Lucky sailors get to chill out in Thailand 'for work'

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Frank L. Andrews

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) and the embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Phuket, Thailand June 8 for a scheduled port visit.

The port visit is a chance for Sailors and Marines to relax and enjoy Thailand's culture, cuisine and tropical beaches while fostering relationships between the two nations.

"Our visit is an opportunity for the ship to replenish supplies, and an important relationship-strengthening opportunity with Thailand," said Capt. Ronald Dowdell, Boxer's commanding officer. "Sailors have an opportunity to get some well-deserved rest and enjoy the vibrant culture as they continue deployment."

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During the visit, Boxer Sailors and Marines will experience Thai culture through the ship's morale welfare and recreation department, which is offering 27 tours, highlighting the country's culture and landscape.

"We're offering a variety of tours, which will allow the crew to experience Thailand," said Maleka Lipscomb, Boxer's afloat recreation specialist. "Experiencing Thailand is an opportunity most do not get every day, so we really aim to help everyone make the most of it."

The Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a forward presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.