NORFOLK

For meritorious anti-submarine warfare (ASW) preparation and prowess, the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), was awarded the Atlantic Fleet’s Bloodhound Award today during an onboard ceremony.

Representing the best of the best, each year, the Bloodhound Award is presented to one ship in the Atlantic Fleet and one in the Pacific Fleet, which displays the highest level of ASW warfighting readiness. It is a critical mission area. The Bloodhound Award winner features unique proficiency and dedication towards the ASW mission area and stands out in both the training and operational aspects.

“It’s an honor serving with the amazing Sailors in Sonar Division and the rest of the Mason team,” said Lt. Robert Stankewitz, the ship’s anti-submarine warfare officer. “Everyone played an integral part in earning this award.”

Mason’s ASW team began their anti-submarine warfare qualifications during the ship’s 2018 basic phase training cycle and was certified during their composite training unit exercise prior to the 2019 deployment. Sensor operators and sonar suite technicians used training opportunities provided by the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) and Afloat Training Group Norfolk (ATGLANT) and demonstrated time after time their mastery of the SQQ-89A(V)15 ACB09 suite along with their warfighting proficiency of the underwater domain.

During the 2019 deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation, the crew successfully conducted multi-warfare missions under heightened regional tensions while enhancing maritime security and freedom of navigation in those regions of the world. Despite the arduous nature of the ship’s operations, the technical and tactical proficiency of her crew sustained a high level of combat and materiel readiness. Following her deployment, the crew continued to build on their exceptional reputation and flawlessly conducted operations and training exercises in the Western Atlantic Ocean while also making preparations to enter a Depot Modernization Availability.

“The team really came together; ASW is a team effort that spans the entirety of the ship from the sensor operators to the bridge and engineering plant,” said Chief Sonar Technician (SW) Michael DellaPosta. “Mason Sailors have worked cohesively to maintain the highest state of equipment readiness necessary to ensure mission success and flawlessly demonstrated unmatched tactical prowess in anti-submarine warfare tactics.

“I have never been more proud of this ship or our Navy.”

Mason, which also earned this award in 2015, will humbly and proudly fly the coveted ASW Bloodhound pennant until next year.

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