Montpelier, Texas receive Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy Award

Commander, Submarine Forces, Vice Adm. Joseph E. Tofalo, presented the prestigious Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy Award for 2015 to USS Montpelier (SSN 765) during a pierside presentation at Naval Station Norfolk, July 22.

The award encompasses operational readiness, retention and inspections and is presented each year to the ship or aviation squadron in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets which has had the greatest improvement during the previous year.

“The crew of Montpelier is honored to have been selected as the Atlantic Fleet’s Arleigh Burke [Fleet] Trophy Award winner for 2015,” said Cmdr. Brad Swanbeck, commanding officer of Montpelier. “This award serves as a testament to the monumental effort the team put forth while preparing for and executing a highly successful deployment. Montpelier returned to sea in 2014 following an unplanned dry-docking period that lasted over a year. During 2015, the team focused on rebuilding their operational experience. The unwavering commitment of the crew was reflected daily through their steadily improved performance. Montpelier’s rise to operational excellence is a testament to the crew’s dedication and fighting spirit.”

“You are the most improved unit in the entire Atlantic Fleet,” said Tofalo as he addressed the crew of Montpelier. “As a force commander I can’t tell you how proud I am, not only of you but of USS Texas (SSN 775) who also won the Arleigh Burke award in the Pacific — which means the most improved on both coasts were submarines. A clean sweep for the submarine force.”

As the winner for Pacific Fleet, Texas’ captain and crew believe it was well earned.

“2015 was a tremendous year for Texas; the ship came out of a two-year [Chief of Naval Operations] dry-docking availability in 2014 and spent 2015 preparing for our highly successful Western Pacific deployment,” said Cmdr. Todd Nethercott, Texas’ commanding officer. “Texas went from being a submarine with very little operational experience to one that deployed on time and 100 percent ready to execute the full range of submarine force missions worldwide. The significant improvements in battle efficiency were a testament to the crew’s commitment to success, motivation, and strong work ethic.”

“Being selected as Pacific Fleet’s Arleigh Burke Trophy winner was immensely rewarding for the crew,” added Nethercott. “It validated all of the hard work that they put into preparing for deployment and it was a huge boost to their morale.”

Named after the former Chief of Naval Operations from 1955-1961, the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy comes in the form of a plaque and is awarded annually to one ship or aircraft squadron from both Atlantic and Pacific Fleet units and squadrons, as a permanent award to be retained aboard.

“The crew of USS Texas embodies the readiness and fighting spirit of our submarine force,” said Rear Adm. Frederick J. Roegge, commander, Submarine Force Pacific. “Their dedication to self-assessment and continual improvement culminated in a highly successful Western Pacific deployment. They epitomize high velocity learning. This Arleigh Burke award recognizes USS Texas’ day-to-day high standards of professionalism and achievement.”

Both Montpelier and Texas are fast attack submarines designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships, project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and special operation forces, carry out intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance missions, support battle group operations, and engage in mine warfare.