Marine Corps F-35 Lightning II fighters fly alongside the USS America. Navy photo

The Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship and one of its oldest both received the Navy’s Battle Effectiveness Award — the Battle “E” — for 2016.

The USS America and USS Boxer, both homeported in San Diego, were among 36 ships receiving the designation, the Navy announced Friday.

Every year, the Battle ‘E’ is given to the ships, submarines, and other Navy units which demonstrate a superior standard of performance during a year-long evaluation cycle that assesses the readiness to carry out the required mission.

It was the first award for the America, which will embark on its maiden deployment this summer.

“From the first RIMPAC to the first Joint Strike Fighter testing, America has performed brilliantly,” said Capt. Joe Olson, the ship’s commanding officer. “This award is not about the triad, but about the sailors on the deckplates making it happen. I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

For the Boxer, it was the sixth consecutive year and the 12th time overall that the ship has received the award.

“Boxer has maintained sustained superior performance while both at sea and in port, and it really speaks of the crews’ great commitment to the mission and battle readiness,” said Cmdr. Eric Cottrell, operations officer.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.