Local sailors and Marines deploy to Middle East and Western Paci - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local sailors and Marines deploy to Middle East and Western Pacific

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The amphibious ready group led by the USS Boxer left San Diego Friday on its way to the Western Pacific and Middle East.

The group includes the 847-foot-long amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, 684-foot amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans and the 610-foot amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry.

Around 2,400 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton are aboard the vessels.

According to the Navy, the group will focus on maritime and theater security. The sailors and Marines will be available for any needed amphibious assault and Special Forces operations, humanitarian missions and non-combatant operations, the Navy reported.

Capt. Malcolm Potts, the commander of Amphibious Squadron 1 and the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, told a local television station, that the Navy and Marine Corps are "excited to come together as a great team" that will "work very hard to do the business of our nation and see that our national interests are taken care of very well."

The USS Boxer is the sixth Navy vessel bearing the Boxer name. The original was His Majesty's Brig Boxer belonging to Great Britain. It was captured off the coast of Maine in 1813, during the war of 1812.

The USS Harpers Ferry is named after a raid by abolitionist John Brown on an arsenal in 1859 in the run up to the Civil War. Many of the raiders were killed, and Brown was convicted and hanged.

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