SAN DIEGO – The crew of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) assembled on the forecastle to receive the prestigious Spokane Trophy during a ceremony, May 7.
The Spokane Trophy is an annual award sponsored by the Spokane, Washington Council of the Navy League of the United States and is presented to the Pacific Fleet's surface ship with the highest level of operational readiness in areas ranging from coordinated air warfare, surface warfare and undersea warfare operations.
“The ships that have won this award are absolutely fabulous,” said Bruce Rasche, Spokane, Washington Council of the Navy League. “You have put your name on a list of great ships. From all of us in Spokane who wave the Navy flag, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you do.”
During the ceremony, Rasche, who flew from Spokane to present the award, spoke about the colorful history of the Spokane Trophy, its beginnings as an award for excellence in naval gunnery marksmanship, and its unique ties to Theodore Roosevelt and the silver industry in the Spokane area.
Competing against 10 other ships from the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Wayne E. Meyer came out above the rest and received the award for demonstrating excellence in combat system’s readiness and warfare operations.
“Wayne E Meyer’s accomplishments have been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “Her impressive operational performance in numerous mission areas across the warfighting spectrum is clear evidence of the ship’s combat readiness. The crew excelled in all areas of operational readiness during a highly successful deployment to the 7th Fleet area of responsibility setting new standards for others to follow.”
The award was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt to recognize naval warfighting proficiency. The actual trophy, created from 400 ounces of silver, was created by veterans of the Spanish-American War and cost $1,500. Due to level of prestige the trophy has gained from the ships who have won the award, the trophy was appraised in excess of $4 million. The trophy was donated by the Navy League and is kept on permanent display at the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters building in San Diego.
Commissioned Oct. 10, 2009, Wayne E. Meyer is named after Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, who is known as the father of Aegis combat system. The Aegis combat system uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.