U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations - The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), along with embarked Sailors and Marines from Commander, Amphibious Squadron One and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), completed a scheduled mid-deployment voyage repair (MDVR) June 30.
Sailors performed maintenance and preservation throughout the ship to improve the material condition and enhance Boxer’s mission readiness as the ship serves as the sole afloat U.S. air platform currently operating in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).
“MDVR is our mid-deployment voyage repair availability,” said Lt. Kenneth Pennington, the Ship’s Maintenance Management Officer (SMMO). “It entailed seven days of work regarding ships force, and government contractors to coordinate effective repairs of the ship to sustain mission readiness.”
Boxer is scheduled to go into the Chief of Naval Operations' phased maintenance availability (PMA) soon after it returns to homeport. However, this MDVR was an important evolution to the ship’s readiness.
“This ship is going into dry dock once we return to homeport,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Carl Bethea. “But in the meantime, why not take advantage of the opportunity to repair items that we have the manpower to complete. Looking at the bigger picture, that can also save the ship time and money during the dry dock period by doing several jobs ourselves.”
Due to the unforgiving nature of the elements while underway, Navy vessels require constant preservation and maintenance to ensure operability, survivability and service life expectancy.
“There are a lot of things that need to happen when we get into homeport,” said Pennington. “MDVR is important because it allows the ship force to complete essential repairs, conduct preventive maintenance that we can’t do while underway operating and it allows us to provide some preservation, paint the ship and make sure we are ready to go.”
The planning for MDVR began well before the start of deployment, but once Boxer left San Diego and began operating, new maintenance requirements arose and the ship was able to add jobs to this MDVR.
“Coordinated efforts between the forward deployed regional maintenance center, government contractors, and ship’s force was required so that we could properly identify what we would needed to have happen,” said Pennington. “Then as we operated and necessary repairs arose, we had to add jobs.”
Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th MEU, is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.