Heavy Metal: Boxer Sailors Forge Ahead

Story Number: NNS090119-08Release Date: 1/19/2009 8:29:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Daniel Barker, USS Boxer (LHD 4) Public Affairs

USS BOXER, At Sea (NNS) -- Ten HTs work aboard amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) use their versatile skills to solve problems from the simple to the complex as they respond to a wide variety of trouble calls that occur without notice.

"All of us have been to 'A' school in Great Lakes," said Hull Technician 1st Class (SW) Henry Casarez. "We learn all the basics of sheet metal fabrication and structural repair, everything from welding to pipe fitting. Some of us have also attended 'C' school in San Diego, where advanced techniques such as high pressure welding are taught."

One of the primary responsibilities for these versatile technicians aboard Boxer is ensuring the ship's collection, holding, and transfer (CHT) system - including its vast and complex plumbing network - functions properly.

"It takes someone with a really thick skin to be in this rate," Casarez added. "You have to have a lot of patience sometimes."

Additionally, HTs secure equipment for rough seas, maximize office space, install shelving and repair equipment for Marine units aboard. If HTs can't fix it, they make it. Boxer's metal shop is a full-service fabrication facility.

"Sometimes you have to get a little creative," said Casarez.

"Today, I'm welding aluminum cross-braces to a chair that keeps breaking," explained Hull Technician 3rd Class (SW) Brian Winter. "Every day is something different. You just have to be versatile in dealing with each job as it comes up."

The Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group (BOXESG) is currently on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific in support of global maritime security.

BOXESG is comprised of Amphibious Squadron Five, the 13th MEU, USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93), USCGC Boutwell (WHEC 719), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Naval Beach Group One, Assault Craft Unit Five, Assault Craft Unit One, Beach Master Unit One, Fleet Surgical Team Five, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Rein), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21, Combat Logistics Battalion 13, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, and Fixed Wing Marine Attack Squadron 214.

For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.

Hull Technician 3rd Class Jonathan Blaies from Santa Maria, Calif., welds a tin container to be used as a laundry bin.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of a hull technician welding a tin container to be used as a laundry bin by the ship's crew aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4).
January 28, 2004
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