Sailors hoist the national ensign as USS Boxer (LHD 4) docks in Kota Kinabalu, Aug. 9. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Eric Burgett)

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), along with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, Aug. 9 for a scheduled port visit.

During their stay in Malaysia, Boxer is scheduled to host several military-to-military engagements, shipboard tours and sporting events. The port call is Boxer’s second since arriving in the U.S. 7th fleet area of operations.

“I think the events between us and Malaysia show camaraderie,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Trenton Hagley, president of Boxer’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) association. “It shows that no matter what country you come from, there’s so much we have in common just as people. Nothing is better than sporting exhibitions and professional engagements to bring us together.”

Sailors and Marines will also experience in tours coordinated by Boxer Recreation Afloat Recreation Specialist, Brian Rockenbach. Tours include a chance to go mountain biking, visit a national park, and go white water rafting.

“These tours are very outdoor recreation-oriented, which I am very excited about. I got my start with MWR in outdoor recreation leading trips and tours like the ones offered in Kota Kinabalu, so I feel right at home here,” said Rockenbach. “White water rafting and the island day trips for snorkeling and SCUBA diving are our most popular tours and I think everyone will really get a lot of these tours!”

In addition to partnership engagements, the crew will enjoy several days of liberty to take in Malaysia.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing everything Kota Kinabalu has to offer,” said Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Eric Neilson. “Having time to relax and enjoy myself in port is going to be great.”

Boxer, flagship of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, with amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18), amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the Western Pacific in support of security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

While in 7th Fleet, the Boxer ARG and 13th MEU and assigned to Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force, headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa.