USS Boxer LHD-4 Patch – Sew On
A 4 inch squadron patch of the USS Boxer LHD-4
USS Boxer (LHD-4) is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship of the United States Navy. She is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name of the original HMS Boxer, which was captured from the British during the War of 1812.
Construction and career
Boxer was constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched 13 August 1993, and commissioned 11 February 1995. She immediately left for San Diego, California, via the Panama Canal. Although she had been designed to safely transit the canal, her bridge wing and other smaller components were sheared off in the transit.
After minor repairs and system checkout, Boxer deployed to the Western Pacific from 24 March 1997 to 24 September 1997, along with Ogden and Fort Fisher, and visited many foreign ports of call. Boxer also participated in RIMPAC the following year, then on 5 December 1998 deployed again to the Western Pacific.
Boxer deployed again to the Western Pacific, Persian Gulf and Red Sea on 14 March 2001 in support of Operation Southern Watch. She visited Singapore, Thailand, Guam, Jebel Ali, Bahrain, and Jordan, returning to the United States on 14 September 2001, just days after the attacks of 11 September 2001.
In 2003, as a result of the impending war and the need for troops in Iraq, Boxer found herself deploying yet again, this time six months ahead of schedule. This was a six-month deployment in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She deployed with six other ships from San Diego on 17 January 2003: USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Anchorage, USS Cleveland, USS Comstock, USS Dubuque, and USS Pearl Harbor.
She returned to the United States on 26 July 2003. Also in 2003 she won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Pacific Fleet.
In another early deployment, to become known as a surge deployment, Boxer steamed alone from San Diego on 14 January 2004 to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Iraq, dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom II. She delivered equipment and supplies to Kuwaiti Naval Base in the northern Persian Gulf for the continuing support of the post-war rebuilding of Iraq. She returned home on 29 April 2004.
Boxer was deployed with the 15th MEU from her San Diego port on 13 September 2006. They arrived to Iraq in November and returned to dock in San Diego on 31 May 2007.
From 20 April 2008 to 26 June 2008, Boxer conducted a humanitarian mission in Central and South America.
Anti-Piracy Task Force
Boxer is designated as the flagship of Combined Task Force 151, the international anti-piracy task force pursuing pirates off the coast of Somalia.
On 10 April 2009, Boxer was en route to assist USS Bainbridge and USS Halyburton in negotiating the release of Richard Phillips, captain of U.S. flagged container ship MV Maersk Alabama, who was held hostage by Somali pirates 300 miles off the Horn of Africa. On 12 April 2009, Captain Phillips was freed during a US Navy assault in which three of the Somali pirates were killed, and one was captured. Captain Phillips was transported to Boxer for medical examination and rest.
Around 1 May 2009, Boxer assisted some 200 members of the German special operations unit GSG-9 in getting close to the hijacked German container ship MV Hansa Stavanger. During the last phase of the operation, James L. Jones, the U.S. National Security Advisor, withheld final approval for the operation out of concern for the safety of the 25 sailors on board the vessel. This led to the decision by the German department of defense and the German department of the interior to abort the planned attack on the freighter for the time being and the GSG-9 unit, which is under the command of the German secretary of the interior, returned to their base of operations at the airport of Mombasa, Kenya. It was reported that the German department of defense influence and contacts to James Jones led to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the scene.
The ship returned to San Diego on 1 August 2009. During her transit of the Pacific, 69 of the sailors and marines aboard the ship contracted swine flu, forcing the cancellation of a planned “Tiger Cruise” from Hawaii to meet the ships for several hundred relatives and friends.
The ship, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, departed San Diego on 22 February 2011 for a seven-month deployment in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Accompanying the ship on the deployment were USS Green Bay and USS Comstock.
On 6 May 2016, it was reported that the U.S. staged Boxer, supported by the destroyers Gravely and Gonzalez off the coast of Yemen with 2,000 to 4,500 U.S. Marines of the 13th MEU in the flotilla to provide support to coalition forces in Yemen fighting AQAP militants. On 16 June 2016, Boxer, supported by amphibious warfare ships New Orleans and Harpers Ferry took part in Operation Inherent Resolve; AV-8BII Harriers of the 13th MEU flying off the ship began airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, making it the first time the U.S. Navy used ship-based aircraft from both the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf at the same time during the Operation (aircraft from the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman began airstrikes on ISIL targets from the Mediterranean on 3 June).
On 18 July 2019, President Donald Trump stated that the ship shot down and destroyed an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement by the President, the drone was downed after “ignoring multiple stand down calls.” Iranian officials rejected Trump’s statement on downing an Iranian drone and the IRGC released a video and claimed it was monitoring the ship and some other American military vessels including USS Harpers Ferry, USS John P. Murtha, USS Bainbridge and USS McFaul by the drone on the morning of 18 July.
On 7 April 2020, it was reported that BAE systems had been awarded a contract from the US Navy to perform extensive modernisation and maintenance to the USS Boxer. This work is reportedly scheduled to commence in June 2020, and complete in around 18 months’ time in December 2021.