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Boxer Wraps up Third Annual JASEX

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050816-06
Release Date: 8/16/2005 3:56:00 PM

By Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class D. Arthur Jones, USS Boxer Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BOXER (NNS) -- After more than 60 mishap-free flight hours, USS Boxer (LHD 4) wrapped up the third annual Joint Air and Sea Exercise 2005 (JASEX 05) Aug. 13.

The annual exercise involved air and sea training events focused on integrating units from various U.S. Armed Forces, including Boxer, the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Strike Group, the U.S. Air Force’s 18th Wing and 5th Air Force, and 1st Marine Air Wing. During seven days of intense operations, the units conducted joint training, combining carrier and amphibious operations supporting multiple training objectives.

“Any time that U.S. forces can come together in an environment like JASEX, we enhance our abilities to operate together as a cohesive team,” said Cmdr. Mark F. Volpe, Boxer’s operations officer.

JASEX is the third major exercise Boxer has participated in since it began its deployment April 29. Boxer previously participated in exercises with Malaysia in exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and Australia in exercise Talisman Saber 2005. JASEX provided the first opportunity for the 844-foot-long Boxer to conduct AV-8B Harrier II operations since deploying.

“This was a great opportunity for the flight deck personnel and the rest of the crew,” said Lt. Ivan Borja, Boxer’s crash and salvage officer. “Working as a team with the Marine pilots and Harrier crews is always an exciting atmosphere.”

While preparing for JASEX, forces of nature provided real-world challenges to units involved in the exercise. As tropical typhoon “Matsa” moved through the operating area, units made the necessary adjustments to stay one step ahead of the storm. A few light showers and nine-foot waves reminded everyone at sea that a full-blown typhoon raged nearby.

“We were working hard to keep the planners informed of where the storm was,” said Aerographer’s Mate 3rd Class Curtis Dent. “A typhoon can cause a lot of damage. Luckily, it didn’t interfere with the exercise.”

JASEX, which was conducted in the vicinity of Okinawa, was designed to increase real-world proficiency in detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea. Through air and sea training between services involved, units were able to increase their overall interoperability.

Boxer, with a crew of more than 1,200 Sailors and Marines, is the fourth of seven ships in the Wasp class of large deck amphibious assault ships and is capable of performing a multitude of missions in support of national interests.

Boxer is homeported in San Diego, where she is expected to return in September.


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