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For the Nav y's USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship that carries planes, helicopters, and 1,000 enlisted crewmen, the mission was to rescue the flight deck by removing the old coating and applying a new one. Feature 50 MARCH 2016 COATINGSPROMAG.COM W BY CLAIRE TRAGESER PHOTOS COURTESY SOUTH BAY SAND BLASTING AND TANK CLEANING, INC. Navy Blues: Non-Skid Coatings on an Amphibious Assault Ship W ith 73 Nav y ofcers, more than 1,000 enlisted Nav y men and women, and a Marine detachment of almost 2,000, the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer carries a lot of important cargo. And that is just the people. Te 840-foot (256.0 m) warship also can carry as many as 42 CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters, each of which can weigh as much as 24,300 pounds (11,022.3 kg). Depending on its mission, the ship will also at times transport six AV-8B Harrier attack planes, four AH-1W Super Cobra attack helis, nine CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, and four UH-1N Huey helicopters. Tat is a lot of important Nav y aircraft in one place. Johnny M. Sanchez is very familiar with high stakes like those. He is a quality systems manager and non-skid special- ist for South Bay Sand Blasting and Tank Cleaning, Inc., a San Diego, Calif.-based blasting and coating company that special- izes in applying non-skid coatings to Nav y, Military Sealift Command, Marad, Coast Guard, and commercial ships. South Bay Sand Blasting and Tank Cleaning has been in business since 1991, has ofces in San Diego, Belfair, Wash., and Atlantic Beach, Fla., and currently employs 150 people. Sanchez said his company got the job on the USS Boxer the usual way — by bidding on it. Te company's experience working on Nav y ships certainly helped. For this job, South Bay Sand Blasting was hired as a subcontractor for General Dynamics NASSCO, which operates the largest shipyard on the West Coast. Trials and Operations Te job that lay ahead for Sanchez was a big one. Te USS Boxer has a fight deck of 102,000 square feet (9,476.1 m²), and the South Bay team would be resurfacing it all. MARINE STEEL EPOXY