USS North Dakota Commander applauds state for ship’s success underway

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - UPDATE: USS North Dakota Commander Mark Robinson says the submarine won the Battle E award after its deployment.

The Virginia-class nuclear submarine spent 184 days deployed around the world. Here's some stats from that deployment:


  • For 80 percent of the crew, this was their first deployment.

  • Of the 184 days they were deployed, 137 of them were in total communications blackout.

  • They traveled 34,000 miles in that time, even going above the Arctic Circle.

  • They ate 4,700 chocolate chip cookies!


But eating cookies wasn't the only sweet thing on the trip. Robinson says 31 sailors qualified while underway and talked about the honor behind winning the Battle E award.

"The ship that is most ready to go to battle, most ready to execute the full range of combat operations and they give them the Battle E award. Submarine squadron 4 gave the Battle E to their best ship and that ship is the North Dakota," said Robinson.

During his "state of the ship" speech to the Senate on Tuesday, Robinson also talked about the role the state plays in making his crew better.

"Our crew's lounge area is covered with cards from North Dakota school children. We have all kinds of treasured gifts around the ship. When we stopped for a halfway day, so halfway through a deployment, we like to pull back a little bit and give the guys a little respite, we did it with a bunch of sunflower seeds and a bunch of Dot's Pretzels," said Robinson.

While they were underway, Robinson says they welcomed five new babies to the ship's family as well.

ORIGINAL STORY: USS North Dakota Commander Mark Robinson says the submarine won the Battle E award after its deployment.

Commander Robinson updated state senators today. He says the award is given to the ship that the squadron deems most battle ready. While praising the crew for their individual accomplishments, he talked about the role the state plays in making his crew better.

“Our crew's lounge area is covered with cards from North Dakota school children. We have all kinds of treasured gifts around the ship. When we stopped for a halfway day, so halfway through a deployment, we like to pull back a little bit and give the guys a little respite, we did it with a bunch of sunflower seeds and a bunch of Dot's Pretzels,” said Cmdr. Mark Robinson, USS North Dakota Commanding Officer

Robinson says during 184 day deployment, 31 sailors qualified as undersea warriors and earned their dolphin pins.