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Battle E, Battle Ready, Battle ‘Brothers’

“The strategy focuses on opportunities – not threats; on optimism – not fear; and on confidence – not doubt.  It recognizes the challenges imposed by the uncertain conditions in a time of rapid change and makes the case for the necessity of U.S. seapower in the 21st Century.”

The world is rapidly changing, and the Navy is adjusting accordingly. The way we prepare; the way we fight, and the way we execute our strategy … we are adapting to clandestine threats from the enemy. At the core of it all are Sailors and civilians who maintain the world’s most powerful Navy. As the Chief of Naval Operations Sailing directions clearly dictate, we must “Be Ready” at all times.  Part of being ready is maintaining the warfighting capabilities of the fleet at all times, which includes continuous upkeep and maintenance of its ships. The Navy holds an annual competition – called the Battle Efficiency (“E”) – that looks at the fleet’s battle readiness, measures and recognizes sustained superior service within a calendar year, and selects the best of the best in various categories. The top aircraft carriers for 2011 were recently announced Feb. 10, and the San Diego-based Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and the Norfolk, Va.-based USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) prevailed. The Battle “E” represents a personal and professional point of pride and a well-deserved acknowledgement for each ship. This year’s competition espouses a true sense of pride and competition as two Sailors – “brothers” – one from Bush and Vinson, rekindled their sibling rivalry, so to speak.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70)

Carl Vinson’s Culinary Specialist Seaman Phillip Collins, grew up with Bush’s Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Ryan Cowan, in their hometown of Los Angeles. Though not related by blood, the “godbrothers’” relationship runs deep throughout the years spent together.

They grew up together, went to all four years of high school together, and their parents are really good friends. Throughout their lives, the spirit of competition has and will always be a key element in their relationship.

“We’re always competing with each other,” said Cowan. “Whether it’s sports, video games, or professional accomplishments, we’re constantly trying to out-do the other.”

Although they’re now living on opposite coasts, they still keep in touch through e-mails and phone calls, and whenever Cowan can make it back to California.

It’s through those e-mails and occasional vacation time, that they keep their competitive streak alive, incorporating the achievement of professional goals. Both Sailors also say the Battle “E” represents a personal and professional point of pride and a well-deserved acknowledgement for each ship.

“It’s a great accomplishment. I’m proud of my chain of command, my ship. It’s pretty cool. We worked really hard these two deployments. We haven’t been home a lot, and we’re being recognized for those sacrifices,” Collins said.

USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

Cowan agrees saying the Battle “E” is a culmination of the hard work and sacrifice that he and so many others put in during deployment.

“This award reflects the dedication to success that we have on board the [Bush],” said Cowan.



Sailors and Civilians will remain the source of the Navy’s warfighting capability:

”– Our people will be diverse in experience, background and ideas; personally and professionally ready; and proficient in the operation of their weapons and systems.

”– Our Sailors and Civilians will continue a two-century tradition of warfighting excellence, adaptation, and resilience.

— Our character and our actions will remain guided by our commitment to the nation and to each other as part of one Navy team.

— We must ensure today’s force is ready for its assigned missions. Maintaining ships and aircraft to their expected service lives is an essential contribution to fleet capacity.

— The reach and effectiveness of ships and aircraft will be greatly expanded through new and updated weapons, unmanned systems, sensors, and increased power.




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