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Sailors go head to head in the return of the Surface Line Week Competition

Surface Line Competition.jpg
Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 23:25:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Surface Line Week competition is back at Naval Base San Diego.

The two-week-long competition kicked off with more than 2,000 sailors competing to be the best at their jobs.

It's exciting, but it's also hard work for the thousands of sailors vying for their commands in the Surface Line Week competition.

“This is amazing because I am soaking wet because it’s hot. It’s really fun," said Lexi Johnson, damage controlman.

It was just another day on the job because damage control was name of the game today.

“The entire ship relies on us to make sure the ship stays afloat. We deal with water tanks every day, we deal with fires, flooding, and if there’s a toxic gas," she explained.

She’s the only female damage controlman on her ship, and she's one of many going head to head in the surface line week competitions.

“Being the only female is kinda hard because people question me like, ‘oh, can she do this? Can she do that? But I was born and raised in Texas. I was taught to stand my ground and carry my own," she explained.

Johnson held her own as she and her shipmates went from her favorite event— the dress-out relay— to fixing leaks on the ship.

Chief Peter Mei said it’s more than just fun — they’ll be able to use this experience when the sailors are at sea.

"Recently, there have been a couple of collisions out at sea. Some ships caught on fire. Some we could save—some we couldn’t save. So the training we’re doing here is to prevent either loss of life or loss of ship,” said Mei.

He said damage control is a top priority in the Navy and the competition was a way to see if the sailor's training was effective.

Johnson said she had fun, and if you asked her if she’s proved everyone wrong again— she’d say yes.

“I pretty much just prove everyone wrong that I can do it," she said.

The competition will continue through next Friday.