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130805-N-MK881-306PACIFIC OCEAN (August 5, 2013) - A Landing Signal Enlisted (LSE) directs an MV-22 Osprey onto the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is underway off the coast of Southern California completing a Certification Exercise (CERTEX). CERTEX is the final evaluation of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Boxer ARG prior to deployment and is intended to certify their readiness to conduct integrated missions across the full spectrum of military operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Bishop/Released)
Boxer ARG, 13th MEU Completes CERTEX 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Bishop, USS Boxer Public Affairs  
PACIFIC OCEAN - The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), along with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed their Certification Exercise (CERTEX) Aug. 7.

CERTEX is a comprehensive set of training exercises that combines Navy and Marine Corps amphibious capabilities.

"Through dedicated training Boxer ARG has effectively sharpened their war fighting capabilities by executing an array of complex exercises," said Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3 Rear Adm. Frank Ponds. "They are ready to operate forward in a critical role to ensure the security of our nation; protect the ideals of our democracy."

The Boxer ARG was evaluated on a number of critical scenarios during CERTEX ranging from combat flight operations, visit, board, search and seizure, to noncombatant evacuation operations, and amphibious landings.

"We train how we fight," said Master Chief Machinist's Mate (SW) Shane Lazio, senior enlisted leader for Commander, Amphibious Squadron 1. "I was able to watch the evolution and it was perfect, everything from Sailors and Marines cooking chow to Marines on LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) going to the beach and training. It was very seamless, very unique, having the whole team working together."

The Boxer ARG is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), dock landing ship USS Harper's Ferry (LSD 49), as well as amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18).

"The single most essential objective of this Certification Exercise is that the Navy and Marine Corps team are able to expertly plan and execute incredibly complex tasks in a compressed and stressed decision space," said Capt. Malcolm Potts, commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1. "I am awed and impressed by the ingenuity, creativity, and industriousness of the nearly 4,200 dedicated Sailors and Marines that make up the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Boxer Amphibious Ready Group."

CERTEX is intended as the final evaluation before the 13th MEU and the Boxer ARG's upcoming fall deployment to certify their readiness to conduct integrated missions across the full spectrum of military operations. Boxer will be the first West Coast-based ship to deploy with the MV-22 Osprey.
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