PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), with embarked units from Amphibious Squadron 1 and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 29 for their first port visit in the U.S. since leaving their San Diego homeport for a seven-month deployment.
"The Sailors and Marines aboard Boxer did an outstanding job carrying out each mission we conducted throughout 5th and 7th Fleet [areas of operation]," said Capt. Mike Ruth, Boxer's commanding officer. "They are proud and excited to return to the U.S., and look forward to enjoying some well-deserved liberty here in Hawaii."
While deployed, Boxer supported Operation Inherent Resolve and conducted community relations projects during port visits to Hong Kong, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Singapore, Oman, and Malaysia.
The port visit also marks the first reunion of Boxer Sailors and Marines with family and friends as many journeyed to Hawaii to meet their service member.
"One year after we had our first baby, Zebryna Rose, I was deployed, and returning to her was a feeling I have never felt; seeing her on the pier waiting for me, it was incredible," said Chief Information Systems Technician Zebulon Brackman. "Now two years later, we've had our second girl Audriana Quinn while I was deployed, and today I will be able to meet her. This trumps that previous feeling; I never thought I'd miss the birth of my child, and now I can get that back by holding her for the first time, here in Hawaii where we had our first child. I can't describe how I feel without tears."
Boxer, flagship of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, with amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18), amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and the embarked 13th MEU, is operating in the U.S. 3rd Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
For more information, visit http://www.navy.mil, http://www.facebook.com/usnavy, or http://www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.