, the organization's chief operating officer, so Nats' management asked themselves, "How do we take iconic moments and do something unique to Washington, while highlighting the military?"

The Nats consulted their neighbors at the Yard, who recommended a dive klaxon because it is distinctive, recognizable—and loud enough to engage the crowd. "Even if you're not at the game," Feffer said, "you should be able to listen and know that sound."

The Nats used to celebrate homers and wins with fireworks. Feffer called substituting the klaxon a "strategic decision about their relationship with the military and iconic moments in the park." Press box staff sound the three-blast signal twice for every celebration—and they're pleased to say they've done it quite a bit this season.

 

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