Boxer Collects 3rd Consecutive Safety Award

Story Number: NNS160315-11Release Date: 3/15/2016 9:24:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Eric Burgett, USS Boxer (LHD 4) Public Affairs

EAST SEA (NNS) -- For the third consecutive year, amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) was recognized with the Chief of Naval Operation's Safety Award March 9 for the crew's 2015 safety record.

Commands that win the Safety Excellence Award are assessed on their compliance with the guidelines of the Navy Occupational Safety and Health program (NAVOSH), the state of their material readiness, and their ability to successfully pass a safety survey.

"We conducted regular training with departmental and divisional safety representatives and conducted ship wide safety stand-downs to reduce mishaps," said Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuel) Eduardo Ople, acting command Safety Officer. "We met every operational requirement and completed all required tasks without a single Class "A" or Class "B" safety mishap."

The awards recognize outstanding contributions to fleet readiness, increased morale, efficiency and the economical use of resources through safety with the recognition being bestowed to commands that have distinguished themselves in their compliance and maintaining of the safety standards.

"It is about consistency - a consistent command focus, relentless follow-up by leadership, communication, and accountability," said Capt. Benjamin J Allbritton, Boxer's executive officer. "You absolutely cannot take safety for granted in this dangerous business."

Allbritton spoke of key contributors among the crew leading to Boxer's sustained success.

"Consistency, consistency, and consistency in everything we do," he said. "There is an absolute direct correlation between procedural compliance, material condition, safety, and combat readiness. The really strong ships in the fleet get that connection and excel despite operational challenges and material setbacks. Never walk past a problem and hold people accountable. You will complete the mission and build better Sailors that way."

Unit level awards are the result of an entire crew's performance during a specific period of time.

"This award is the culmination of the crew's hard work," said Command Master Chief Matt Ruane. "It demonstrates that the Boxer crew takes safety and procedural compliance seriously."

Allbritton said this award is about more than avoiding injuries.

"Boxer will continue to take it one evolution at a time and will always respect how incredibly dangerous our line of work is," said Allbritton. "We strive to do it right, not because of plaques or recognition, but because every Sailor and Marine has someone back home that loves them or depends on them."

He added, "As a leader, I can think of no greater responsibility than to accomplish the mission and to bring a ship and its crew home safely."

For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit

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