story & photos
by Jessica Warzeniak
Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presented the Atlantic Fleet Arleigh Burke Trophy to the Los Angeles class fast-attack submarine USS Providence (SSN 719) during a ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London on June 12.
The award is presented annually to the ship or aviation squadron – one in the Atlantic Fleet and one in the Pacific Fleet – that achieved the greatest improvement during the preceding year in operational readiness, inspections, retention and improvement in the Battle Efficiency Award program. Providence was rated six out of six in 2006, but with hard work and dedication, the 140-man crew was able to raise their rating to one out of six, earning them this distinction.
“A unit this size, to be able to be the best in the fleet… It’s extraordinary,” said Admiral Jonathan Greenert, Commander, US Fleet Forces Command. The Admiral explained that compared to a destroyer or other vessels in the fleet, submarines have fewer areas that are rated, making it more difficult for improvement. “Hats off to you! It’s really unusual, but you did it!”
“This isn’t individuals or a small group of individuals,” said Commander Michael Holland, Commanding Officer, USS Providence. “This is every one of you doing things very well, for a very long time.”
During the ceremony, Admiral Greenert passed out awards the crew earned, including the Dolphins Machinist Mate Second Class Daniel Messier earned by passing his submarine qualifications recently.
Providence returned last spring from a demanding seven-month around-the-world deployment, including the execution of three missions in the Western Pacific. Providence was also awarded the Tactical Operations White “T” as part of the 2007 Battle Efficiency Award program.