By Lt. j.g. Kiley Provenzano, USS Gettysburg Public Affairs
MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command presented the 2013 Battenberg Cup to the crew of guided missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64), July 16, during a ceremony held on the ship's flight deck.
Adm. Bill Gortney presented the cup, awarded annually to the Atlantic Fleet Battle Efficiency Award winner, ship or submarine, with the greatest accumulation of crew achievements.
Since the award's inception in 1905, Gettysburg is only the fifth cruiser to win the Battenberg Cup.
During the award presentation to the Gettysburg crew, Gortney recognized the crew's accomplishment.
"Continue to set the standards you have set," challenged Gortney during the presentation. "I can feel that you are a good ship. I see it in the way you carry yourselves."
Gortney was joined by Commander, Surface Forces Atlantic, Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, in presenting the award.
"You cannot just talk about standards. You have to live them," said Gumataotao. "I'm very proud of you. You had to work it. Don't ever forget that."
"Having the fleet commander come to visit the ship and present this award truly speaks to how important it is," said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Fallon Hiort. "It is amazing and much appreciated to see our hardworking crew rewarded."
Gettysburg's success started with a focus on personal excellence. With a steady focus on positive Sailor development as a command priority, the cruiser was awarded the Golden Anchor award for personnel program excellence. The ship had the Atlantic Fleet's lowest attrition rate and nearly doubled the Navy-wide advancement rate in the fall 2013 Navy advancement exam. Gettysburg continued its excellence by qualifying 99 percent of its petty officers as enlisted surface warfare specialists and a finalist in both the Surface Force Atlantic Sailor of the Year and Shiphandler of the Year competitions. Three Sailors received the prestigious Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award, the most in Surface Forces Atlantic. A Gettysburg Sailor received the 2013 Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Copernicus Award for Information Warfare Excellence.
Gettysburg also received the 2013 Battle "Efficiency" award and all five command excellence awards, excelling in every possible warfare area to win the Harry S. Truman Strike Group recognition.
Additionally, with a long-term commitment to junior officer training and development, Gettysburg returned from deployment with every surface warfare officer qualified as an underway officer of the deck. Furthermore, every qualified surface warfare officer furthered their development with a focus on engineering and returned with the engineering officer of the watch qualification. A member of the wardroom was selected for early command and began the training pipeline to take command of a patrol craft in Japan. Last week, 10 junior officers received their surface warfare officer qualifications.
Gettysburg returned in April from a nine-month deployment with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group to the 6th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility. During that deployment, Gettysburg actively participated in sustained operations with foreign navies, provided humanitarian aide for multiple stranded mariners, wrote several standard operating procedures in use today and checked in more than 17,000 aircraft as air and missile defense commander in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Gettysburg is preparing to enter a prolonged maintenance period over the next 11 months following a fleet exercise and is homeported in Mayport, Florida.