PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS America's (LHA 6) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter hosted an 'American Gladiator' competition in the ship's hangar bay May 17.
The competition consisted of pushups, situps, an air-chair challenge and obstacle course. More than 40 Sailors competed in the events as the hangar bay filled with spectators from all departments.
The air-chair event was especially intense due to the natural rocking of the ship and the large group of spectators cheering on their shipmates.
"You can just feel the intensity of that challenge across the hangar bay," said Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Julienne Northern, assigned to America's weapons department. "There were a lot of people gathered around cheering on the participants, which was fun to see since the last two standing didn't stop until around the eight-minute mark."
This was the second time CSADD hosted the competition while underway in an effort to promote the CSADD mission -- to create a free and open environment, promote good decision-making processes, enabling leadership development, and inspire esprit de corps among peers at the junior level.
"The event definitely helped in what we were trying to accomplish," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Allen Wiley, CSADD's master-at-arms and 'American Gladiator' participant. "When we're underway, we work all the time. So, to be able to let loose for even an hour or so helps a lot in building camaraderie with our peers. Events like these are morale boosters and are a fun way to do physical training."
After the completion of the main events, there was still a five-way tie. In the end, the obstacle course proved to be the deciding factor.
The obstacle course began with a race up the ship's 40-foot ramp with a 45-degree incline followed by jump roping, hopscotch and cone weaving to finish the competition. Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Daquan King was able to win the competition with a time of 32 seconds, beating his nearest competitor by 14 seconds.
"At first, I didn't really want to do the competition, but then I saw the energy and the interest that my shipmates showed," said King. "It inspired me to compete and just go for it. I just wanted to represent my department well. I'm happy I was able to do that and I would love to compete again."
America's CSADD chapter hosts and participates in events on the ship and within the community such as supporting local food banks, shoes and clothing drives for the needy and participating in local charity walks and runs.
"It's great and it's a very positive thing that they are doing," said deck department's Seaman Brian Barraza. "To have that level of support is so inspirational. I appreciate CSADD for giving us something to keep our mind off home and work, and just have fun."
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