On May 23, the USS Mason (DDG-87) was awarded the 2016 Battenberg Cup, which is presented annually to the best-all around ship or submarine in the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet based on crew achievements. While the ship was recognized for the entire deployment, the citation singled out a string of incidents in the vicinity of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait in which the destroyer defended itself and several other U.S. vessels from cruise missile attacks fired from the Yemeni coast. The Mason successfully employed multiple defensive countermeasures, including the SM-2 Blk 4 interceptor and the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), while under attack.
“I could not be more proud of the destroyermen of Mason,” said Cmdr. Stephen Aldridge, Mason’s commanding officer. “It was truly a team effort from our INSURV (inspection and survey) in January 2016, all the way through a tremendously successful deployment which concluded in December 2016.” Mason is only the fifth destroyer in the last 111 years to receive the award, competing against larger ships including aircraft carriers and amphibious ships.