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SANTA RITA, Guam - USS Boxer (LHD 4) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived at Naval Base Guam for a port visit, Oct. 30.
The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group includes the amphibious assault ship Boxer, amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49), which arrived on Guam, Oct. 28.
The visit brings approximately 3,300 Marines and 1,900 Sailors to the island.
"Our visit is a chance for our Sailors and Marines to enjoy the beauty, activities, and history that Guam has to offer," said Capt. Dale Heinken, commanding officer of Boxer. "Our deployment has been successful due to the hard work and dedication of our Sailors and Marines, and they are ready for a well-deserved pause in operations."
While operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations over the past month, Marines and Sailors from the Boxer ARG and 11th MEU have participated in three exercises to build partnerships and enhance relationships: Tiger Strike in Malaysia; Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training in Brunei; and KAMANDAG 3 in the Philippines.
While in port, Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to enjoy the island of Guam and will give back to the locals in the area by participating in several community outreach events. Planned activities include beautification, restoration and painting of a park and thrift store.
"Guam plays a very important role to the U.S. Navy's overall mission," said Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, U.S. Naval Base Guam commanding officer. "For the ARG, this is an opportunity to re-supply and complete any maintenance. For the Sailors and Marines, it is an opportunity for them to enjoy the heritage, culture, and beauty that Guam has to offer, first-hand."
The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.