Cruising along side-by-side while pumping thousands of gallons of fuel, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan
(CVN 76) and guided missile destroyer
USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) perform a fueling at sea (FAS).
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Spike Call
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) earned the 2006 Commander Naval Air Force Carrier Battle Efficiency “E” award for the West Coast, the first Battle "E” ever for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.
The announcement was made Feb. 26 as the crew enjoyed a five-day port visit to Sasebo, Japan.
The highly sought-after Battle “E” is awarded annually to ships that display the maximum condition of readiness in their specific category, and for their capability to perform their wartime responsibilities.
The Battle “E” is presented by the respective type commanders (TYCOM) to ships under their cognizance that have achieved the highest level of combat readiness.
Capt. Terry B. Kraft, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer, said he credits the award to the hard working officers and crew.
“I’m extremely proud of our departments who worked hard at earning this prestigious award,” said Kraft. “The entire crew can take pride in knowing that Ronald Regan was awarded its first ‘Battle E’ on the ship’s maiden deployment.”
TYCOMs present departmental awards at the end of the competitive calendar year to departments that have achieved outstanding levels of departmental readiness, a prerequisite to the winner of the Battle “E.”
Ronald Reagan earned the Battle “E” during a year packed full of milestones for the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, including the ship’s maiden combat deployment
in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, as well as maritime security operations.
“Ronald Reagan’s readiness allowed us to excel during a challenging year that included our maiden combat deployment, 3M assessment, an Operational Reactor Safeguards Examination, and sustainment training under the Fleet Response Plan,” said Kraft. “We’ve (known) for a long time how dedicated the men and women are on board Ronald Reagan and this achievement demonstrates their total commitment.”
In addition to the maiden combat deployment, the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) also participated in Exercise Valiant Shield 2006 that involves more than 20,000 Sailors, Airmen, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guardsmen. The exercise utilized more than 300 aircraft and 28 ships from the Ronald Reagan, Kitty Hawk, and Abraham Lincoln CSGs
, as well as the Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Ronald Reagan also was awarded the Capt. Edward F. Ney Award for excellence food service and the “Golden Anchor” award for retention excellence during 2006.
“Congratulations to USS Ronald Reagan for your selection as Battle “E” winners,” said Vice Adm. James Zortman, commander Naval Air Forces. “As well for your hard work and demonstrated superior performance.”
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named after the 40th U.S. President, and carries the motto of “Peace through Strength,” a recurrent theme during the Reagan presidency.
The Ronald Reagan CSG departed San Diego Jan. 27 on a surge deployment in order to fill the role of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy’s only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier, as it undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokuska, Japan.
From USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs