Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona --
[YUMA, ARIZONA] – What’s a better way to start the new year than some friendly competition? The Single Marine Program (SMP) partnered up with various units stationed on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Arizona, to host the annual Super Squadron competition, Jan. 26, 2024.
The Super Squadron competition brings units from MCAS Yuma to compete against each other in the most epic games to include strategy, brute strength and some all-around fun. Marines, male and female got to showcase their brawn through games such as the tire flip, bench press, grappling, Humvee pull and tug-of-war. Every event to things as fun as go carting to others as vigorous as tug-of-war and grappling had to have at least one female participant. Some other fun games featured were basketball, dodgeball, jousting, archery and go cart. This controlled environment of games and group activities gave Marines and Sailors an opportunity to engage in a friendly competition, to promote unit cohesion and increase morale.
In several events Marines had to work as a team to complete the task at hand. For example, during the go cart challenge one Marine was blind folded driving the go cart while the other was guiding them through the track, making sure they didn’t hit any cones and finished in the fastest time possible. They had to trust that the Marine guiding them was going to lead them to the finish line, that’s unit cohesion at its most fun. Even during the more serious events such as grapping, Marines participating got side line coaching from spectators about offensive and counter moves to execute in order to win a round. That’s building trust with in your team and the Marines around you. The grappling event of the Super Squadron is a great way to show that even the most challenging events can bring Marines together to overcome them as one.
Sgt. Kiana Hickey, a ground support equipment technician with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1, just arrived to MCAS Yuma in December of 2023. At her previous units she mentioned that they had individual unit competitions but never of this size, “It was never competing against everybody. This is different, having a super squadron brings more competition. People try a little bit harder than they would against each other. So that’s cool.” Hickey participated in the grappling portion of the competition.
Sgt. Azucena Bermejo is a career planner with Marine Air Control Squadron 1, who participated in the social challenge and had this to say about the Super Squadron. “I believe that it’s a really good social setting for every one of us to catch up and compete against each other. That’s how we are, we love competing and seeing who’s best.”
Points were awarded to whichever unit won the games in each category. The unit that gathered the most points, and took home the Super Squadron Trophy, was Marine Aircraft Group 13.
“I think it's exhilarating. I'm having a blast.” Says Lance Cpl. Tatum Wade, a Marine Air Ground Task Force planning specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 13. “I think it's really good that we all get to work together and kind of see who's good at what and how they can contribute to the unit.”
The SMP continues to try to help Marines and Sailors engage with their peers and get out of their comfort zone. The Super Squadron Competition is just one of many events, that units look forward to every year.
To learn more about the Single Marine Program and events please visit https://yuma.usmc-mccs.org/marine-family-support/single-marine-program