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BOXESG Makes Final Port Call of Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070524-09
Release Date: 5/24/2007 6:22:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) James Seward, USS Boxer Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- USS Boxer (LHD 4) Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) pulled into Naval Station Pearl Harbor May 22, the last port visit of their extended deployment.

During the visit, Capt. Matthew J. McCloskey assumed command of Boxer from Capt. Bruce W. Nichols during a change of command ceremony held on the ship’s flight deck.

“I have been continually amazed with the depths of resiliency, the professionalism and capability of everyone aboard Boxer,” said Nichols. “Every day I see something that makes me feel really good to have been in command of this ship and to have served with this crew.”

Boxer also received a visit from the new Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Timothy J. Keating, who flew aboard while the ship was pulling into Pearl Harbor. While onboard, Keating toured the ship and spoke with the crew, congratulating them on their achievements during their extended deployment.

While visiting Hawaii, Boxer's Sailors and Marines had the chance to enjoy local culture and take time to relax before heading to the ships’ homeport of San Diego.

“It’s amazing to finally be stateside after such a challenging and rewarding deployment,” said Quartermaster Seaman (SW) Cheryl Tremblay. “We’ve had so much support along the way from our chain of command, and it’s good to head home.”

Sailors, Marines, friends and family were able to enjoy tours and activities sponsored by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation team such as snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding, barbeques and mountain biking.

Before leaving Hawaii, more than 450 friends and family checked aboard Boxer to ride the ship back on the final leg of deployment, commonly known as a “Tiger Cruise,” which will conclude Boxer's nearly nine months at sea.

“I think we’re all ready to come home,” said Marine Cpl. Steve Orzechowski, from Boxer’s Combat Cargo department. “We did a great job out here and seeing our friends and family for the first time in almost nine months will be very rewarding.”

Following a post-deployment leave period, Boxer will enter a maintenance period to prepare the ship for future operations.

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