Competition builds bonds between squadrons
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines pride themselves on their ability to bring the fight through the air, on land and at sea. While some Marines specialize in one of the three, the ability to adapt and overcome to accomplish the mission is shared by all Marines.
Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing proved their capabilities extend far beyond high altitudes during the 2nd annual super squadron competition at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Oct. 26.
The competition, hosted by MCAS Futenma leadership, was open to all squadrons with Marine Aircraft Group 36 and Marine Air Control Group 18 as they competed to be crowned super squadron.
"Here, aboard MCAS Futenma, we are all about one team, one fight," said Sgt. Maj. Brent L. Cook, the air station sergeant major. "The event was about putting the stress of daily life to the side and really getting to know the Marine to the left and right of you through friendly competition."
The competition consisted of 10 rigorous events including a Humvee pull, a bench press competition, dodgeball, flag football and an obstacle course.
Each squadron was separated into 10 teams and collected points according to how each team placed within an event. Teams were composed of at least one officer, one staff noncommissioned officer, one noncommissioned officer and one junior Marine.
"We wanted to set the teams up like that to give the Marines a chance to get to know everybody, not just their peers," said Cook.
Although the meet was designed to build unit cohesion, Marines appeared to relish the opportunity to compete with their brothers and sisters-in-arms even more.
"The Marines look forward to the competition, and our goal is to continue to do it every year," said Sgt. Maj. Ricky L. Fode, the sergeant major with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma.
For the competition, Marine Corps Community Services representatives and squadron family readiness officers provided music, prizes and refreshments to the competitors.
"The help and support we received from MCCS and squadron FROs helped make the day more enjoyable for the Marines and we really appreciate everything they do," said Cook.
The different job responsibilities within a MAW make it difficult for Marines to get to know each other outside of work, according to Gunnery Sgt. John M. Warrenski, an aircraft mechanic with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, 1st MAW, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
"This gave us an opportunity to accomplish something as a whole, as brothers and sisters," said Warrenski. "No matter how good you are at something on your own, as Marines, we need to always train and work together as a team."
Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 earned the most cumulative points and was presented with the super squadron trophy.
"I enjoyed getting out there and competing with my unit," said Sgt. Thomas P. Deyo, an engineer equipment operator with MWSS-172. "While it felt good to win the competition, the greater reward was the opportunity to bond with the other Marines in the wing that we don't normally get to interact with."