Bulkeley Recognized as Top in Combat Readiness

Thursday, July 26, 2007
Official U.S. Navy file photo of the guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84).

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Stefanie Holzeisen-mullen, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen announced the guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) as the winner of the calendar year 2005 and 2006 USS Arizona Memorial Trophy Winner in a message delivered to the fleet July 12. Established in 1995, the award is presented to the ship demonstrating the greatest combat readiness in strike warfare, surface-fire support, anti-terrorism and force protection, and anti-surface warfare during a two-year competitive cycle.

“The Arizona Trophy is a real source of pride for us, especially when viewed against the overall level of incredible readiness throughout the fleet,” said Cmdr. John Beaver, Bulkeley’s commanding officer. “The title of Vice Admiral (John) Bulkeley’s biography is ‘Seawolf’ and within the lifelines of the ship we refer to ourselves as ‘The Wolfpack.’ To have earned this award means we have been true to the admiral’s direction.” Bulkeley served as force track coordinator and sea combat commander for the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) during their 2006 deployment. While operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, Bulkeley served as overall air warfare commander for the ESG, leading coalition forces in interdicting illicit maritime and terrorist activities while conducting maritime interdiction operations. Their leadership help set conditions for security and stability and complemented the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations.

“All of our success is a result of a relentless training program and the motivated Sailors who serve day-in, day-out,” said Fire Controlman 2nd Class (SW) Jeffery Lewetzki, workcenter supervisor for the Aegis computer suite in Bulkeley’s Combat Systems Fire Control Division and a member of the ship’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team. “Since I first checked onboard, the crew has always had a ‘one team, one fight’ mentality which has contributed to our success as a ship in all mission areas.” “I am honored this great warship, named after a great American hero, has received this award,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Dave Jackel, Combat Systems Elctronic Materials Division leading petty officer and team leader on the “Wolfpack” VBSS team. “The name Bulkeley has meant great things throughout the course of naval history and we intend to continue that tradition into the future.”

According to Beaver, the award belongs to the more than 450 Sailors and two commanding officers who served on board in the last two years, working together to function as a cohesive unit to deny foreign enemies the ability to use the sea as a safe haven. “There is no magic formula for superior readiness, it only comes from work. It’s the tenacity and ingenuity of the Sailors on the deckplates and the hard-won trust and confidence they have in the command leadership that has been the difference for us,” said Beaver. “Every ship out there is working hard and when we accept this award, we will do so on behalf of all the Sailors who do the right thing watch after watch.”

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