GROTON, Conn. - Early in the morning of August 24, Sailors from 10 different commands, both ashore and submarine crew, gathered at North Lake Park on Naval Submarine Base New London (SUBASE)’s north end to compete in the 12th annual Battle of the Commands.
Battle of the Commands is a yearly event held on SUBASE in which commands assigned to the base send representatives to compete in various games and obstacle courses. In past years, commands ranging from assigned submarines and Naval Submarine School classes.
"The Battle of the Commands is a yearly event where six personnel from various commands on SUBASE compete in various activities for the trophy," said Heather Phillips, a SUBASE Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) representative. "The events are the Wacky Relay, the Strongman Competition, Bubble Soccer, the Bus Pull, the Wibit Wipeout, and the Tug-of-War."
During the Bus Pull event, teams picked their three strongest members who were strapped into harnesses and tasked with pulling a small city bus placed in neutral approximately 20 feet in as short a time as possible. In this challenge, Team Mile High of USS Colorado (SSN 788) came out on top.
On the opposite end of the park, two teams went head-to-head in a game called ‘Bubble Soccer’. Bubble Soccer, much like regulation soccer, involves two teams trying to kick a ball into each other’s goal posts using only their feet, but in this game, all players are inside giant inflatable ‘zorbing’ balls in which they could collide with—and bounce off of—one another and roll along with the ball itself. In this challenge, team Silver Bullet Actual of Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton.
In another part of the field was the Strongman Obstacle Course and the Wacky Relay. The Strongman Obstacle Course tested teams’ strengths and in carrying weights across a 50-foot distance, turn over a tractor tire and jump over and threw it, and while two members of the team were doing this, a third would hold a plank position until his teammates had finished their tasks. The Wacky Relay had the players dress up as farmers and using straws and their mouths, carry leaves with only their mouths and straws, and answer a riddle by digging a card with the answer out of a box of dirt. Team Dragons took first place in the Wacky Relay and Team Mile High dominated in the Strongman Obstacle Course.
The final two events were the Wibit Wipe Out and the Tug-of-War. The Wibit Wipe Out involved teams racing across the inflatable obstacle course erected in North Lake itself (called the Wibit). After this the teams were pitted against one another in order of their success in the other challenges. Team Slick Ricks of the Rickover Command conquered the Wibit and Team Knuckle Draggers out-tugged everyone else.
However, the battle was not over yet: The Slick Ricks and Mile High were tied for first. Each team picked one champion to go head-to-head for a final round on the Wibit to determine the victor. In the end, Team Mile High of Colorado would emerge as 2018’s victor.
After the completion of the tie-breaker, the Sailors broke for lunch, cooked by MWR staff, and the winning teams were presented with their awards and were photographed with SUBASE commanding officer Captain Paul Whitescarver. Throughout the event was a general feeling of fun and sportsmanship, and a good time was had by all.
"It was a wonderful event with the weather cooperated," said Master-at-Arms 1st Class Kevin Davis, Security Department’s team leader during the event. "Battle of the Commands is an annual competition within SUBASE and tenants that brings with it a sense of competition and togetherness. It's a fun opportunity to bring together sailors, make new friends. Can't wait for next year!"
If you would like to take part in next year’s Battle of the Commands, talk to your chain of command and get in touch with MWR via Facebook or at extension 2298.