SAN DIEGO (Jun 15, 2017) Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) and dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) participate in a cardboard boat regatta event during Expeditionary Strike Group THREE's Gator Week 2017. Gator Week serves as an opportunity to come together as a collective amphibious force in an effort to build companionship, honor the Gator Navy's heritage and endorse and encouraging tone of the amphibious force. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jesse Monford/RELEASED)
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ESG-3 Kicks Off Annual Gator Week

SAN DIEGO - Sailors and Marines participated in Gator Week hosted by Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 at Admiral Baker Park June 13 through June 15.

Gator Week serves as an opportunity to come together as a collective amphibious force in an effort to build companionship, honor the Gator Navy's heritage and endorse an encouraging tone of the amphibious force.

"Gator Week is a great opportunity to bring together the world's largest strike group to continue to build camaraderie and esprit de corps," said Command Master Chief Donald Davis, Command Master Chief of ESG-3. "We always talk about building teamwork and maintaining a competitive edge, and Gator Week provides a venue to continue to build on those skills."

Sailors and Marines participated in a variety of events including sporting events, seamanship, physical readiness contests, and cooking competitions.

"Gator Week is all about 'team'," said Chief Air Traffic Controller Scott Phelan, a Tactical Air Squadron (TACRON) 12 Sailor who was the lead representative for the basketball event. "It's good to kind of let out hair down and get away from what we do on the ships every day. When you put these people together while doing this in a fun manner, you just really get a chance to break away."

Sailors and Marines from across the strike group looked forward to taking a break from their normal work agendas to show team spirit, while enjoying the seriousness of friendly competition.

"It's physical activity so we stay healthy, active, and we get to bring family out as well," said Seaman DJ T. Regala, a Sailor currently assigned to Beachmaster Unit (BMU) 1, who participated in volleyball and flag football. "I like that people really are having a great time. Even though we all may not know one another, we play a sport together and that alone helps build team bonding."

ESG-3 comprises three amphibious squadrons, eight naval support elements and 13 amphibious warships comprised of more than 13,500 active-duty and reserve Sailors and Marines. The mission of ESG-3 is to serve as the command element for Marine expeditionary-brigade level expeditionary operations as commander of an amphibious task force.

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