USS Boxer sailors return to San Diego

SAN DIEGO - The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group's sailors and Marines were back in San Diego Friday following an eight-month deployment to the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf in which they conducted seven major theater security cooperation efforts.

The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry left Naval Base San Diego last Aug. 23.

Also deployed were personnel from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, the "Black Jacks" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, Detachment 3, and detachments from Assault Craft Unit 1 and 5, according to the Navy.

"This team of well-trained professionals served the country honorably throughout the deployment," said Capt. Malcolm Potts, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1. "It has been an absolute pleasure leading these outstanding sailors and Marines as they carried out numerous expeditionary operations in support of our nation."

In addition to the theater security cooperation efforts, the sailors and Marines conducted numerous maritime security operations and other operational support missions.

This Boxer Amphibious Ready Group was also the first on the West Coast to bring a complement of MV-22 Ospreys, which operated together for the first time with the UH-1 Iroquois command/control helicopter and the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter, Navy officials said.

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