By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Erin Lea Boyce, USS Bataan Public Affairs
USS BATAAN, Mediterranean Sea (NNS) -- Multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) was announced as a 2010 Force Health and Wellness Unit Award, or 'Green H,' winner by Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, April 30.
It's the ship's fourth consecutive 'Green H' award.
The 'Green H' is awarded annually to commands who demonstrate commitment to the health and welfare of their Sailors and Marines throughout the year. The award also reflects on the crew's professionalism and readiness to perform their mission at any given time.
"It wasn't necessarily the medical department that received the award, it was the entire ship based on a whole range of things," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman(SW/FMF/SS/DV/PJ) Sean Brown, the medical department's leading chief petty officer. "It included the physical fitness assessment (PFA) scores, our medical readiness, [sexual assault prevention and response] programs, substance abuse, men and women's health, suicide prevention and various other programs."
Bataan's medical department supports the crew with both emergent and preventive health care needs, including smoking cessation, fitness sessions and educational programs promoting a healthy lifestyle.
"It's a daily maintenance," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Charlena Beebe, medical's leading petty officer. "It's how hard you work everyday to maintain the health of the ship and the comfort of the crew."
Maintaining the crew is only one part of the achievement process. The medical professionals aboard Bataan undergo constant training in all aspects of patient care.
Beebe said the staff complement is made up of a number of technical experts, which allows for focused crosstraining. "We do training everyday on different subjects, from qualifications to health promotions."
This is Bataan's 12th 'Green H' award since her commissioning Sept. 20, 1997.
By being awarded the 'Green H,' Bataan can now add another green hash mark beneath the H already painted on the bridge wing.
"It's a symbol of pride for the medical department," said Beebe.
Bataan's crew is confident the trend of medical excellence will continue for years to come.
"We're going to win it again every year," said Beebe. "We have a fantastic crew and a fantastic ship's company that obviously works as hard as we do to make sure that we'll get it every year."
"Everyone on the staff is committed to the crew and to their programs," said Brown.
Bataan is the command ship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.