Nos Numerus Unus
Throughout the history of the Santa Barbara, the ship and crew have gained an outstanding reputation as a professional and “can do” team.
Battle Efficiency “E”
Her awards include Battle Efficiency “E” Awards won in 1979, 1980, 1989, and 1993 for exceptional performance from all departments including Maritime Warfare Excellence Award, the Engineering/Survivability Excellence Award, the Command and Control Excellence Award, the Logistics Management Excellence Award.
Meritorious Unit Commendations
She was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation 3 times- in 1973 for numerous records set replenishing at sea during the Vietnam War (earning one campaign star ), in 1988 for her performance during her March 1988 Mediterranean Sea deployment, and 1992-1993 Mediterranean deployment.
Golden Anchor Award & Sailor of the Year
In 1989, she earned the Golden Anchor Award for the best sailor retention in her class of ships, and she was the parent ship for the 1989 Surface Forces Atlantic Sailor of the Year.
Excellence During Persian Gulf War
In 1991, during the first Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Storm), she once again set numerous records, delivering over 7,000 tons of ammunition. She also received Navy Unit Commendation, Southwest Asia Campaign (2 Bronze Stars) Medal, and Kuwait Liberation Medal for her efforts as Red Sea AE during the conflict.
After the Persian Gulf War cease fire, Santa Barbara participated in the 1st underway replenishment with a civilian vessel, the SS Cape Archway.