Three U.S. Navy ships carrying Sailors and Marines from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Boxer Amphibious Ready Group left San Diego Wednesday on a routine deployment.
Approximately 4,500 service members are aboard the ships. Their deployment will focus on crisis response operations, maritime security operations, forward naval presence operations and theater security cooperation.
“It has been incredible to see the interoperability of the Boxer ARG/11th MEU as they have come together to form a cohesive team, operating from all ships within the ARG,” said Capt. Brad Arthur, commander of Amphibious Squadron 5. “Having completed the arduous unit-level and integrated certification cycles I am confident that we are trained and ready to accomplish critical mission areas needed to operate across the globe.”
The group of ships is made up of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P Murtha, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer and and Harpers Ferry-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry.
Commands on the ship include the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 “Blackjacks,” Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Assault Craft Unit 5, Fleet Surgical Team 5 and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.
“Our blue-green team is ready to deploy,” said Col. Fridrik Fridriksson, 11th MEU commander. “We have trained, on land, in the air and at sea, to respond to events across the range of military operations and we will be prepared if and when we are called to respond.”
The amphibious group will use its aircraft, ships, troops, and logistical equipment to conduct a range of missions from combat operations to humanitarian assistance.
“The crew is ready to execute any mission. I’m proud of the work by our Sailors to build the right mindset needed for success. And now the Boxer team is excited to carry our nation’s flag across the globe,” said Capt. Ronald Dowdell, Boxer’s commanding officer.
The Boxer group is part of U.S. Third Fleet and Expeditionary Strike Group 3. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides training for a global Navy.
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