Competition builds relationships between Marine squadrons at MCAS
There can be only one, so Marines from several of the squadrons aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma were competing Friday morning to be crowned the 2019 Super Squadron.
“It is a great opportunity for Marines in all of the squadrons to come out and show their camaraderie, build their teamwork, maintain their physical fitness and compete with each other” said Lt. Col. James Paxton, of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “Every Marine who desires to compete gets the opportunity to do so.”
Vying to win the coveted title were Marine Aircraft Group 13, (MAG-13), Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1), Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 (MWSS-371), and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13, (MALS-13).
Also competing were Headquarters and Head-
quarters Squadron (H&HS), Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, (VMFA-122) and the twotime defending champion, Marine Air Control Squadron 1 (MACS-1)
In addition to having bragging rights for the upcoming year, the main trophy, which is permanently on display at the air station gymnasium, will be engraved with the 2019 Super Squadron’s name. A trophy will also be displayed in the office of the commanding officer of the winning squadron
Lt. Col. Paxton explained that the half-day competition consists of 10 rigorous events including a Humvee pull, a bench press, a tire flip, a casualty evacuation relay, pull ups, and an obstacle course.
Each of the seven squadrons that were competing, he continued, would then select someone from their unit to participate in the various events. All competitors’ scores were then recorded, with points awarded based on how each team placed within an event.
“Just being out here, seeing Marines push themselves, seeing them cheer each other on, is inspiring to me,” Lt. Col. Paxton said. “It is a blessing and an honor to be able to serve as a Marine, to serve as a guardian and to serve here in Yuma.”
In what turned out to be a three-peat, MACS1 earned the most cumulative points and was presented with their trophy. They also laid claim to the title of the 2019 Super Squadron of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron was the runner up.
While the competition is intended to further strengthen the relationship between the various units assigned to MCAS Yuma, Lt. Col. Paxton said some of the events are based on some of the physical training Marines undergo.
“The casualty evacuation and resupply drill is something we could actually have to do in combat at some point,” Lt. Col. Paxton said. “Almost all the events are related to what we do.”
Given the different jobs that each of the squadrons perform, it can often make it difficult for Marines to get to know one another outside of work. While winning was the ultimate goal, the reward was getting the chance to bond with other Marines whom they may not see often and accomplish something together.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity I have to work with these Marines, because they come from all over the country, all different types of backgrounds, but they are all here for one reason, and that is to serve their country and each other, and that is an awesome thing to see,” Lt. Col. Paxton said.
Only in its third year, the competition is an annual event now, and is held at the air station’s Memorial Sports Field Complex.
U.S. MARINE CORPS LANCE CPL. MICHAEL EVANS (LEFT) AND LANCE CPL. ALEX GARCIA pull a Humvee during the Humvee Pull event at Friday’s MCAS Yuma Super Squadron competition at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
A MARINE NEARS THE TOP OF THE ROPE CLIMB (above) while another clears one of several hurdles (top left) during the Obstacle Course Relay event. Marines carry a loaded stretcher, ammo cans and five-gallon containers filled with water (left) during the Casualty Evacuation Relay event.