- The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Oct. 12.
While in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR, the ARG will support current missions as well as conduct maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The ARG, commanded by Capt. Malcolm Potts, commander, Amphibious Squadron 1, will also participate in routine scheduled exercises and engagements with coalition and regional partners.
“It is definitely a privilege for us to operate in this dynamic region. We look forward to increasing our interoperability and operational understanding with our partners while maintaining a unique crisis response capability,” said Potts. “We will continue to strengthen the readiness of the ARG through theater security cooperation exercises and other exchanges with our military counterparts. I couldn’t be more proud of the pride and professionalism I see displayed day in and day out from our Sailors and Marines. We’ve got a great team here.”
Earlier this year, the ARG trained for real-life situations through months of underway work-ups conducting engineering, general quarters and damage control drills. The ARG completed its composite training unit exercise and certification exercise, testing its capabilities to conduct amphibious operations at sea and ashore.
Boxer ARG consists of the Amphibious Squadron 1 staff, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), with 13th MEU embarked throughout the three ships.
The ARG departed homeport San Diego Aug. 23 for a scheduled deployment. While in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR, the Boxer ARG participated in the bilateral Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2014 in which elements of the ARG and Marines from 13th MEU trained with the Philippine Marine Corps. The ARG also participated in amphibious staff exercise Shatrujeet with the Indian Army in Kochi, Trivandrum and Peryakadu, India.
The 13th MEU, commanded by Col. Christopher Taylor, is comprised of approximately 2,400 Marines and Sailors, and serves as the nation’s rapid-response sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force. Amphibious ships deliver embarked Marine landing forces ashore to provide humanitarian assistance, civil support, non-combatant evacuations, peace operations, recovery operations, disaster relief and counter-piracy.
While transiting to 5th Fleet, Boxer ARG made port visits in Subic Bay, Philippines, Singapore and Goa, India, performing several community relation events designed to deepen the crew’s understanding of other cultures and build friendships with people living in host nations.
The 5th Fleet’s AOR encompasses 2.5 million square miles of water and includes the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.