USS Boxer wraps up South China Sea patrol

The U.S. Navy said its amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) completed a routine patrol in international waters of the South China Sea on August 6.

Another ship from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), completed a similar patrol August 4. The U.S Navy conducts lawful and routine patrols throughout the Western Pacific year-round.

“Our routine presence here helps promote the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all countries,” said Capt. Patrick Foege, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1. “The crew of Boxer conducted the transit professionally and without incident, and we were grateful for the opportunity to do our part to ensure these critical waterways remain open to everyone.”

The patrol followed Boxer’s port visit to Singapore during which sailors and marines participated in military-to-military subject matter expert exchanges with the Republic of Singapore navy, August 2. The exchanges allowed sailors and marines to share tactics and capabilities with their Singaporean counterparts.

USS Boxer (LHD 4), flagship of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, with amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18), amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Western Pacific in support of security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The ship took part in counter-Daesh activities earlier this year when AV-8B Harriers took off from USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Arabian Gulf to join strike aircraft operating from USS Harry S. Truman on June 16. The Operation Inherent Resolve first naval aviation combat strike mission was the first to be undertaken from two different operational theaters as Harry S. Truman was launching aircraft from the Mediterranean Sea.

While in 7th Fleet, the Boxer ARG and 13th MEU are assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa.