Boxer Visits Jebel Ali
Story Number: NNS070208-16
Release Date: 2/8/2007 7:30:00 PM
By Mass Communications Specialist Seaman (SW) Joshua Martin, USS Boxer Public Affairs
JEBEL ALI, United Arab Emirates (NNS) -- USS Boxer (LHD 4) visited the port of Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates from Jan. 28 through Feb. 2.
While in port, Boxer replenished supplies, performed minor repairs and allowed Sailors to see the sights and experience the culture of Jebel Ali and the neighboring city of Dubai.
“This visit was great for morale,” said Boxer Command Master Chief Anthony M. Berry. “The crew has been working hard, and they deserve some relaxation time.”
The ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) program offered activities such as all day safaris, Dubai tours and camelback riding.
“The safari tour was incredible and the cities are beautiful,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Steven Schwalbe. ”I had a blast riding a camel and enjoyed the good weather.”
Boxer Sailors not wanting to venture away from the pier were able to eat, shop, do their laundry, play basketball and relax at the “Oasis,” a United Service Organizations (USO) sponsored facility.
On the first night in port, Boxer’s own rock band “Slim 2 None” performed for the crew.
“I was surprised to see the band,” said Damage Controlman 3rd Class David Scott. “They did an awesome job and sounded great.”
Some Sailors were able to play a few rounds at Jebel Ali’s world-class golf course.
“The golf course was very nice,” said Chief Aviation Electronic Technician (SW/AW) Lewie Trawick. “The weather was a bit windy, but it was well worth it.”
In Dubai, Boxer Sailors were able to visit one of the largest malls in the world which houses an indoor ski slope. While there, they were able to buy souvenirs and get a taste of home by shopping in familiar western stores.
“I snowboarded for the first time in my life,” said Storekeeper Seaman Recruit Maria Garcia. “It was amazing snowboarding indoors and in a country that doesn’t get snow.”
After five days of liberty, Boxer returned to the sea to continue its mission in the Persian Gulf.
Boxer is the flagship for Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) which is currently 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 Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. This expanse, comprised of 27 countries, includes three critical chokepoints 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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