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Local Navy-Marine Corps Team Heads Out On Deployment

190501-N-SB299-1010 SAN DIEGO (May 1, 2019) – Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) depart Naval Base San Diego, May 1, for a regularly-scheduled deployment. Boxer is the flagship of the Boxer ARG, which also includes the amphibious transport dock USS John P Murtha (LPD 26) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), as well as the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The ARG/MEU team will conduct maritime security operations, crisis response operations, theater security cooperation and forward naval presence operations while deployed. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Millar)

The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) sailed from San Diego Bay, May 1st as they begin their deployment. 4,500 Sailors and Marines from Coronado, San Diego and up to Camp Pendleton are embarked on the three ships that make up the ARG, USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS John P Murtha (LPD 26) and USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Coronado based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-21) sent a detachment of helicopters along with other embarked commands including Assault Craft Unit 5, Naval Beach Group 1, Beachmaster Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 5, and Tactical Air Control Squadron 11.

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PACIFIC OCEAN (March 22, 2019) A U.S. Navy MH-60S Sea Hawk, attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, takes off from the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26). The Marines and Sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Israel Chincio)

The ARG/MEU team completed an extensive training cycle and is ready to support maritime security operations and crisis response as they provide forward naval presence on deployment.

CAPT Brad Arthur
CAPT Brad Arthur, Commander Amphibious Squadron 5

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“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 (PHIBRON) 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.”

While smaller than a Carrier Strike Group, the ARG/MEU team offers a flexible, rapid response team ready for contingencies and crises within a region. According to the Navy, the ARG/MEU “ships, aircraft, troops, and logistical equipment make it a self-contained and self-sustained task force capable of conducting missions from combat operations to providing humanitarian assistance.”

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 30, 2019) A landing craft, air cushion assigned to Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5 approaches the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) during routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Donald Holbert/Released)

USS Boxer (LHD-4) is the flagship for PHIBRON 5. Boxer returned from its last deployment in September 2016 after 7 months in which they transited nearly 150,000 nautical miles, and logged more than 4,200 flight hours. After a maintenance and modernization period and intense training and exercises, Boxer is ready to go. “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 local Coronado Resident Capt. Ronald Dowdell, Boxer’s commanding officer.

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 19, 2019) The amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) provides concealment for two rigid-hull inflatable boats during a visit, board, search and seizure training operation. The Marines and Sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are underway conducting routine operations as a part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Teutsch/Released)


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Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a recently retired Naval Officer whose first duty station brought her to Coronado in 1998.  A Navy Helicopter Pilot for 10 years and a Public Affairs Officer for 11 years, the Navy afforded her many incredible opportunities to serve her country in unique ways while seeing the world.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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