US Navy names top submarine hunter in Pacific Fleet

Commander, Naval Surface Forces of the United States Navy awarded forward-deployed, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) the 2020 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Bloodhound Award for the Pacific Fleet, Feb. 22.

The ASW Bloodhound Award is presented annually to one Pacific Fleet and one Atlantic Fleet ship for exceptional performance in the ASW mission area. Barry was selected for consistently demonstrating technical prowess, high levels of equipment readiness, and the overall level of skill and training of her operators.

Over the past five years, multiple forward-deployed Yokosuka based ships have won this prestigious fleet-wide award, including last year’s recipient USS Milius (DDG 69).

“Barry’s Sailors are truly the finest operators I’ve had the privilege of working with,” said Lt. Paris Bess, Barry’s anti-submarine warfare officer . “2020 provided an unprecedented opportunity for Barry to sharpen our ASW skills. The team worked incredibly hard and overcame a diverse set of challenges, leading to breakthroughs in how our Navy hunts for submarines.”

Throughout 2020, Barry conducted numerous training events, bi-lateral and multi-national exercises, and operations throughout the Indo-Pacific testing and highlighting the crew’s ability to conduct both strike group and theater ASW. Working alongside regional partners and allies, Barry integrated proven tactics and techniques with emerging technologies to sharpen independent, joint, and multi-national ASW proficiency.

During the 2020 U.S. Navy/Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Bi-Lateral Advanced Warfighting Training (BAWT) exercise, Barry conducted simulated integrated submarine engagements with USS Mustin (DDG 89) and multiple JMDSF ships, as well as both USN and JMSDF maritime patrol aircraft. Additionally, Barry conducted multiple ASW-related events during exercises Pacific Vanguard, Valiant Shield, and Keen Sword, in locations across the 7th Fleet area of operations.

“Our team trains well and executes even better. I am extremely proud of our ASW team,” said Cmdr. Chris Gahl, commanding officer of USS Barry. “Our team’s ability to immediately cooperate with our partners and allies strengthens our united force, which pays dividends during real-world operations as we work together to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific. We will fly the Bloodhound pennant with pride.”

After official notification of the award, Capt. Chase Sargeant, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 15, presented Barry with the Bloodhound pennant which will be flown throughout 2021.

“To see the pennant fly over my ship and know that I belong the best ASW ship in the Pacific Fleet makes me feel extremely proud to be a part of this Barry team,” said Sonar Technician Surface 2nd Class Mavrik McMeekan. “This is why they call Barry the finest forward deployed destroyer.”

Barry is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50 to 70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region. PACOM.MIL