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USS Boxer (LHD-4)
USS Boxer in the Persian Gulf
USS Boxer in the Persian Gulf, CH-53 in foreground
Career (USA)
Name: USS Boxer
Awarded: 3 October 1988
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Laid down: 18 April 1991
Launched: 13 August 1993
Sponsored by: Becky Miller
Christened: 28 August 1993
Commissioned: 11 February 1995
Homeport: San Diego, California
Identification: LHD-4
Motto: Honor, Courage, Strength
Status: in active service, as of 2021
Badge: USS Boxer COA.png
General characteristics
Class & type: Wasp-class amphibious assault ship
Displacement: 40,722 long tons (41,375 t) full load
Length: 844 ft (257 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Speed: 24 knots (28 mph; 44 km/h)
Troops: 1,894 Marines
Complement: 73 officers, 1,009 enlisted
Aircraft carried: up to 42 aircraft, CH-53 and V-22 Osprey

The USS Boxer (LHD-4) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. She is the sixth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for the original HMS Boxer, which had been captured from the British during the War of 1812.


USS Boxer (LHD-4) in San Diego with a full deck of aircraft, just before its 2003 deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

USS Boxer (LHD-4) arriving at Hong Kong-01 2011

USS Boxer in port in San Diego, August 2013

Boxer was constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched 13 August 1993, and commissioned 11 February 1995. She immediately left for San Diego, California via the Panama Canal, and although she was designed to fit the Canal, her bridge wing and other smaller components were sheared off in the transit.

After minor repairs and system checkout, Boxer deployed to the Western Pacific 24 March 1997 to 24 September 1997, along with Ogden and Fort Fisher, and visited many foreign ports of call. Boxer also participated in RIMPAC the following year, then on 5 December 1998 deployed again to the Western Pacific.

Boxer deployed again to the Western Pacific, Persian Gulf and Red Sea on 14 March 2001 in support of Operation Northern Watch. She visited Singapore, Thailand, Guam, Jebel Ali, Bahrain, and Jordan, returning to the United States on 14 September 2001, just days after the attacks of 11 September 2001.

In 2003, as a result of the impending war and need for troops in Iraq, Boxer found herself deploying yet again, this time six months ahead of schedule. This was a six-month deployment in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She deployed with six other ships from San Diego, CA on 17 January 2003: USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Anchorage, USS Cleveland, USS Comstock, USS Dubuque, and USS Pearl Harbor.

She returned to the United States on 26 July 2003. Also in 2003 she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Pacific Fleet.

In another early deployment to become known as a surge deployment, Boxer steamed alone from San Diego on 14 January 2004 to support on the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Iraq, dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom II. She delivered equipment and supplies to Kuwaiti Naval Base in the northern Persian Gulf for the continuing support of the post-war rebuilding of Iraq. She returned home on 29 April 2004.

The Boxer was deployed with the 15th MEU from its San Diego port on 13 September 2006. It arrived to Iraq in November and returned to dock in San Diego on 31 May 2007.

From 20 April 2008 to 26 June 2008, Boxer conducted a humanitarian mission in Central and South America.

Anti-Piracy Task Force[]

The Boxer is designated as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, the international anti-piracy task force pursuing pirates off the coast of Somalia.[1]

On 10 April 2009, the USS Boxer was en route to assist USS Bainbridge and the USS Halyburton in negotiating the release of Richard Phillips, captain of U.S. flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama who was held hostage by Somali pirates 300 miles off the Horn of Africa.[2] On 12 April 2009 Captain Phillips was freed during a US Navy assault. Three of the Somali pirates were killed, and one was captured.[3] Captain Phillips was transported to the Boxer for medical examination and rest.[4] Around 1 May 2009, the Boxer assisted around 200 members of the German special operations unit GSG-9 get close to the hijacked German container ship MV Hansa Stavanger. During the last phase of the operation President Barack Obama's security advisor James Jones withheld final approval for the operation out of concern for the safety of the 25 sailors aboard the vessel. This led to the decision by the German department of defense and the German department of the interior to abort the planned attack on the freighter for now and the GSG-9 unit, which is under the command of the German secretary of the interior, returned to their base of operations at the airport of Mombasa, Kenya. It is rumored that the German department of defense influence and contacts to James Jones led to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the scene.[5]

The ship returned to San Diego on 1 August 2009. During its transit of the Pacific, 69 of the sailors and Marines aboard the ship contracted swine influenza, forcing the cancellation of a planned "Tiger Cruise" from Hawaii to meet the ships for several hundred relatives and friends.[6]

The ship, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, departed San Diego 22 February 2011 for a seven-month deployment in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Accompanying the ship on the deployment were the USS Green Bay (LPD-20) and USS Comstock (LSD-45).[7]


External links[]

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