Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Aaron Becker mans the rails as USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) returns to Sasebo. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Adam D. Wainwright)

SASEBO, Japan - The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) completed its deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations May 1.

During the two-and-a-half month underway, Bonhomme Richard, along with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), completed a certification exercise (CERTEX), participated in amphibious integration training (AIT), worked alongside the Republic of Korea (ROK) navy in Exercise Ssang Yong and assisted with search and rescue operations for survivors of the sunken Korean ferry Sewol, near the island of Jindo.

“We completed a wide-range of operations that truly demonstrated the tremendous capabilities of an amphibious assault ship in the U.S. 7th Fleet,” said Capt. Joey Tynch, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “Bonhomme Richard’s Sailors showed tremendous flexibility, skill, and dedication to duty during the ever changing schedule we encountered. As always, we stand ready to respond to any crisis in the U.S. 7th Fleet and know that no challenge or mission is big for Bonhomme Richard.”

This underway also gave many Sailors an opportunity to expand their knowledge of amphibious operations by working to complete their Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) and Enlisted Air Warfare Specialist (EAWS) qualifications. As of May 1, 179 Sailors earned or requalified the ESWS qualification and 78 Sailors earned or requalified the EAWS qualification.

Bonhomme Richard is preparing to enter a ship’s readiness availability period in order to prepare for upcoming deployments.

Bonhomme Richard, commanded by Capt. Joey Tynch, is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group.