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Cyber sports challenge builds camaraderie, promotes fitness

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play volleyball with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play volleyball with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play ultimate frisbee with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play ultimate frisbee with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play tug-of-war with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

Members of the 30th Space Communications Squadron play tug-of-war with members of the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron during a cyber sports challenge, April 17, 2015, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base’s two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shane Phipps/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg recently hosted its first ever cyber sports challenge, here, April 17.

The event aimed to build camaraderie while pitting the base's two communications squadrons, the 614th Air and Space Communications Squadron and the 30th Space Communications Squadron, against each other in a series of friendly, yet competitive, physical competitions.

"The primary purpose of the event was to build camaraderie between the units and boost morale within the units," said Airman 1st Class Matthew Pettit, 30th SCS cyber system operator. "An event such as this gives the opportunity for each squadron to meet and greet their respective counterparts and see how similar or different they are. Each communicator can compare notes and best practices in a casual, yet competitive environment."

For members of both squadrons, the emphasis on physical fitness was apparent throughout the day. Activities included a push-up contest, free throw contest, volleyball game, ultimate frisbee match -- and culminated with the teams facing each other in a no holds barred tug-of-war face-off.

"The event screamed physical fitness, as there was a multitude of running, throwing, kicking and constant motion which delivered a full body workout all in one day," said 2nd Lt. Amanda Schultz, 614th ACOMS special projects officer. "We were all removed from our desks, and emails, and encouraged to dial in our competitive side to give each other a run for bragging rights."

Unfortunately for members of the 614th ACOMS, the 30th SCS triumphed -- having the most total victories in the combined events. In addition to building camaraderie, and promoting physical fitness, the day provided a valuable opportunity for all Vandenberg communicators to co-mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.

"Our goal was mental domination over the 614th ACOMS communicators," said Staff Sgt. Vaughn Stevenson, 30th SCS NCOIC of secure cyber transport. "However, it was also a great opportunity to just bring together military members and civilians, who don't normally work together, in one place, with one goal."

Another purpose of the event was to raise funds for each squadron's booster club, and after the final tallies the losing squadron's commander would receive a pie to the face - delivered by the highest bidder, with proceeds going to the respective booster club.

"Each communications squadron wanted to win and every player had an effect on the final tally," said Schultz. "Also, the joint lunch, funded by the booster clubs, brought everyone together for relationship building while enjoying good food."

Despite claiming victory, and like a true sportsman, Lt. Col. Michael Myers, 30th SCS commander, decided to take an additional pie-to-the face alongside the defeated 614th ACOMS commander, Lt. Col. Timothy Ryan - raising nearly $200 combined. The occasion came to a close with Myers addressing participants.

"Thank you all for coming out," said Myers. "I hope everyone had fun and we will continue to do this at least annually. This has really been a testament of what we do every day on this base. We have fun, and we still get the job done."