USS PELELIU – Adrenaline flowed through the bodies of Marines and sailors, dressed in true dodgeball-style uniforms, for what turned out to be the most exciting tournament during the Westpac 12-02 deployment, Jan. 24.
The challenge was the tenth competition of the Campbell Cup, a bi-monthly challenge that pits teams within the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group against each other. The dodgeball tournament’s goal was for teams of 10 Marines or sailors to eliminate opposing team members by hitting them with one of two balls. Once a team member was tagged, they went to the prison box on the other side were they remained for the duration of the match.
“The dodgeball tournament was a very successful Campbell Cup event,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Edward S. DeBaun, Command Element, 15th MEU. “Marines and sailors arrived a lot earlier than we anticipated due to the excitement around the ship,” added the 35-year-old native of Copperopolis, Calif.
Twenty-two teams participated, and the winning team was the 15th MEU’s Command Element team. The USS Peleliu’s Crash, Fire and Rescue team came in second, and the USS Peleliu’s team came in third.
While the USS Peleliu’s team came in third at this tournament, they are currently in first place with 95 points in the Campbell Cup standings. In second place with 64 points is the 15th MEU’s Command Element team, followed by Kilo Company’s team in third with 57 points.
“This was definitely a morale booster,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel G. Wilson, telecommunications systems chief, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th MEU. “It was a good change of pace, and it’s good to see everyone smiling,” added the 40-year-old native of Ford Heights, Ill.
The Campbell Cup involves events ranging from talent shows to video games to physical and mental challenges. At the end of each Sunday’s events, the teams are awarded points based on how they placed. The prestigious cup is named after Col. Scott D. Campbell, the 15th MEU commanding officer, and at the end of the deployment, he will present a trophy to the winning unit.
“This was a great adrenaline rush,” said Cpl. Phillip A. Flores, ground sensor operator, Ground Sensor Platoon, 15th MEU, who plays on Camp Pendleton’s intramural softball team. “The best part is having fun alongside other Marines, and building camaraderie at sea,” added the 23-year-old native of Chicago.
DeBaun put together the event with the help of his Campbell Cup committee, which is made up of 16 Marines and sailors throughout the 15th MEU.
The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu ARG as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.