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Boxer Sailor Returns From Repairing Iraqi Weather Station

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS061227-08
Release Date: 12/27/2006 1:00:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joshua Martin, USS Boxer Public Affairs

USS BOXER, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Boxer’s (LHD 4) Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Clayton Corbin returned safely to Boxer after repairing an automated weather station at Iraq’s Al Basra Oil Terminal (ABOT) in the Northern Persian Gulf Dec. 7-16.

While there Corbin repaired an anemometer, a weather device that measures wind speed and direction. The unmanned weather station records and transmits weather data such as rainfall, wind speed, air pressure and visibility to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 158, who manages coalition forces in the region.

“Everything went well,” said Corbin. “I had a mission to do and I accomplished it.”

The repairs to the anemometer will help provide weather observations that can be used to verify weather forecasts. These systems influence the Gulf, and that in turn, influences Boxer’s mission.

“We are all working to improve mission readiness,” said Lt. Cmdr. Claude Gahard, Boxer’s meteorology and oceanography officer. “This is a good example of how the Aerographer’s Mate community is standing by to help wherever it can.”

ABOT and Iraq’s Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT) provide more than 80 percent of Iraq’s annual income and supply the world with close to 25 percent of its crude oil.

The automated weather station also provides data to the Navy’s Meteorological and Oceanographic Command (METOC), currently operating aboard Boxer. METOC analyzes the data and provides weather advisories for CTF 158 and coalition ships operating in the northern Persian Gulf.

Aerographer’s Mates are typically assigned to Naval Air Stations or aboard ships. Working on a remote weather station aboard an Iraqi oil platform wasn’t a routine assignment.

“I had worked with similar equipment before, but never in this type of environment,” said Corbin. “As Sailors we are required to perform in a variety of circumstances.”

Corbin was chosen for the assignment because of his experience repairing automated weather stations. Corbin enjoyed the visit on land but admitted that he was relieved to be back on the ship.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Corbin. “But being back aboard Boxer is like coming home.”

Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) which is currently operating in the North Persian Gulf conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in support of U.S. 5th Fleet. MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet’s area of responsibility encompasses about 7.5 million square miles and includes the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 27 countries, includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, The Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab al Mandeb at the southern tip of Yemen.

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