NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors, Marines and civilians from Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) and its tenet commands and subordinate units competed in the Surface Line Week (SLW) 2015 Challenge May 11-15 at Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
SLW 2015 is a resurgence of a SURFLANT tradition which allows commands to come together as a Surface Force with the ability to showcase athletic and professional skills in a week-long friendly competition.
"SLW is a SURFLANT tradition," said Lt. Barbara Duncan, SLW 2015 coordinator. "The goal is to allow our Sailors to display their athletic and professional talents while building camaraderie throughout the Surface community and the waterfront."
More than 1400 Sailors from 23 ships and commands in the Norfolk area demonstrated their skills in more than 15 events. The events highlighted this year's motto; "Celebrating 240 Years of Naval Heritage."
Competitors had an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in shipboard skills through events which included the corpsman relay, marksmanship, ship handling, Bosun Olympics, Damage Control Olympics and Search and Rescue swimmer competitions. Physical abilities and teamwork were also tested in a fitness competition, softball, basketball, volleyball, and bowling tournaments.
"SLW brings all the surface combatants out together for some good old fashioned teamwork," said USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) Chief Gas Turbine Systems Technician(Mechanical) Jeremy Costly. "It's a challenge for everyone and a break from the monotony."
In addition to competing in the events, SURFLANT subordinate commands were also active in the creation and coordination of the week's events.
"It's nice because it brings together Sailors from divisions that wouldn't necessarily work together," said Ensign Kelly Brockra, gunnery officer aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51). "It gives them a chance to have fun and work in a team environment with their shipmates."
SLW 2015 concluded May 15 with a chili cook-off and best burger competition at Breezy Point Park on Naval Station Norfolk.
"You all made me very proud by representing your commands even though I know how busy you are," said Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, commander, SURFLANT. "And more importantly, you being here is a testament to how proud you are of your command, shipmates and what you do."
Awards for the week were given for first, second, and third place in large command and small command categories.
The amphibious category overall champion was the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), the crudes category overall champion was the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), and the overall grand champion of SLW was Mesa Verde.
For all the latest information about SLW, including the schedule of events and the current standings, follow SURFLANT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/surflant.