Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack, USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 collectively earned the 2012 Ramage Award for carrier/air wing operational excellence, March 26.

The Navy-wide award, named for Rear Admiral James “Jig Dog” Ramage, a legendary World War II ace, recognizes the top aircraft carrier/air wing team for best performance as an integrated unit and excellence in Navy aircraft carrier operations.

“It’s an honor to bring this award home for the JCS and CVW-9 team,” said Capt. Dell Bull, commander of CVW-9. “What is significant about this award is its recognition of the ship and air wing team. Operational excellence can only happen when there is support from all members.”

Stennis and CVW-9 began their current deployment in August 2012, five months after completing a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets areas of responsibilities.

“We have asked a lot of our crew over the past two years and they have risen to the challenge every time,” said Capt. Ron Reis, Stennis’ commanding officer. “The leadership approach was to focus on the fundamentals: procedural compliance, operational risk management, and striving for daily sustained excellence. In the end, the crew met and exceeded all standards embodying this achievement.”

The Stennis/CVW-9 team was selected for the award over all other carrier and air wing teams stationed in the Western United States.

“We have done exceptionally well over the last two deployments,” said Bull. “There were several other strike groups deployed over the same period that performed magnificently in their own right, so being recognized as the top performer is extremely rewarding and humbling.”

CVW-9 includes Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112 “Golden Hawks,” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 114 “Top Hatters,” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 141 “Black Aces,” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97 “War Hawks,” Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192 “Golden Dragons,” Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ)133 “Wizards,” Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 “Providers,” Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 “Eightballers,” and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 “Raptors.”

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group, consisting of Stennis, CVW-9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The JCSCSG entered the 7th Fleet AOR March 26, after spending more than five months operating with and supporting U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

For more information on the JCSCSG, visit http://www.stennis.navy.mil or http://www.facebook.com/stennis74.

For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), visit
http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn74/.

(photo)
Sailors perform safety checks on an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 before taking off from the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) flight deck . (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katarzyna Kobiljak/ Released)

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Stuart Folmar, from Winnsboro, Texas, directs an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez/ Released)

Aviation Machinist’s Mate Airman Sarah Tibbetts, from Rocky Face, Ga., directs an MH-60s Knight Hawk from the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 for takeoff on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Ignacio D. Perez/ Released)

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