PACIFIC OCEAN – For the fifth consecutive year, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) was selected to receive the Battle Effectiveness (Battle “E”) Award by Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific.
“This validation to the crew demonstrates that their hard work over the last year, their focus on standardization and procedural compliance is truly the right way to do business,” said Capt. Mike Ruth, Boxer Commanding Officer.
Boxer’s selection was announced via Naval Message March 3 for her performance during calendar year 2015.
The Battle “E” is awarded annually to ships and crew that best demonstrate the capability to perform wartime tasks and exhibit the highest degree of departmental readiness in their group.
“I provide a vision with clear priorities, and then empower this outstanding crew through a strong wardroom and Chief’s mess to meet the mission,” Ruth said. “The great men and women of Boxer make this command a success.”
Battle “E” recipients must demonstrate mission excellence in six categories of battle efficiency: maritime warfare, engineering/survivability, command and control, logistics, safety, and efficiency excellence.
“To be eligible for the Battle E, Boxer had to earn at least four of the five Command Excellence Awards, satisfactorily complete basic phase certification events for each warfare area on the first try, and do well on INSURV if it happens to fall in the calendar year,” said Cmdr. Mark Scorgie, Boxer Operations Officer. “Obviously, the Boxer team knocked it out of the park.”
Boxer spent several months performing maintenance and implementing systems upgrades. The Boxer crew also integrated with USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), Commander Amphibious Squadron One and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit to complete integrated training in preparation for deployment.
“We battled a significant amount of maintenance issues which compressed our training phase,” said Command Master Chief Matt Ruane. “However, clear communication up and down the chain of command, prioritizing and effective planning made the challenge with time easier to deal with.”
“Every member of the crew should hold their head high knowing they are part of team Boxer, and know that they have accomplished something very significant,” added Ruane.
More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (13th MEU) team are currently transiting the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations during a scheduled deployment.