New Submarine Force Battle 'E' Instruction Released

Norfolk, Virginia - Commander, Submarine Forces released an updated instruction for the Battle Efficiency (“E”) Competition Award for submarine commands.

“The purpose of the Battle Efficiency competition is to strengthen our combat readiness and to recognize the units most ready for battle throughout the year. This instruction update is one of multiple, force-wide efforts underway to build our combat culture and to strengthen our emphasis on our warfighting mission,” said Capt. Robert Gaucher, Chief of Staff for Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic.

While the overall warfighting readiness of a crew is the main criterion of the award, other criteria were updated in the instruction as well. These criteria include mission accomplishment, turning self-assessment into improvement, warfighting and tactical innovation, and resiliency in executing ship’s schedule.

“It is important that every single Sailor recognizes their role in mission readiness,” said COMSUBLANT Force Master Chief John Perryman. “Submarining is a team sport which requires every member of the team to be the absolute best at their position. My hope is that Sailors are really internalizing the shift in our focus to warfighting excellence and this instruction change is another great example of how quickly we need the force to pivot.”

While commodores still make the final decision on who they nominate, the new instruction defines type commander minimum standards based on combat skills demonstrated at sea or in a simulator.

The minimum requirements for nomination can be found in detail in the jointly signed instruction COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPACINST 3590.15F.

“We added prerequisites for a command to be considered for the Battle “E” award,” said Capt. Kevin Mooney, SUBLANT’s Director for Training and Tactical Development (N7). “Once a crew gets over that hurdle, we’re really looking for who is best at wartime mission accomplishment.”

Commands including all types of submarines, submarine tenders, submarine development squadrons, Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems, and special categories such as ships in dry dock are eligible for the award if they meet the minimum requirements.

“Anytime we focus on warfighting it helps the Submarine Force,” said Mooney. “Over the last couple of decades, when the threat of combat submarine operations against a capable undersea adversary was low, we focused mainly on our safety and peacetime missions. However, as the undersea capability of potential adversaries has advanced, the Submarine Force’s main focus has pivoted to developing bold, innovative crews ready to win a war. Consistent with that pivot, the revised instruction rewards crews for achieving warfighting readiness.”

Perryman added that he hopes Sailors are internalizing the shift in their focus to warfighting excellence and that this instruction is a great example of how quickly the force needs to pivot.

In addition to the overall Battle “E” awards, commands will continue to compete for departmental and mission-oriented readiness awards in Engineering, Weapons, Strategic, Navigation/Operations, Communication/Cyber, Supply, Personnel, and Medical Readiness.