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SAN DIEGO - USS Coronado (LCS 4) Blue Crew was presented with the 2017 Battle Effectiveness "E" award by Capt. Matthew McGonigle, commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1, May 11.
Commander, Naval Surface Forces selected Coronado Blue Crew in March of this year, the first time the crew has received the prestigious unit award.
Conducted annually, the Battle "E" recognizes superior readiness and execution of operational assignments across the Fleet. It requires excellence across multiple areas to include maritime warfare, engineering, survivability, command and control, logistics management and ship safety.
"This award is the culmination of a great team effort, which began as early as 2015 in preparation for the LCS 2 variant maiden deployment," said Cmdr. Larry Repass, commanding officer, Coronado Blue Crew and a native of Chicago, Illinois.
Coronado Blue Crew deployed aboard Coronado from March to December 2017 for the second half of the ship's maiden deployment to the 7th Fleet area of operations. The crew carried out ten multilateral exercises with foreign navies across the Western Pacific, most notably Pacific Griffin with Singapore. During this exercise, Coronado Blue Crew coordinated the first ever over-the-horizon launch of a Harpoon missile with the MQ-8B Fire Scout aerial vehicle as a targeting platform. The crew's accomplishments marked major progress for the LCS program and surface forces as a whole.
"It's an honor to be part of this crew," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class John Murphy. "To me, this award proves how far hard work can go, and I'm proud of what we've done for the LCS program."
As of April 2018 Coronado Blue Crew was permanently assigned to the ship, which is one of four dedicated LCS test ships.
Designated LCS testing ships are single-crewed and focus solely on testing hardware, software and concepts of operations for specific mission modules in order to develop the best tactics and doctrine within each ship's specified warfare area. Testing enables integration of new technologies into the program along with developing tactics and techniques while boosting the operational availability of other LCS assets.
LCS is a high-speed, agile, shallow draft, mission-focused surface combatant designed for operations in the littoral environment, yet fully capable of open ocean operations. As part of the surface fleet, LCS has the ability to counter and outpace evolving threats independently or within a network of surface combatants.