Troubled assault ship USS Boxer finally leaves San Diego

The USS Boxer, one of the Navy’s premier “mini-carriers,” left San Diego for the Indo-Pacific following a series of costly technical problems that a Navy investigation found , could have been avoided.

The 843-foot amphibious assault ship, which carries a combination of aircraft, was deployed Monday for the first time in five years. These ships are typically deployed every year or two, if not undergoing extended maintenance.

The Boxer had three significant technical failures that, according to a Navy study obtained by KPBS, were caused, at least in part, by cost cutting, under-qualified workers, complacency and a lack of leadership.

The delays raised deep concerns within the Navy because the Boxer was needed to help maintain a U.S. presence in the Indo-Pacific, where China has threatened to invade Taiwan.

Now that the ship is underway, the Boxer will serve as the flagship of an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) that includes Camp Pendleton’s 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The ARG also includes two other large San Diego-based amphibious warships, the USS Somerset and the USS Harpers Ferry, both of which deployed earlier.

The Marines will deploy their new amphibious combat vehicle for the first time during this deployment.

California Daily Newspapers

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