GULF OF ADEN - Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, Rear Adm. Peg Klein visited amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), April 11 to meet with senior leaders and embarked units.
Klein’s first visit was to discuss the mission of Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOXARG) and its assets while operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
During her visit she spoke with Commander, Amphibious Squadron ONE (CPR) ONE, Capt. J. Curtis Shaub, USS Boxer (LHD 4) Commanding Officer, Capt. Frank Michael and Commander, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Col. David Coffman.
"The BOXARG/MEU enable ESG 5 to carry out a diverse set of missions, from counter-piracy to combating maritime terrorism and theater security cooperation for humanitarian and disaster relief efforts,” said Klein. “The ARG/MEU, and only the ARG/MEU has the ability to conduct this wide range of missions."
While Klein was on board she had a chance to address Sailors and Marines to express thanks for their commitment and professionalism.
Klein also toured various spaces and work centers around ship to meet and converse with many Sailors and Marines hard at work.
“I was excited to hear she was coming aboard,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Derek Vasko. “I first met her when she was Commandant of the Naval Academy where I had the honor of getting to know her and was frocked to petty officer 3rd class by her in 2007. She is very friendly and personable. It was very nice to see her again.”
Boxer is the flagship for CPR 1 and 13th MEU. The ARG consists of the command element, Fleet Surgical Team Three; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Detachment Two; Assault Craft Unit One, Detachment C; Assault Craft Unit Five, Detachment C and Beach Master Unit One, Detachment E.
“The BOXARG/MEU entered the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, poised, trained and prepared to perform multiple operations in support of the Maritime Strategy and our regional partners,” said Shaub. “It has been an absolute pleasure to have Rear Adm. Klein aboard and let her see firsthand the caliber of Sailors and Marines that we have brought to the tip of the spear. We are a flexible, adaptable and persistent force with the ability to deploy and react to any situation in the region.”
Boxer ARG and embarked units serve as the theater reserve force for U.S. Central Command and report directly to Klein; she is responsible for all amphibious forces deployed to 5th Fleet. Klein’s also responsible for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's planning and execution of contingency response missions, and maritime humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.