By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Cavagnaro and Seaman Apprentice Oscar Albert Moreno Jr.
YOKOSUKA, Japan (Feb. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) was awarded the Commander, Naval Air Forces Carrier Battle Effectiveness Award, or Battle “E”, Feb. 15.
The Battle “E” recognizes sustained superior performance in an operational environment, and sustained continuous readiness throughout the forward-deployed naval forces training plan.
“The tremendous mission successes enjoyed by George Washington in the operational, maintenance and safety arenas did not happen by accident,” said Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington’s commanding officer. “They were a result of the dedicated focus on providing our Sailors mentorship, leadership, and development by the leaders in my Wardroom and Chief’s Mess, and the diligent efforts of the enlisted crew both on and off-duty. This is George Washington’s first Battle ‘E’ in several years, and the first Battle ‘E’ awarded to the forward- deployed aircraft carrier since USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63).”
Eligibility for this award demands day-to-day demonstrated excellence in addition to superior achievement during certifications and qualifications conducted throughout the competitive period.
“Aircraft carriers from both coasts are assessed through a series of certifications and inspections by Afloat Training Group and other teams during the training cycle,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicolas Long, George Washington’s training officer. “It’s important to note that disqualifiers like safety mishaps that result in injury or death to personnel or major damage to equipment will likely result in both ship-wide and departmental disqualification from Battle ‘E’ eligibility.”
The Battle “E” competition is conducted to strengthen individual command performance, boost overall force readiness and to acknowledge outstanding performance. The award symbolizes the overall readiness of the command to carry out its assigned mission and tasking.
“During the seven months of the year that George Washington operated forward at the strategic maritime crossroads, the crew demonstrated its versatility and prowess through participation in multi-lateral, joint exercises,” said Fenton. “George Washington was also among the first to respond when super Typhoon Haiyan struck the Republic of the Philippines; providing 808,000 pounds of food, water and other supplies to mitigate the suffering of the Filipino people.”
The ship’s superior performance during 2013 can be credited to the hard work and determination of all its Sailors, and fosters as a sense of accomplishment and pride.
“I feel like all of our hard work has finally paid off,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Michael Olivar of George Washington’s training department. “It’s a great feeling to know that I helped earn this award.”