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DESRON 15 Recognizes Award-Winning Ships
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The commodore of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 presented three prestigious awards to forward-deployed ships under his command June 11 in Yokosuka, Japan.

Capt. William Wagner, DESRON 15, commodore, presented the Battle "E" award to USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62)

USS Stethem (DDG 63) was presented the Bloodhound Award for outstanding anti-submarine warfare (ASW) readiness.

The Battle "E" is awarded annually to ships, submarines, aviation squadrons and other units that present the maximum condition of departmental readiness in their group and outstanding capability to perform their wartime tasks. The award recognizes sustained superior performance of the crew in six categories: maritime warfare, engineering and survivability, command and control communications and information warfare, logistics management, safety and efficiency excellence.

Wagner presented Battle "E" plaques to representatives of the award-winning ships.

"I felt it was important for a crew member to accept the award, not the captain, because the crew earned it with their hard work, and I wanted them to receive the plaque," said Wagner. "The Sailors of DESRON 15 are some of the hardest working in the fleet and they earn the admiration of their chain of command on a daily basis."

Accepting the Battle "E" plaque on behalf of Fitzgerald was DESRON 15's Blue Jacket of the Quarter, Quartermaster Seaman Leon Williams, who received the plaque while attending a command function.

"It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of the crew," said Williams. "We all did our part in keeping the ship ready for everything."

Accepting the award on behalf of Lassen was DESRON 15's Sailor of the Year, Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW) Joshua Eddy.

"It's a great honor for us to receive this," said Eddy. "I can't think of another crew on the waterfront that is more deserving of this award."

Representatives of Stethem's weapons department accepted the Bloodhound Award for excellence in ASW.

"This award is the culmination of a whole year of ASW performance and readiness," said Lt. j.g. Jonathan Breed, the ship's ASW officer. "Even though it was presented to the weapons department, the whole ship did their part to maintain readiness."
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