Revolutionary Gator Earns Battle "E" - Again! 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marcus Stanley, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs 
USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) - Amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) earned the Battle "E" award for the second consecutive year Feb. 27 for its performance, demonstrating the highest state of battle readiness in 2011.

The award, announced via naval message, recognizes sustained superior performance in an operational environment as a command and several significant achievements for excellence such as maritime warfare, engineering/survivability, command and control and logistics management. The command must then be nominated by their immediate superior in command.

"This achievement represents the culmination of the crew's superb efforts to excel at each certification, inspection and operational event," said Capt. Chuck Litchfield, Bonhomme Richard's commanding officer. "We were able to hit the ground running coming out of DPMA because our integrated maintenance team set us up for success. The crew put their sweat and energy into making this ship what it is today. Earning this award is a fitting, final way of marking a legacy of excellence as we deliver the Navy's finest war ship to the crew of USS Essex in Japan."

Sixteen different areas are considered in the competition such as a ship's performance during training exercises, weapons inspections and tactical readiness. The evaluation in a yearlong process and demands demonstrated excellence and superior achievement during certifications and qualifications throughout the year.

Commands earning the achievement may display a white "E" with a black shadow in a prominent position, as well as uniform ribbons noting the achievement.
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