The ballistic missile submarine USS Alaska is no stranger to the award, winning it for the fourth time since 2012, and a fifth time, overall.
Vice Adm. Charles "Chas" Richard presented the trophy to the crew Thursday, praising them for their hard work and dedication.
"You have all worked incredibly hard to bring this trophy back to the Alaska for the fifth time," Richard said.
The award, created by the U.S. Strategic Command Consultation Committee based in Omaha, Neb., and first presented in 1971, is in four different military land and sea commands responsible for nuclear deterrence: global operations, intercontinental ballistic missile, strategic aircraft operations and submarine ballistic missile. Selection for the award in each category is based on evaluations, achievement, safety and factors such as community involvement and humanitarian actions.
The Alaska spent 270 days at sea in 2016, conducting three strategic patrols, including the longest continuous alert period of any unit from Kings Bay the past four years.
"You and your families should be proud of this," said Richard. "You provide an invaluable asset to the U.S.'s strategic forces and provide peace to the American people."
The Alaska competed against the Navy's 13 other Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines to earn the award. The boats, nicknamed "boomers," are considered an undetectable launch platform for ballistic intercontinental missiles as a retaliatory deterrent to nuclear attack.
The two crews of the Alaska, that alternate patrols, also earned the 2016 Battle Efficiency Award for the best command in Submarine Group 20.
--This article is written by Gordon Jackson from The Brunswick News, Ga. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.