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130718-N-SK590-023 ABAIANG, Kiribati (July 18, 2013) - Personnel assigned to Pacific Partnership 2013 remove textbooks donated by Project Handclasp from an SA-330J Puma helicopter during a community service event. The supplies are being donated to Stephen Whitmee High School. Working at the invitation of each host nation, Pacific Partnership is joined by partner nations that include Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, Malaysia Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand to improve maritime security, conduct humanitarian assistance and strengthen disaster-response preparedness around the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tim D. Godbee/Released)
Boxer ARG Completes COMPTUEX
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenan O’Connor, Boxer Amphibious Ready Group/13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Public Affairs
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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