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    USS Boxer Holds Change of Command


    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin M Whitley | 190915-N-PX867-1244 GULF OF ADEN (Sept. 15, 2019) Capt. Ronald Dowdell, commanding...... read more read more

    A new commanding officer took command of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) during a change of command ceremony, Sept. 15.

    Capt. Dale Heinken relieved Capt. Ronald Dowdell, who served as Boxer’s commanding officer since July 19, 2018.

    Under Dowdell, who took command of Boxer while the ship was in a phased maintenance availability, the crew successfully completed Basic Phase Certification, Amphibious Readiness Group certification, a compressed Fleet Response Training Program work-up cycle, a Strait of Hormuz transit, and a highly successful WESTPAC/CENTCOM 2019 deployment.

    “I am so incredibly proud of the Sailors. No matter the challenge, no matter the mission, they answer the bell every time. Their professionalism, buoyed by the sacrifice of their families, have enabled Boxer [Amphibious Ready Group] to serve as the nation’s 9-11 force at a time when we are most needed,” said Dowdell.

    Dowdell encouraged the crew to continue to strive for excellence as the new commanding officer takes charge of Boxer.

    “Capt. Heinken is the finest officer with which I have served. His tenacity and spirit will propel Boxer through the next chapter of a long, storied journey of naval service,” said Dowdell.
    During the ceremony, Dowdell was presented with the Legion of Merit award for his service, dedication, and leadership.

    Heinken, who served as Boxer's executive officer from July 2018 to Sept. 2019, officially assumed the title of commanding officer after orders were read and salutes rendered.

    “I am humbled and proud to be your commanding officer,” said Heinken. “Over our time together, I will ask you to be tenacious, to never quit and to never surrender; and to not accept the easy path or the easy answer, but to be your own hero. To do what is right because it is the right thing to do. To help each other to be successful and lethal so that we can always be smarter, faster, and stronger than any challenge we face.”

    Heinken received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1995. His previous command experience includes serving as the executive officer and commanding officer of Littoral Combat Ship Crew 101 aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1) and USS Fort Worth (LCS 3). Additionally, he served as the Reactor Officer aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

    Boxer is the sixth vessel to carry the name and its historical legacy, and the fourth ship of the Navy's Wasp-class amphibious assault ships. Its mission is to embark, deploy and land elements of the Marine landing force in amphibious assault operations by aircraft, amphibious vehicles or any combination of these methods, as well as provide humanitarian assistance.



    Date Taken: 09.15.2019
    Date Posted: 09.15.2019 14:08
    Story ID: 341022
    Location: GULF OF ADEN

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