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USS Boxer Provides Humanitarian Relief

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050825-03
Release Date: 8/25/2005 9:41:00 AM

From USS Boxer Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BOXER (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), commanded by Capt. Thomas J. Culora, will visit the Marshall Islands Aug. 25-29 to conduct a community outreach program on the island of Majuro, which is home to more than 30,000 people.

The visit will give the more than 1,200 Sailors and Marines embarked aboard the San Diego-based ship a chance to experience Marshallese culture, as well as provide the Marshallese some much-needed assistance in the form of medical aid, education, construction, and repairs to schools and other buildings.

“This visit is going to give Boxer’s crew the opportunity to demonstrate their goodwill to people,” said Lt. Johan Baik, one of Boxer’s two chaplains. “Being good ambassadors for our nation is important. Through visits like this, we are able to contribute to other nations and societies.”

Boxer has one of the largest and most capable hospitals aboard any U.S. ship, second only to the naval hospital ships, USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20). With advanced medical capabilities and a well-trained medical staff of more than 30 doctors, nurses and corpsmen, Boxer is well suited for providing an array of medical aid, from surgeries to fighting the common cold.

“We don’t just want to bring medical aid to the people of Majuro,” said Lt. Cmdr. David Gallus, officer in charge of the Boxer-embarked Fleet Surgical Team 5. “We want to educate them on healthy ways to live and also provide medical care where it is needed.”

Fleet Surgical Team 5 is providing medical augmentation during Boxer’s current deployment.

Along with providing medical care and education, Boxer crew members will help out in other ways, such as repairing essential medical equipment at the local hospital, repairing dilapidated schoolrooms and providing electrical rewiring in buildings. Some Sailors will spend time reading to the children of the Armij Aelon Kein, or “people of the islands.”

“As Americans, we have to show that our nation cares, and as ambassadors, we can bring that caring right to their doorstep,” said Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Adrian Medina. “Hopefully, we can leave a lasting impression on the communities of Majuro by providing them with the aid needed in their area.”

Boxer 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. The “Golden Gator” is scheduled to return to its homeport in September.

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