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NSA Bahrain’s Waterfront Awarded Battle “E”s

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Samantha P. Montenegro U.S. 5th Fleet

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Three ships forward-deployed to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain’s waterfront were named recipients of the 2018 Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) Award, March 4, 2019.

Cyclone-class coastal patrol ships USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Monsoon (PC 4), and Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship USS Sentry (MCM 3) were the NSA Bahrain recipients of the prestigious award for the calendar year.

The Battle "E" recognizes the ship's overall readiness and was determined by inspections and evaluations of accomplishments and milestones throughout the year. Superior performance in mission areas of maritime warfare, engineering/survivability; command, control, communications and information warfare, logistics management, and ship safety are all assessed.

Lt. Cmdr. Steve Szachta, commanding officer of Monsoon, described the operational tempo that his crew performed in and expressed pride in their accomplishment. Last year, Monsoon had 105 underway days, 67 sea and anchor details, multiple complex mission sets, operations with foreign navies, all while balancing operations with inspections, in-port upkeep, maintenance and program requirements.

“It is tough to train, maintain and operate while forward deployed with a crew of 25 sailors, but that is exactly what this crew has proved they can do, and they do it well,” said Szachta. “We are very proud to fly the Battle 'E' pennant on Monsoon again and I am absolutely honored to have the privilege to lead such a beast of a crew.”

Sentry’s Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Cameron J. Burnette echoed the sentiment of pride and described the dedication his team has to their U.S. 5th Fleet mission.  

“Winning the Battle “E” is a huge accomplishment and testament of our team's dedication to strengthening partner nations’ maritime capabilities and promote security and stability,” said Burnette.

Burnette added that his team of Sentinels is professional and dedicated to their mine hunting mission.

Another patrol craft commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Trager from the USS Tempest, said that the Battle “E” was testament to the hard work his crew had put it during the year.

“It is an especially tremendous achievement for the crew in this difficult area of operations and the quality of the other PC crews on the waterfront," said Trager.

U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations encompasses about 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean. The expanse is comprised of 20 countries and includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.