News | Oct. 15, 2015

DLA Energy Middle East participates in Navy Birthday Cardboard Regatta

By Christopher Goulait DLA Energy Public Affairs

Building morale as well as watertight cardboard boats was Defense Logistics Agency Energy Middle East’s goal for the Naval Support Activity Bahrain 240th Navy Birthday Cardboard Regatta Oct. 8.

Three teams from DLA Energy Middle East competed, with one winning third place out of the 11 teams representing organizations at NSA Bahrain, but teamwork was the real prize of the day.

“The Cardboard Regatta was a really fun and creative way to promote both teamwork and competition within the organization,” said Nicole Chewning, an administrative support specialist with DLA Energy Middle East. “Almost every member of DLA Energy Middle East either built a boat or came out to cheer us on. It was a great experience.”

Participants could only design boats using cardboard and tape. Each boat had to fit two sailors who would paddle the boat 50 yards to a finish line in two consecutive timed races.

DLA Energy Middle East contributed three boats built by the region’s Supplier Operations, Customer Operations and combined Command and Staff Support teams.

“The construction of Supersonic 289 (a reference to the building the team occupies), the third place boat, was led by Navy Chief Petty Officer Ruby Lim, the Navy supply chief at DLA Energy Middle East,” Chewning said. “She tested a model prototype, which led to a design that was stable, buoyant and streamlined. Megan Crimmins (and I) helped with the construction and navigated the boat in both races. Pete Parker captured the event in a post-race video.”

“The USS OuterLimits built by the Supplier Operations team was a floating tank of sturdy construction and large enough to hold half their team but lacked maneuverability,” she said.

“The USS Bullet, built by ‘Team Sitrep’ from Customer Operations, competed in the second heat, but unfortunately only made it a few yards before a dramatic flip-and-sink well-orchestrated maneuver. The boat was considered for the ‘Most creative sinking’ award but the competition in that category was steep,” Chewning added.

Army Capt. Thorin Parris from Customer Operations was a member of Team Sitrep who reflected on meeting the team’s main objective, despite ending up in the water.

“Our primary concern was not sinking,” Parris said. “Technically, we capsized, so mission complete.”

After three rounds, the British Royal Marines at NSA Bahrain took first place in the competition, but overall the event was a fun teambuilding time for DLA Energy Middle East employees and an opportunity to celebrate as a tenant organization, Chewning said.