Boxer Amphibious Group returns home

SAN DIEGO -- The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, which consists of three U.S. Navy warships and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is coming home to Naval Base San Diego Monday after a seven-month deployment that spanned more than 120,000 miles and 13 ports of call.

The group is made up of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans, and amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry. During deployment, they operated with embarked forces of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the “Wild Cards" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23, Detachment 1.

The team served in U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet Areas of Operation, providing maritime security operations, crisis response capability, theater security cooperation and forward naval presence while it was deployed.

The group sailors and marines also took part in numerous exercises, including Exercise Ssang Yong 2016, a biennial amphibious exercise hosted by South Korea to strengthen working relationships with partner nations.

“The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit team excelled throughout this 213-day deployment while operating in three Navy fleets spanning two-thirds of the globe," Capt. Patrick Foege, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1 said. “The ARG/MEU conducted 19 exercises and seven operations with coalition and partner nations across the Indo-Asia Pacific, Southwest Asia, and the horn of Africa.''

“From promoting regional stability and free use of the seas in 7th Fleet to striking ISIL (ISIS) targets while in 5th Fleet, the ARG/MEU accomplished all mission objectives while strengthening our relationships with 15 different countries from South Korea to Jordan," Foege said.