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Boxer Conducts Sea Trials Following Maintenance

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071215-07
Release Date: 12/15/2007 9:58:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) James Bartels

USS BOXER (NNS) -- USS Boxer (LHD 4) returned from its first at-sea period in nearly five months Dec. 12 after completing a twelve-week Phased Maintenance Availability (PMA) period.

The maintenance period was used to prepare the ship for future operations by upgrading systems and conducting general repairs and upkeep throughout the ship.

Boxer's high operational tempo has limited the extent of maintenance work during previous availabilities, making this PMA, with more than 300 completed projects, one of the largest maintenance periods since Boxer's commissioning.

The two-day at sea period, also known as sea trials, was a way for the ship to perform operational checks on the new and repaired equipment to ensure mission readiness.

"This trial was a way to test the capabilities of the ship," said Lt. Preston Saunders, Boxer's ship's maintenance officer. "Everything has gone smoothly and we are now fully capable of completing all of our primary and secondary missions."

The PMA period focused on two main areas of the ship. The first was an upgrade of the ship's combat systems equipment, such as Boxer's precision approach radar which helps aircraft on their final decent. The refurbishment of Boxer's engineering spaces also repaired the normal wear and tear caused by the ship's high operational tempo over the last few years.

The work done during PMA was a joint effort between more than nine hundred civilian contractors and more than one thousand members of Boxer's crew. The contractor's main focus was the installation and maintenance of the many operating systems while Boxer Sailors handled the rehabilitation and preservation of spaces and performed quality assurance checks on the equipment the contractors worked on.

"Boxer's PMA period was a complete success," added Saunders. "We met every goal on time. Because of the hard work of our crew and the coordination with civilian contractors, we have managed to recoup nearly two percent of our allotted budget."

Boxer's dining facilities and berthing areas were among some of the additional areas improved during the maintenance period, which members of the crew welcomed openly.

"It's been nice to see all of our hard work on our living spaces pay off," said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class (AW) Sophia Martineau. "When we go on our next deployment we will be glad that we took the time to ensure that the places where we live and eat are comfortable for all of us."

Boxer will soon begin its qualification and certification process to prepare the ship for future operations.

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