USS Boxer (LHD 4) transits the Indian Ocean July 23 en route to Singapore. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Craig Z. Rodarte)

SINGAPORE - The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) moored at Changi Naval Base, Singapore, July 30 for a port visit.

The port call is Boxer’s first since departing the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

While in port, Boxer Sailors and Marines will engage in cultural and subject-matter expert exchanges with the local community and the Republic of Singapore Armed Forces. Boxer’s crew will also participate in several Morale, Welfare and Recreation tours around the island.

“This port visit gives the Boxer ARG and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit an opportunity to experience Singapore culture, make new friends and build on our existing partnership,” said Capt. Mike Ruth, commanding officer of Boxer. “We will be conducting community outreach, cultural exchange and mil-to-mil engagements, allowing our Blue/Green team to learn more about Singapore.”

Liberty calls in foreign ports are a highlight for service members, and afford the crew time to rest and recuperate.

“After four months operating in the dynamic environment that is U.S. 5th Fleet, the crew and embarked Marines are looking forward to some well-deserved liberty in Singapore," said Ruth. "I'm encouraging them to take this time to enjoy the rich culture and get out to see the sights of this beautiful region of the world.”

During Boxer's port visit, U.S. Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with their partners in the Singapore Armed Forces.

“We have military-to-military exchange projects setup with the Singapore Navy that we believe will allow us to share some of our experience with our Singaporean counterparts, and allow us to learn from their experiences as well," said Ruth.

The Boxer ARG is composed of Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 1, the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18). The ARG also includes the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), as well as various supporting elements from Assault Craft Unit 5 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23.

The 13th MEU is comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; an aviation combat element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced); a logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 13; and a command element.