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USS Boxer Becomes Flagship for CTF 151

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class T.S. Hall, Combined Task Force 151 Public Affairs

USS BOXER, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Boxer (LHD 4), homeported in San Diego, assumed the role as flagship for Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 March 8 after arriving in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations as part of a regularly-scheduled deployment.

Established in early January, CTF 151's mandate is to deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and currently includes naval forces from the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark and Turkey.

"We've had a great deal of success in deterring piracy to this point," said Rear Adm. Terence McKnight, commander, CTF 151. "We've conducted counter-piracy operations on the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), two guided-missile cruisers -- USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and USS Monterey (CG 61) -- and now we're going to continue our mission on Boxer, which continues our line of extremely flexible platforms. Boxer has a lot to offer in the fight against piracy."

McKnight said that CTF 151 has coordinated with many nations to help thwart piracy in the region.

"Piracy isn't a problem that affects one or two nations," he said. "It's a problem that affects the whole world and the free flow of commerce in the world's waterways. Piracy requires an international solution."

Capt. Mark Cedrun, Boxer's commanding officer, said the amphibious assault ship provides an exceptional and diverse array of options to commanders in tracking, identifying and deterring piracy at sea.

"We bring unique and very effective tools to the theatre to accomplish any mission or assignment," he said. "Whether it's humanitarian assistance or counter-piracy operations, we're ready."

Boxer's embarked units include the Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 Detachment 3, Naval Beach Group 1, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, ACU 1, Beach Master Unit 1, Fleet Surgical Team 5 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

The 13th MEU is comprised of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Reinforced), Combat Logistics Battalion 13 and Battalion Landing Team 1/1.

Story Number: NNS090310-06 Release Date: 3/10/2009 5:04:00 PM

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