Eastern Pacific Ocean (July 31, 2019) – Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, presented the Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) award to the crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), July 31, while the ship was underway conducting operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean.
During the ship visit, Brown held an All Hands Call and told the crew the story of USS Johnston (DD 557) and of their fighting captain, Lt. Cmdr. Ernie Evans. He told the Bunker Hill crew that they too, have a fighting captain, and that he expected them to fight just like the crew of Johnston during the Battle of Samar Island during the Leyte Gulf campaign of World War II.
“You are getting the ship ready to fight. The goal is to fight, win, and come home,” Brown told the crew.
The Battle “E” demonstrates that Bunker Hill is not satisfied with merely meeting baseline standards. The crew exceeded the standard as they prepare the ship for service in the world’s most agile, effective, and lethal global maneuver force.
"We set high personal and professional goals and aim to achieve them as a matter of routine, and onboard Bunker Hill, team success is of more importance than individual success,” said Capt. Kurt Sellerberg, Bunker Hill’s Commanding Officer. “We have a winning attitude, and this award recognizes the crew's day-to-day efforts to execute our mission with class and distinction. I'm proud of the crew for this achievement”
In addition to earning the Battle “E,” Bunker Hill embodies a culture of excellence by taking advantage of changes to the Surface Force Training and Readiness Manual (SFTRM). It was one of the first ships to go through the revised SFTRM, which, among other things, changed the delivery strategy of Basic Phase Training, allowing ships that demonstrate proficiency during Certification Events (CEs) to certify early. In turn, Bunker Hill built and executed complex integrated training team scenarios as part of a three-day battle problem in order to turn their training into lethality.
"Competition between ships has long been recognized as a powerful stimulus for achievement of wartime readiness in times of peace, and with the Battle Efficiency award we will proudly display the ‘meatball’ pennant as recognition of the crew's outstanding performance,” said Cmdr. David Sandomir, Bunker Hill’s Executive Officer.
The Battle “E” pennant is called the meatball because of its design: a solid black circle set in a red field. It is a triangular-shaped pennant that the winning ship may fly.
Every Bunker Hill Sailor attached to the ship during the award year is eligible to wear a Battle “E” ribbon to signify their contribution to exemplifying Bunker Hill’s qualities of toughness, readiness, and combat capability in all warfare areas.
To be considered for the Battle “E,” surface ships must demonstrate excellence in a minimum of four out of five command-measured criteria: maritime warfare, engineering and survivability, command and control, logistics management, and ship safety. The award symbolizes the ship’s overall readiness to carry out its assigned wartime tasks.