USS PELELIU – Sweating palms, grunting noises and cheering ran rampant during an arm wrestling tournament held on the troop mess decks of the USS Peleliu, Feb. 6.
The challenge was the 10th 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 rules for the arm wrestling tournament involved one untimed round per opponent. The goal of each match was to pull down on the other person’s arm until their wrist hit the table.
“The arm wrestling competition was another chance to build healthy competition among Marines and sailors on ship,” said Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Edward S. DeBaun, Command Element, 15th MEU. “We hold events like these to build the camaraderie away from home,” added the 35-year-old native of Copperopolis, Calif.
The mass participation from Kilo Company allowed their Marines to land first and second places. The USS Peleliu’s Blue Shirts came in third place.
Currently the USS Peleliu’s Blue Shirts are in the lead with 95 points, with Kilo Company trailing behind with 80 points. The Command Element is in third place with 66 points.
“This is fun,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua J. Serrano, mortarman, 81mm Mortars/Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel Platoon, Weapons Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It’s good to get away from work every now and then, and this is a good way to do it. My arm will surely be sore tomorrow,” added the 22-year-old native of Chicago, with a smile.
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.
“Campbell Cup events like this and other events are easy to setup and raise morale across the board,” said Staff Sgt. Tim K. Pinney, staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge, Marine Mobile Air Traffic Control Team, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364, 15th MEU. “Keep them coming,” added the 27-year-old native of Stafford, Va.
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.