SINGAPORE -- USS Boxer (LHD 4) Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) Sailors and Marines competed against each other in the Singapore Sports Classic Oct. 12-15 during their port visit to Singapore.
Fifty-four teams competed in the 3-day tournament. The goal was to bring BOXESG together through friendly competition.
The tournament included volleyball, soccer, softball, golf, grappling, flag football and basketball, BOXESG Sailors and Marines competed for gold medals and bragging rights.
“We want our Sailors to have a fun, safe experience without worrying about spending too much money,” said Lt. Mark Anderson, Boxer’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation coordinator. “It helps relieve stress that goes along with life on the ship.”
According to Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (SW/AW) Gary Church, Boxer’s softball coach, it has been more than five years since a strike group has coordinated such a large tournament.
“The tournament was a huge success,” said Church. “It kept liberty incidents low and everyone got something from the event.”
Boxer took the title in both soccer and softball. USS Comstock (LSD 45) took home gold in basketball, and the Sierra Battery of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) won overall in volleyball. In the flag football tournament, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 15, of the 15th MEU(SOC) came out on top. Boxer’s Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW) Thomas Bellon and Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class (AW) Lance Carlson both took the gold in the golf tournament. CLB 15’s Lance Cpl. Kyle Haman took the title home for grappling.
One Marine who participated in the activities was Cpl Michael W. Plank, a machine gunner from Fox Co. Battalion Landing Team 2/4, 15thMEU(SOC). Plank played football and basketball during his stay.
“I was really excited that we were getting the opportunity to compete in a tournament style sporting event and getting some exercise,” said Plank.
Playing on the USS Dubuque (LPD 8) basketball team, Plank, explained it was challenging because the team had never played together, but his football team did quite well.
“I had a great time. I would like to see [something like this] at every liberty port that we go to,” said Plank. “It gets people out and gets them out and gets them active.”
BOXESG is already organizing plans for future tournaments at upcoming port visits.
The 15th MEU (SOC), part of Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group aboard the USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Dubuque, and the USS Comstock (LSD 45), is currently deployed in the Western Pacific region.