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Boxer Begins Post-Deployment Maintenance Period

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070928-06
Release Date: 9/28/2007 11:43:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) James Bartels, USS Boxer Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BOXER (NNS) -- USS Boxer (LHD 4) began its Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) period Sept. 12 to prepare the ship for future operations by upgrading systems and conducting general repairs and upkeep throughout the ship.

Boxer returned from a twice-extended, nine-month Western Pacific deployment May 31, which was the fourth deployment in four years. Boxer’s high operational tempo has limited the extent of maintenance work during previous availabilities, making this PMA one of the largest maintenance period since Boxer’s commissioning.

“Boxer has missed many chances for extensive maintenance because of its operational commitments and several surge deployments,” said Lt. Preston Saunders, Boxer’s ship’s maintenance officer. “This PMA will take us out of operational status and give us the time to get the ship ready for many future operations.”

The PMA period will focus on two main areas throughout the ship. The first, is the upgrade of the ship’s combat systems equipment, such as Boxer’s precision approach radar which helps aircraft on their final decent. Refurbishment of the ship’s engineering spaces will also take place to repair the normal wear and tear caused by the ship’s high-paced operational tempo.

The work done during PMA will be a joint effort between more than 900 civilian contractors and more than 1,000 members of Boxer’s crew. The contractor’s main focus will be the installation and maintenance of the ship’s many operating systems while Boxer’s Sailors will handle the rehabilitation and preservation of spaces as well as, performing quality assurance checks on the equipment the contractors have worked on.

“Our Sailors are the technical experts for the systems aboard this ship, and so they are here to make sure that everything is up to our standards by maintaining a system of checks and balances with the contractors,” said Chief Warrant Officer Raymon Lemque, Boxer’s quality assurance officer and PMA coordinator. “This ship is where we all live and work so, the Sailors are working hard and investing much of their energy into this ship to make it a better place for all of us.”

The ship’s dining facility and berthing areas are among some additional areas having work performed during the maintenance period, which is welcomed openly by members of the crew.

“I can’t wait to finish the work on the berthing and mess decks,” said Electronics Technician 2nd Class (SW) Steven Ahl. “Those areas are some of the most used and most important areas for the crew and having them refinished will make life on Boxer just a little bit nicer.”

Boxer will continue its PMA until the holiday season before beginning its qualification and certification process to prepare the ship for future operations.

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