SILVERDALE, Wash. (Sept. 30, 2020) – Rear Adm. Blake Converse, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited strategic deterrent units in the Pacific Northwest and presented the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy, Sept. 30.
Converse began his visit by meeting with Rear Adm. Doug Perry, commander, Submarine Group 9, which was followed by tours of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines USS Nevada (SSBN 733) and USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735).
“It was absolutely great to have Adm. Converse and Adm. Perry visit the submarine so that we can show off the amazing Pennsylvania crew and everything that our ship has accomplished,” said Cmdr. Roger Ferguson, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, commanding officer, USS Pennsylvania (Gold). “We continue to support the mission, even with all the challenges of COVID-19. The SSBN force is always ready and out there fighting, so it’s really great to get the opportunity to share that with our leadership.”
After touring the SSBN units, Converse presented The Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for 2019 to the Sailors assigned to the Gold Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) at Deterrent Park onboard Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
“Throughout 2019, Nebraska (Gold) demonstrated the highest improvement across the most warfighting areas, not only in the Pacific SSBN Force, but across all of the Pacific Fleet – and that is absolutely huge,” said Perry. “That was after coming out of a two-year overhaul. To rebuild the crew and enable them to get right back on the nuclear watchbill and demonstrate nuclear deterrence is absolutely phenomenal. Each and every Sailor here today really has given their all and made us proud.”
Nebraska (Gold) was announced as the 2019 Pacific Fleet winner via Naval message in April. The trophy itself is awarded annually to one submarine, ship or aircraft squadron, on both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleet, for having achieved the greatest improvement in battle efficiency during the calendar year, based upon the battle efficiency competition.
“This is a huge honor for me to present the Arleigh Burke award. [Arleigh Burke] was a major advocate to [President] Eisenhower on the need for a strategic deterrence force, so he had a big hand in ensuring our force is able to execute this critical mission for our nation,” said Converse. “Arleigh Burke was known for his hard-charging focus on fleet tactics and competency, and that’s why the Arleigh Burke trophy is about the most improved fleet vessel, whether it be a warship or submarine, in tactical performance and operational performance. It is about how well you’ve improved over the last year, and the Sailors of Nebraska (Gold) have done that in spades. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you did to earn this Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy… and for everything that you do on a day-to-day basis to support our strategic deterrence force.”
Converse also held a commanding officer’s call at Trident Training Facility Bangor; visited with the staff at Commander, Submarine Squadron 17; Commander, Submarine Squadron 19 and Commander, Submarine Development Group 5; then observed a command and control exercise with the Gold Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737).
COMSUBPAC is the principal advisor to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet for submarine matters. The force includes attack, ballistic-missile and auxiliary submarines, submarine tenders, floating submarine docks, deep submergence vehicles and submarine rescue vehicles throughout the Pacific. They provide anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, precision land strike, mine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and early warning and special warfare capabilities to U.S. Pacific Fleet and strategic deterrence capabilities to U.S. Strategic Command.
For more information about Commander, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet, visit https://www.csp.navy.mil/.
For more news from Commander, Submarine Group 9, visit www.facebook.com/SubGru9.