Friday, July 16, 2010

Northwest Sailors, Marines Test Their Battle Readiness

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Dagendesh, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Northwest

SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 150 Sailors and Marines attached to Marine Corps Security Force Battalion (MCSFB) Bangor from Bravo Company participated in an all-day super squad competition, consisting of seven events, in Silverdale, Wash., July 13. The competition challenged Bravo Company with a mental and physical competition, testing their ability to comprehend and execute security skills while building espirit de corps with their company.

"Today's super squad competition event is composed of Sailors and Marines arranged into nine squads of 10 Sailors and 10 Marines each and split up to do seven different events," said Master-At-Arms 1st Class Virginia Horton, event coordinator.

Included were an obstacle course, weapons disassemble station and a recapture and recovery drill spread throughout Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.

"The experience was a one-of-a-kind because being in the Navy we don't do a lot of the training the Marines do and so we have to work with the Marines, become one team, get along and follow one order," said Master-At-Arms Seaman Lindsey Zwaagstra, a member of MCSFB, Squad 3.

Events like this competition prepare the Sailors and Marines for real-life situations, said Horton.

"With the obstacle course and anything that is physical, it just steps up their physical ability," said Horton. "The goal is to raise the level of esprit de corps within the Navy and Marine Corps so that we can all work hand-in-hand together."

Horton also said the competition will help prepare the Sailors and Marines to respond to real-life scenarios.

"It was pretty fun and motivating. I think most of it is in your attitude," said Master-At-Arms Seaman Eric Rock, a member of MCSFB, Squad 4. "I think this training is important in a teamwork aspect because Sailors and Marines are working together building good camaraderie with each other."

"Although our hump back was approximately five miles and was probably the hardest part because of trying to keep up with each other, we made it," said Zwaagstra. "I learned that hard work and a good attitude will get you through anything, and I would definitely do this again."

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