According to reports, the US Navy is moving a huge amphibious ship closer to the scene of the pirate hostage standoff off Somalia. Here is a look at one of those ships, the USS Boxer (LHD-4).The USS Boxer (LHD-4) was constructed at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched on August 13, 1993, and commissioned on February 11, 1995. It is homeported in San Diego, California.
It is the fourth ship of the Wasp class large-deck amphibious assault ships of the United States Navy. LHDs (landing helicopter deck) embark, transport, deploy, command and fully support all elements of a marine expeditionary unit (MEU) of 2,000 Marines, inserting forces ashore via helicopters, landing craft and amphibious vehicles.
The WASP Class is the first specifically designed to employ air-cushion landing craft (LCACS), and to carry a squadron of Harrier II (AV-8B) STOVL (short take-off vertical landing) jets.
In addition, each Wasp Class ship is equipped with a crew of more than 1,000 and over 2,000 marines, a mobile hospital with 600 beds and six operating rooms, and over two dozen helicopters and attack planes.
Since its commissioning in 1995, the USS Boxer has been deployed in support of various missions including Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Northern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom, to name a few. Most recently, the Boxer (LHD-4) has had role as the flagship for Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, an international naval task force set up early this year to deter and disrupt piracy in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.
USS Boxer (LHD-4) – Ship Information
Name: USS Boxer
Type: Wasp Class amphibious assault ship
Builder: Ingalls Shipbuilding
Commissioned: February 11, 1995
Homeport: San Diego, California
Beam: 106 feet
Speed: 20+ knots
Length: 844 feet
Displacement: 40,500 tons
Accomodations: 1,174 crew, 2070 troops
Image via US Navy Photostream on Flickr
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