SAN DIEGO - More than 4,500 Sailors and Marines from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are scheduled to depart San Diego for a deployment to the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation, Feb. 12.
Before being certified to deploy, the individual ships and units of the ARG/MEU team were required to complete and pass four integrated and advanced training exercises that were designed to test and evaluate their capabilities during battle-force scenarios and real-world situations they may face while deployed.
U.S. 3rd Fleet and I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) certified Boxer ARG and the 13th MEU to deploy after the ships and units successfully completed PHIBRON-MEU Integrated Training (PMINT), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), Certification Exercise (CERTEX) and Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX).
Boxer ARG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron (COMPHIBRON) 1 and the 13th MEU. COMPHIBRON 1 is composed of its command ship, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).
"The Boxer ARG, 13th MEU team has truly excelled in their preparation for deployment," said Capt. Keith Moore, commander, Amphibious Squadron 1. "The Sailors and Marines of the ARG/MEU team are well trained and ready to deploy in support of all missions."
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.
"I echo the Commodore's statements," stated Col. Anthony Henderson, commanding officer, 13th MEU. " Whether a humanitarian assistance mission or combat operations, we are ready. An equally critical contribution to our nation's security is the presence and interaction of America's sons and daughters of this Navy-Marine Corps team around the world as representatives of freedom, liberty, and hope."
The "Wildcards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 Detachment 1, homeported at Naval Air Station North Island, will conduct flight operations with three MH-60S Seahawks throughout the deployment. This armed helicopter detachment provides the following missions to the ARG/MEU: day and night defense of the amphibious task force, search and rescue (SAR), helicopter visit, board, search, and seizure (HVBSS), special operations forces (SOF) support, personnel recovery (PR) missions, and logistics support.
Other elements of the BOXARG include: Fleet Surgical Team 3; Tactical Air Control Squadron 11; Assault Craft Unit 1; Assault Craft Unit 5, and Beachmaster Unit 1.
While deployed, the ARG/MEU team serves as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.
The mission of the Boxer ARG is to help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster response as well as support the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.
The mission of the 13th MEU is to provide a forward deployed, flexible sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations, including enabling the introduction of follow on forces and designated special operations in order to support the theater requirements of geographic combatant commanders.