A Sea Sparrow (RIM-7P) missile is launched from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer  

130718-N-JP249-02 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 18, 2013) - A Sea Sparrow (RIM-7P) missile is launched from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a missile firing exercise (MISSILEX). Boxer is underway off the coast of Southern California conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). COMPTUEX is a scenario-driven exercise aimed at integrating the ships of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group through a series of live training events. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Kenan O'Connor/Released)
Boxer ARG Completes Composite Training Unit Exercise 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenan O'Connor  
PACIFIC OCEAN - The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) successfully completed Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), July 19, moving one step closer to being certified and prepared for deployment.

"The combined Navy and Marine Corps team did an exceptional job seamlessly integrating and accomplishing a variety of realistic and complex scenario driven training objectives," said Capt. Malcolm Potts, commodore, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1. "I am extremely pleased with the performance of the entire blue/green force as we shared this opportunity to gain essential pre-deployment experience operating in a dynamic environment."

COMPTUEX was aimed at integrating the ships of the Boxer ARG by testing multiple abilities across the ships and is a required certification before deployment.

"Our expectation is that we will be capable of conducting sea-based operations to support operations ranging in scope from humanitarian assistance, to embassy reinforcement, and all the way to full combat operations as part of a larger force," said Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of the 13th MEU. "Those kind of interoperability pieces make us more prepared for when things go bad out there when we are forward deployed."

Training scenarios included missile test firing, live fire evolutions, a simulated strait transit, and maritime security exercises. Additionally, communication capabilities were tested between the ships in the ARG, Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCAC), helicopters, and small boats.

COMPTUEX is focused on building relationships between Boxer Sailors and the embarked Marines.

"It's designed to get everybody to work together and handle the task at hand and to provide good preparation for whatever we may encounter during deployment," said Master Chief Information Systems Technician (SW/SCW) Marnee L. Keaton, the C5I department leading Chief Petty Officer aboard Boxer.

The Boxer ARG has one more certification exercise, which will further test the ship's ability to respond to a host of complex and realistic scenarios.

"I look forward to our next underway training opportunity as we continuously seek ways to improve performance and enhance effectiveness across the full spectrum of expeditionary warfare," said Potts.

The Boxer ARG consists of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), PHIBRON 1, and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

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