USS Hartford Gets Arleigh Burke Fleet Throphy
The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) received the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy during a ceremony at Naval Submarine Base New London, July 16, for being Atlantic Fleet’s most improved Navy vessel in 2012.
The Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy is awarded annually to the most-improved ships or aviation squadrons in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. The Hartford crew was presented a brass plaque that will be mounted on a bulkhead inside the sub.
“Everyone worked their tails off, but looking back and seeing how far we have come is really impressive,” said Machinist’s Mate (Weapons) 2nd Class Aidan Walsh. “We started at a point where we knew what needed to be done to get the ship ready for missions.”
Hartford returned to Groton in November following a deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. Adm. Bill Gortney, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command commended the crew for its dedication.
“You all are the recipient of this terrific, highly prestigious award,” said Gortney.
He said to Hartford Commanding Officer Cmdr. Steve Wilkinson, “You earned it, your Chief’s Mess earned it, and your Sailors earned it for doing what you do during the workup cycle and your phenomenal last deployment. Congratulations on a job really well done.”
Hartford crew members are proud that they earned the newly awarded distinction through teamwork.
“When I checked aboard I could really sense the potential in our crew,” said Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 2nd Class (SS) Mitch Williams. “We came together as a team in order to get the job done and I think we are better for it.”
Hartford families are part of the team as well, a point Gortney acknowledged.
“Would this have happened without your families? No way,” said Gortney. “You all are the away team, but you’re only successful because of the home team. We want to thank the home team who allow this to happen.”
Following the ceremony, Sailors and their families enjoyed a command picnic at North Lake recreational area.
USS Hartford was commissioned Dec. 10, 1994 and is the second U.S. naval vessel named in honor of Connecticut’s capital city.
Press Release, July 17, 2013; Image: US Navy