PEARL HARBOR - Winners of the Pacific Submarine Force 2015 Battle Efficiency (Battle "E") competition were announced Jan. 1, in a message to the Force from Rear Adm. Frederick J. Roegge, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC).
"The competition for Battle Efficiency awards was extremely tough," said Roegge in his message to the force. "These awards recognize commands which were evaluated during the past year to have attained the highest overall or departmental readiness to carry out their wartime tasks."
"Each crew member of an award winner can be justifiably proud of their contribution to improve Pacific Submarine Force readiness," Roegge continued. "I am extremely proud of your outstanding performance. Well done and congratulations!"
The Battle "E" competition is conducted annually to strengthen individual command performance, improve overall force readiness, and recognize outstanding performance. The award symbolizes overall readiness of commands throughout the Pacific Submarine Force, and their ability to carry out assigned wartime tasks.
Based on criteria compiled over a year-long competition, units from each submarine squadron in the Pacific Fleet are recognized, in addition to submarine tenders and special category assets. The awards are presented by the leadership of each squadron or command to the unit under their charge, which has demonstrated the highest level of battle readiness during the evaluation year.
The 2015 COMSUBPAC Battle "E" winners, their homeports, and commanding officers are:
Commander, Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 1, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - the Virginia-class attack submarine USS North Carolina (SSN 777), commanded by Cmdr. Gary Montalvo.
Commander, Submarine Development Squadron (SUBDEVRON) 5, based in Bangor, Washington - the lead ship of her class, attack submarine USS Seawolf (SSN 21), commanded by Cmdr. Jeff Bierley.
SUBRON 7, based at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), commanded during the competition by Cmdr. Tim Poe and Cmdr. Jake Foret.
SUBRON 11, based in San Diego, California - the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hampton (SSN 767), commanded during the competition by Cmdr. Lincoln Reifsteck and Cmdr. Theron Davis.
SUBRON 15, based at Polaris Point, Guam - the Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Key West (SSN 722), commanded by Cmdr. John Thompson.
SUBRON 17, based in Bangor, Washington - the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada (SSBN 733), whose Blue Crew was commanded by Cmdr. James McIver, and Gold Crew was commanded by Cmdr. Chad Hennings.
SUBRON 19, based in Bangor, Washington - the Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727), whose Gold Crew was commanded during the competition by Capt. Benjamin Pearson and Capt. Gustavo Gutierrez, and whose Blue Crew was commanded during the competition by Capt. Erik Burian and Capt. Joseph Turk.
For the submarine tender category - USS Frank Cable (AS 40), home-ported at Polaris Point, Guam, commanded during the competition by Capt. Mark Benjamin and Capt. Andrew St. John.
In the Special Category, two units were recognized, to include:
The auxiliary repair floating dry dock Arco (ARDM 5), based in San Diego, California, commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Sims.
Undersea Rescue Command (URC), based in San Diego, California, commanded during the competition by Capt. Andrew Kimsey and Cmdr. Mark Hazenberg.