Navy bestows top award to crew of Bath-built ship

As the crew of the USS Mason gathered accolades for its exemplary Naval service, NEWS CENTER dug into the video archives to recall the ceremony in 2001 when the ship was first launched at Bath Iron Works

NORFOLK, Virginia (NEWS CENTER) -- A record of excellence compiled by the USS Mason brings pride to the Maine shipyard where it was built.

The Mason's crew accepted the 2016 Battenberg Cup from Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Jesse Wilson in a ceremony aboard the ship last week. The trophy is given annually to recognize the best all-around crew achievement in a competition between more than 100 vessels in the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet. In 111 years of the competition, the Mason is only the fifth destroyer to win the award.

“We must have 100 percent ownership of what we do, regardless of assignment, job or seniority," Wilson said to the crew. "You have demonstrated this ownership in your behaviors, character, and technical competence."

The Mason rolled off the production line at Bath Iron Works in 2001. It was the last ship to be launched at BIW by sliding it down the inclined ways into the Kennebec River. That method was replaced with the opening of a land-level facility.

The Mason didn't spend much time in its home port of Norfolk, Virginia in 2016. It traveled 64,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sean, Celtic Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

The visit to the Red Sea last October was especially eventful. The Navy said the Mason along with three other U.S. warships and multiple U.S. merchant vessels were attacked with missiles. The Mason returned fire. In addition to using standard missile defenses, the Navy credited the Mason as the only U.S. warship to successfully use the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile while under attack. The crew's actions earned praise from the Navy for protecting more than 1,000 military and civilian sailors.



The Mason's accolades in 2016 also include the Golden Anchor award for personnel program excellence, as well as the Battle Efficiency "E" and unit tactics awards from Destroyer Squadron 26.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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