March 16, 2017 – Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) received the 2016 Battle Effectiveness Award (Battle “E”), March 14, marking the second time the ship received the honor. The Battle “E” is presented throughout the Navy to ships whose crews consistently exhibit excellence in wartime capabilities and optimal mission readiness within their hull class and region.
Vice Adm. Thomas Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces/Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, released the naval message announcing the award which recognizes a command’s ability to perform efficiently in an operational environment and sustain superior overall performance in each department.
“The Battle ‘E’ means more than just a pat on the back,” explained Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Melson. “It is a testament to the crew’s hard work and ownership that make this the best ship in its class. With every inspection, this crew demonstrated that they were the waterfront standard and their performance on a combat deployment continues to inspire me. The Sailors of this great warship should wear their ribbons with pride!”
Ships and squadrons competing for the Battle “E” must attain at least four of the five Command Excellence Awards throughout the competitive period. Makin Island was recognized for excellence in maritime warfare (Black “E”), command and control (Green “E”), logistics management (Blue “E”), and ship safety (Yellow “E”).
Makin Island spent the first three quarters of 2016 working through the basic and integrated training phases, and successfully completed a Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) assessment. Due to the crew’s accomplishments, Makin Island departed Naval Station San Diego on-time for deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of operation.
“The crew’s efforts sustained the health of the ship, and we were able to support a range of critical maritime security operations without stopping for an MDVR (mid-deployment voyage repair),” said Melson. “No big deck has done that in a long time, and the men and women aboard this ship should be proud of that accomplishment.”
Makin Island sailors who were members of the crew anytime during 2016 are now eligible to wear the Battle “E” ribbon on their uniforms. Any Makin Island sailor who already has a Battle “E” from a previous command can now add an additional “E” device to the ribbon.
Makin Island is the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU) and Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, is currently conducting maritime security operations and supporting theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.