USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
Makin Island Surface Warriors Win Big

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) earned first place in the large command category during the 37th Surface Line Week (SLW) competition, hosted by Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) at Naval Base San Diego.

The annual competition, held since 1981, provides an opportunity for Sailors, Marines, Department of the Navy civilians, and federal employees to come together from both sea and shore commands and compete in professional and athletic events to build camaraderie within the Surface community and along the waterfront. This year’s competition concluded Aug. 17 after two weeks of friendly rivalry.

“I am very proud of our Makin Island team’s performance,” said Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. David Oden. “We went out there and won events, but more importantly, we got some great training and built relationships, both in our own team and with Sailors from other commands.”

Participants competed in more than 30 events that highlighted this year’s theme, “100 Years Since the Victory of World War I—We are Ready Now.”

“I think it was great,” said Makin Island Fun Boss Beth Downs. “People were motivated to go out there, and we had really good support from leadership allowing their Sailors to go out and represent Makin Island.

This year featured 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.

“When I would float between the events to make sure they had enough people, everyone carried themselves very professionally,” said Downs. “They represented Makin Island very well, but also had fun. They held their own with the other competition. I think everyone was proud to show their Makin Island pride out there.”

SLW events provide excellent opportunity for members of the Surface Warfare community to connect and compete with their peers from other ships, and support the Navy’s objective to be “always ready.”

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