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The Aug. 29 ship familiarization tour introduced Argentine Navy leadership to life and operations aboard Boxer ahead of the assignment of an Argentine surface warfare officer candidate to a U.S. Navy amphibious ship through the Personnel Exchange Program.
“My staff and I enjoyed the tour and are excited to embark one of our officers on a U.S. amphibious ship to learn through the Personnel Exchange Program,” said Berazay-Martinez.
Assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, Boxer is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, commissioned Feb. 11, 1995, and is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name. Boxer’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 officers and enlisted personnel and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. The ship recently completed a scheduled maintenance availability and is preparing for upcoming operations.
ESG 3 Commander Rear Adm. Wayne “Mouse” Baze was aboard Boxer to welcome the delegation and joined the group for the tour.
“International partnerships strengthen our team, and we look forward to welcoming an Argentine Navy officer aboard one of our ships to share our knowledge and skillsets with one another,” said Baze. “These exchanges bolster cooperative operations across the fleet and produce capable officers that thrive in a combined environment.”
The tour reached multiple decks and aspects of the 844-foot long ship. The delegation was able to learn about Boxer’s leading technology and amphibious support capabilities as they toured the combat information center, pilot house, flight deck, medical, dental, and upper vehicle and lower vehicle decks. The Argentine Navy delegation was also able to see where the junior officer would eat and sleep on board.
“I am honored Boxer was asked to represent the fleet and introduce our unique and expansive capabilities to Rear Adm. Berazay-Martinez and the Argentine Navy,” said Capt. Matthew Cieslukowski, Boxer’s commanding officer. “Partnerships in the maritime domain are critical, and these regular exchanges of experiences and skills strengthen us all as naval professionals and warfighters, particularly in the amphibious domain. I am grateful the Argentine delegation was able to interact with the dedicated Sailors on board who are the foundation of the world’s greatest amphibious assault ship and would gladly welcome the addition of an Argentine Navy Officer to our crew.”
While Argentina is an existing Personnel Exchange Program participant nation, this will be the first time an Argentine Navy officer is assigned to a U.S. Navy amphibious ship. Like their American counterparts, the Argentine Officer would complete required ship handling and navigation courses ahead of checking in on board a ship. Known as Basic Division Officer Course, enrolled students complete a rigorous nine-week curriculum that includes a combination of classroom, labs, ship simulators, and waterfront engagement.
Argentina is one of 20 foreign nations participating in the Personnel Exchange Program with the U.S. Navy. The program was established to coordinate the exchange of military personnel between U.S. Navy and foreign military services, enhancing interoperability and international relationships.
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