Since 1981, Sailors, Marines, Department of the Navy civilian and federal employees from both sea and shore commands come together to compete in both athletic and professional events to build camaraderie within the Surface community and along the waterfront. Surface Line Week (SLW) gives all members of the community the opportunity to showcase their professional and athletic skills.
This year also carried a deep military significance: the centennial celebration of the Allied victory in World War I. To honor this important anniversary, this year’s theme was “Celebrating 100 years of Sea Supremacy” since our very own ships played a pivotal role in securing an Allied victory back in 1918.
“This is a very special event with that created spectacular competition between 30 ships across almost 40 events,” said Capt. Chris Engdahl, chief of staff, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, during the closing ceremony. “We do this event so you get professional, tactical training and you are surrounded by folks who have met milestones that we all want to achieve.”
Surface line week opened August 6 with Sailing in San Diego Bay. While competition was fierce from the start, the spirit of camaraderie was strong.
The competition included professional skills challenges such as welding, ship handling, valve packing, marksmanship, and various culinary competitions, while the athletic events included softball, volleyball, powerlifting, CrossFit events, a 5K race, and much more.
These events delivered an opportunity for competitors to showcase what they learned and perfected throughout their careers. For example, the damage control olympics allowed Sailors to troubleshoot and fix a repair-related problem, such as a ruptured pipe. During the competition, no lives were in danger; however, the competition is designed to put their skills to the test under pressure in order to preserve and enhance each Sailor's ability to carry out their missions and save their fellow crew members’ lives in real times of crises.