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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

Fall 2021 Surface Line Week Concludes

by Ens. Jana Smith, Naval Surface Force Atlantic Public Affairs
05 November 2021 After sea and shore-based commands competed in various athletic and technical competitions, the Fall 2021 Surface Line Week came to a close Nov. 5.
Winners in the biannual competition included USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) in the Small Command Division; USS Laboon (DDG 58) in the Medium Command Division; and USS Wasp (LHD 1) in the Large Command Division.
Hosted by Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) for all subordinate SURFLANT commands, Surface Line Week (SLW) is an opportunity for Hampton Roads-based service members from the Navy and Marine Corps to join together in team-building events and contests. During this Surface Line Week, 23 different commands participated in 22 total events.
“Surface Line Week is a great opportunity for different commands to connect in a fun way and show off their proficiency in technical and warfighting disciplines, their seamanship and their athleticism,” said Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth McGuinnis, event coordinator for Fall 2021 SLW.
Rear Adm. Marc Lederer, deputy commander of SURFLANT, spoke about SLW’s continued significance at the event’s closing ceremony, held at Vista Point Center onboard Naval Station Norfolk.
“Surface Line Week has always been a part of my naval career,” Lederer said. “This tradition showcases the readiness, proficiency, and warfighting ethos of our Sailors. Remember these moments as you continue in your Navy careers and keep building upon these relationships.”

Competitions held throughout the week varied from the athletic to the mathematical to the creative. A welcome addition during the fall iteration of SLW 2021, thanks to the recent relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions, was the inclusion of team sports including a swim relay, flag football, soccer, and softball tournaments.
A self-sufficiency category had commands compete in miniature/micro-miniature electronics repair and module test and repair (2M/MTR). Several Olympics-style clusters of events put different shipboard skills to the test, including the boatswain’s mate Olympics, damage control Olympics, and seamanship Olympics. There was also a simulator firearm-shooting competition for the M9 pistol and the M4 rifle.
Finally, events such as the cardboard regatta, where competitors created functioning weight-bearing boats out of cardboard, and a cake-decorating competition, where participants submitted a cake representing their command, rounded out the event offerings.  
“It was a great experience to provide this platform for friendly competition between the commands,” said McGuinnis. “I am continuously impressed by the different ways our Sailors and Marines demonstrate their combat readiness.”
SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of 77 ships, 14 pre-commissioning units, and 33 shore commands.
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