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Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presented the award to Retail Specialist Second Class Petty Officer Jonathon Williams, the longest serving Sailor on Mitscher, who accepted on behalf of the crew.
The Battenberg Cup has been awarded annually since 1977 to the ship or submarine selected by the fleet commander as the best all-around in the Atlantic Fleet, based on accumulation of crew achievements.
“I am deeply honored and proud to present the Battenberg Cup to the crew of the USS Mitscher, who without a doubt embody the spirit, tenacity, and toughness that this achievement demands, “ Caudle said. “Today is a fine day to be a Mitscherman and every crewmember can proudly claim that they were integral in demonstrating the warfighting excellence this 115 year old legacy demands.”
In 2021 Mitscher completed a Board of Inspection and Survey assessment following a nine month deployment where she served as the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Commander for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Carrier Strike Groups. While underway Mitscher supported Operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel, and Final Countdown; and multi-service, multi-national exercises Neptune Phoenix and Nemesis Raptor.
“Your many accomplishments set your ship apart from all the others in the Atlantic Fleet,” said Caudle. “When you are part of the greatest Navy in the world, how does a ship distinguish itself? The USS Mitscher knows the secret. Specifically, each and every crewmember commits to giving their best every day to their ship and the mission. It is through a combination of continuous improvement, a drive for excellence, and unmatched esprit de corps that has led your ship to this celebration of greatness.”
During the course of her deployment, Mitscher earned the Global War on Terrorism expeditionary and service Medals and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal. Mitscher’s crew achievements, across all mission and warfare areas in 2021 include; Battle “E”, Commander Naval Surface Forces "Green H" award, Golden Anchor award, Ship’s Store Retail and Service Excellence award, Commander Naval Surface Forces Atlantic Logistics Readiness Excellence Award, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 22 Unit Tactics award, and was awarded five Command Excellence awards.
"I mean this with the utmost sincerity, it has been the highlight of my career to serve with the crew aboard the USS Mitscher. Every Mitscherman aboard wholly personifies our motto ’Seize the Day,’” said Cmdr. Dominic Kramer, commanding officer, USS Mitscher. “Each member of this team comes ready to seize each and every challenge and opportunity placed in front of them and this is why we are honored and humbled to be awarded the Battenberg Cup, a cup with a rich history just like our ship and crew.”
Notably, Mitscher responded to two separate attacks on merchant vessels. During the first, they provided overwatch and facilitated the embarkation of an ordnance disposal team. The vessel involved in the second incident was abandoned by hostile forces upon Mitscher’s swift response preventing the capture of crew members.
Two other commands were nominated for the 2021 Battenberg Cup; USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
The silver plated trophy was gifted to North Atlantic Fleet Commander Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans in 1905 by British Rear Adm. Prince Louis of Battenberg and requested that it serve as a challenge cup between the men of the North Atlantic Fleet in competitions of athletic stamina. Between 1905 and 1940 men in the North Atlantic Fleet competed in 52 rowing competitions for the cup.
USS West Virginia (BB 48) was the last ship to win the challenge cup in a cutter race. The trophy sank in Pearl Harbor along with West Virginia during the bombings on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. After her resurrection West Virginia held the cup until her decommissioning in 1947 and was then housed at several different commands and museums until 1978.
In 1978 the Battenberg Cup was reinstituted as a symbol of extraordinary recognition within the Atlantic Fleet.