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Malaysians Conduct Amphibious Landing from Decks of Boxer

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050720-07
Release Date: 7/20/2005 10:49:00 AM

By Photographer's Mate 2nd Class (AW) D. Arthur Jones, USS Boxer Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BOXER (NNS) -- More than 150 Malaysian paratroopers, with the help of Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 5, stormed Kuala Rompin beach in Malaysia July 14 during an amphibious assault scenario.

The assault, one of many integral facets of the Malaysia phase of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) staged from USS Boxer (LHD 4), was facilitated by two landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) vehicles.

LCACs are high-speed, fully amphibious landing craft that deploy from well deck-equipped amphibious ships and are capable of carrying a 60-ton payload at speeds of greater than 50 knots.

“It was a great opportunity for us to share our capabilities with the Malaysians,” said Chief Operations Specialist Scott Wilson, a craftmaster for ACU 5. “The LCACs provide an over-the-horizon scope of reach and can reach the enemy quickly. While the Malaysians may have been impressed with the swiftness of the LCAC, we were equally impressed with their ability to adapt to new equipment of this level.”

Sailors from Beachmaster Unit (BMU) 1 prepared the beach for the Malaysian landing by monitoring the low and high tides and ensuring that there were no dangers in the area.

“We showed up on the beach well ahead of the LCACs and the troops and equipment they were carrying,” said Chief Boatswain's Mate Andrew Rader from BMU 1. “We ensured that the beach was safe, ready and able to handle an evolution of this magnitude.”

The event was a successful test of Blue/Green cooperation, demonstrating a well-formulated show of force in multinational teamwork.

“Because we and the Malaysian forces have worked together previously and have established a cohesive working relationship, the exercise has gone smoothly,” said Marine Warrant Officer Stephen Campbell, Boxer’s combat cargo officer. “There was a lot of planning involved prior to and during this assault. Our efficiency and prior knowledge as a team ensured its success.”

CARAT is a series of bilateral training exercises with several Asian nations designed to increase multinational interoperability. In addition to the amphibious assault, the 10-day Malaysian phase of CARAT included a drone target and destroy exercise and a shipboard search exercise.

“CARAT is important to all nations involved,” said Boxer’s Command Master Chief, CMDCM Daniel Benitez. “It allows us, as a Navy, to share our ideas and learn from the other countries involved. This coalition has grown stronger through the exercise. We were able to share the powerful equipment we use, and everyone walked away with respect for each other and the jobs we do.”

CARAT Malaysia is the last phase of the six-phase exercise under the command of Capt. Lothrop “Buzz” Little, commander of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1. His staff is based in San Diego.

Boxer, commanded by Capt. Thomas Culora, served as DESRON 1’s flagship for CARAT Malaysia. The ship is homeported in San Diego.

 



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