USS Boxer Repairs Complete, Marines Preparing to Return on Deployment

July 5, 2024 1:45 PM
USS Boxer (LHD-4) departing Naval Station San Diego, Calif., on July 3, 2024. San Diego Web Cam Image

Rudder repairs to USS Boxer (LHD-4) are complete and the crew has left to test the fixes at sea, Navy officials have told USNI News. Meanwhile, the Marines are preparing to return to sea to continue a deployment that was interrupted by the damaged ship.
In a statement earlier this week provided to USNI News, Naval Surface Force said that the pier-side tests have been completed and Boxer was preparing for sea trials.

“The repairs and in-port operational test are complete,” reads the statement.
“There is still the at-sea operational test remaining when the ship gets underway from San Diego.”

The amphib got underway on July 3, according to shipspotters.

Since April, Boxer has been sidelined at Pier 2 at Naval Station San Diego, Calif., following the damage to the starboard rudder that split the deployment of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Now, the Marines are moving to continue the deployment, a service spokesperson told USNI News.

“The Boxer is in the process of reembarking the Landing Force and conducting sustainment training in anticipation of reintegrating with the Boxer ARG/MEU,” reads the statement from the service.

Neither the Navy nor the Marines provided details as to how the deployment would proceed. San Antonio-class amphibious warship USS Somerset (LPD-25) left from San Diego in January and was later joined by USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) in April.

Among the exercises Somerset and the embarked 15th MEU participated in included Cobra Gold in Thailand, U.S.-Philippines exercise Balikatan 2024 in the Philippines with U.S.-Malaysia exercise Tiger Strike 2024 in Malaysia.

Amphibious Combat Vehicles embarked on Harpers Ferry made their operational debut at the Balikatan exercise with the Philippines before being offloaded last week on Okinawa.

U.S. Marines disembark Amphibious Combat Vehicles at Naha Military Port, Okinawa, Japan, June 29, 2024. US Marine Corps Photo

This week, Somerset arrived in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to participate in the Rim of the Pacific exercise 2024. Other elements of the 15th MEU had arrived earlier in Hawaii on June 21 aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD-42) and on Tuesday, together with an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 363, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, conducted a fast-rope demonstration for partner nations.

“For the first five months of our deployment we travelled all over the Indo-Pacific, conducting training with great partners. Now it’s our turn to be the hosts,” said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Lindsay Mathwick, commanding officer of Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and commander of Marines aboard Somerset in the release.
“At RIMPAC, we will apply lessons learned throughout our deployment, in our largest exercise yet, truly challenging our ability to operate as a combined, joint force across a wide array of military training scenarios.”

USNI News contributor Dzirhan Mahadzir contributed to this report. 

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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