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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic


09 June 2021 (NORFOLK, Va. June 9, 2021) -- As selected by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the crew of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) was presented the USS Arizona Memorial Trophy June 9, during a ceremony aboard the ship at Naval Station Norfolk.

Consistent with the accomplishments of USS Arizona (BB 39), the trophy is awarded biennially to the best performing, most combat-ready crew among ships of the surface force with primary missions in strike warfare, surface fire support, and anti-surface warfare. The CNO announced May 28 that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer earned the award.

To be the best, the Winston S. Churchill crew set the standard over the last two years. The crew’s achievements over the competitive cycle epitomize superior combat readiness, as the ship met every operational task and commitment assigned. Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic, delivered the award to the ship’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Timothy F. Shanley.

“As I told the crew on May 21, 2020, the day I took command of Churchill, quoting the famous Adm. Arleigh Burke, ‘the strength of any military organization lies in its combat power,’” said Shanley. “The combat power is the sum of two basic elements, its equipment and its people.

“With combat readiness specifically Churchill's number one priority in my command philosophy, I could not be any prouder of the Churchill crew for their phenomenal achievements over the past two years.”

Churchill represented the Navy on deployment during a worldwide pandemic and demonstrated the ability of the crew to operate anywhere in the world. The ship completed Basic Phase, several pre-deployment workups, a COVID-19 deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleets, and recent passed the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey.

On deployment, Winston S. Churchill traveled nearly 60,000 miles and completed 26 strategic choke point transits, escorting a total of 23 vessels through 14 of those transits. The ship transited the Strait of Gibraltar twice, the Suez Canal twice, the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb 14 times, and the Strait of Hormuz eight times.

The Churchill strike team completed a multitude of advanced strike scenarios in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation, proving time and time again the team’s prowess.

"Winning the Arizona Memorial Trophy was a true honor,” said Gunner’s Mate Chief Adam Waddell, a Weapons Department leader. “As a leader, you see firsthand the hard work that our Sailors put in every day to maintain combat system readiness. Seeing them receive such a prestigious award for their efforts has been one of the greatest moments of my career."

Homeported in Norfolk, DDG 81 is named after Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The ship was the 31st Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer to join the fleet, and was commissioned in Norfolk, Va., March 10, 2001.


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