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USS Boxer (LHD-4)

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Title: USS Boxer (LHD-4)  
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Subject: Ingalls Shipbuilding, Maersk Alabama hijacking, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, List of ships attacked by Somali pirates in 2009
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USS Boxer (LHD-4)

USS Boxer off the coast of Australia
United States
Name: USS Boxer
Awarded: 3 October 1988
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 18 April 1991
Launched: 13 August 1993
Sponsored by: Becky Miller
Christened: 28 August 1993
Commissioned: 11 February 1995
Homeport: San Diego, California
Identification: LHD-4
Motto: Honor, Courage, Strength
Status: in active service, as of 2016
General characteristics
Class & type: Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
Displacement: 40,722 long tons (41,375 t) full load
Length: 844 ft (257 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Speed: 24 knots (28 mph; 44 km/h)
Troops: 1,894 Marines
Complement: 73 officers, 1,009 enlisted
Aircraft carried: up to 42 aircraft, CH-53 and V-22 Osprey

USS Boxer (LHD-4) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. It is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for the original HMS Boxer, which had been captured from the British during the War of 1812.


  • History 1
    • Deployments 1.1
    • Anti-Piracy Task Force 1.2
  • Awards 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


USS Boxer in San Diego with a full deck of aircraft, just before its 2003 deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
USS Boxer arriving at Hong Kong-01 2011
Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer speaks to Sailors and Marines aboard USS Boxer, Persian Gulf, Dec. 27, 2013.

Boxer was constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched 13 August 1993, and commissioned 11 February 1995. She immediately left for San Diego, California via the Panama Canal and, although she was designed to fit the Canal, her bridge wing and other smaller components were sheared off in the transit.

After minor repairs and system checkout, Boxer deployed to the Western Pacific from 24 March 1997 to 24 September 1997, along with Ogden and Fort Fisher, and visited many foreign ports of call. Boxer also participated in RIMPAC the following year, then on 5 December 1998 deployed again to the Western Pacific.

Boxer deployed again to the Western Pacific, Persian Gulf and Red Sea on 14 March 2001 in support of Operation Northern Watch. She visited Singapore, Thailand, Guam, Jebel Ali, Bahrain, and Jordan, returning to the United States on 14 September 2001, just days after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

In 2003, as a result of the impending war and the need for troops in Iraq, Boxer found herself deploying yet again, this time six months ahead of schedule. This was a six-month deployment in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She deployed with six other ships from San Diego on 17 January 2003: USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Anchorage, USS Cleveland, USS Comstock, USS Dubuque, and USS Pearl Harbor.

She returned to the United States on 26 July 2003. Also in 2003 she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Pacific Fleet.

In another early deployment, to become known as a surge deployment, Boxer steamed alone from San Diego on 14 January 2004 to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Iraq, dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom II. She delivered equipment and supplies to Kuwaiti Naval Base in the northern Persian Gulf for the continuing support of the post-war rebuilding of Iraq. She returned home on 29 April 2004.

Boxer was deployed with the 15th MEU from its San Diego port on 13 September 2006. They arrived to Iraq in November and returned to dock in San Diego on 31 May 2007.

From 20 April 2008 to 26 June 2008, Boxer conducted a humanitarian mission in Central and South America.


  • 24 March 1997 – 24 September 1997 Maiden deployment
  • 5 December 1998 – 5 June 1999 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 13 March 2001 – 14 September 2001 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 17 January 2003 – 26 July 2003 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 14 January 2004 - 29 April 2004 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 29 April 2005 - 14 September 2005 Western Pacific
  • 13 September 2006-31 May 2007 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 28 April 2008 - 26 June 2008 Eastern Pacific
  • 9 January 2009 – 1 August 2009 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 22 February 2011 – 30 September 2011 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
  • 23 August 2013 – 25 April 2014 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf

Anti-Piracy Task Force

Boxer is designated as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, the international anti-piracy task force pursuing pirates off the coast of Somalia.[1]

On 10 April 2009, Boxer was en route to assist USS Bainbridge and USS Halyburton in negotiating the release of Richard Phillips, captain of U.S. flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama, who was held hostage by Somali pirates 300 miles off the Horn of Africa.[2] On 12 April 2009, Captain Phillips was freed during a US Navy assault in which three of the Somali pirates were killed, and one was captured.[3] Captain Phillips was transported to Boxer for medical examination and rest.[4]

Around 1 May 2009, Boxer assisted some 200 members of the German special operations unit GSG-9 in getting close to the hijacked German container ship MV Hansa Stavanger. During the last phase of the operation, President Barack Obama's security advisor James Jones withheld final approval for the operation out of concern for the safety of the 25 sailors on board the vessel. This led to the decision by the German department of defense and the German department of the interior to abort the planned attack on the freighter for the time being and the GSG-9 unit, which is under the command of the German secretary of the interior, returned to their base of operations at the airport of Mombasa, Kenya. It is rumored that the German department of defense influence and contacts to James Jones led to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the scene.[5]

The ship returned to San Diego on 1 August 2009. During its transit of the Pacific, 69 of the sailors and Marines aboard the ship contracted swine influenza, forcing the cancellation of a planned "Tiger Cruise" from Hawaii to meet the ships for several hundred relatives and friends.[6]

The ship, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, departed San Diego on 22 February 2011 for a seven-month deployment in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Accompanying the ship on the deployment were USS Green Bay and USS Comstock.[7]


USS Boxer has been awarded the Navy Battle "E" nine times

  • 1 January - 31 December 1995
  • 1 January - 31 December 1998
  • 1 January - 31 December 1999
  • 1 January - 31 December 2001
  • 1 January - 31 December 2003
  • 1 January - 31 December 2007[8]
  • 1 January - 31 December 2011
  • 1 January - 31 December 2012
  • 1 January - 31 December 2013[9]

2013 awards[10]

  • Ship Safety (3rd)
  • Engineering/Survivability (6th)
  • Logistics Management (12th)
  • Maritime Warfare Excellence Awards (19th)


  1. ^ Cragg, Jennifer (23 May 2008). "USS Boxer Supports 'Continuing Promise' in El Salvador". DefenseLink.  Archived 8 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "More pirates searching for lifeboat, official says". CNN. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Hostage captain rescued; Navy snipers kill 3 pirates". CNN. 12 April 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "US captain rescued from pirates". BBC News. 13 April 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  5. ^ (Google translated from german to english)
  6. ^ "Boxer ARG returns this week".  
  7. ^ Fuentes, Gidget (22 February 2011). "Boxer ARG, 13th MEU leave on deployment". Military Times. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  8. ^ Velazquez, Elena. """COMNAVSURFOR Announces Winners of Battle "E (Press release) (NNS080304-08). United States Navy. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "USS Boxer Earns Battle E Award". 31 March 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  10. ^ Biller, Brian P. (31 March 2014). "'"Boxer Makes One-two-three Punch with Battle 'E. United States Navy. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 

External links

  • Official page
  • LHD-4 Photo GalleryBoxerMaritimequest USS
  • A Day on a US Warship USS Boxer participated in Malabar 2006 – the eighth, in a series of naval war games involving the forces of the United States and India, that had its genesis in 1994.
  • Veterans AssociationBoxerUSS
  • history at U.S. CarriersBoxerUSS
  • U.S. Navy detains, releases six suspected pirates,
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