USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) pulls away from the pier at Fleet Activities Sasebo, June 1. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Jordan Crouch)

SASEBO, Japan - The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed its forward-deployed base of Sasebo, Japan for a scheduled patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, June 1.

Bonhomme Richard and the Okinawa-based Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are scheduled for operations and exercises that will enhance interoperability with partners and allies, improve contingency response capability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the region.

“Every member of the crew in Bonhomme Richard has trained to sharpen their professional skills for this patrol. We have performed the maintenance necessary to keep our forward-deployed ship ready for any contingency, and I have every confidence that we are ready to execute any of our assigned missions,” said Capt. Larry McCullen, commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard. “I’m confident this crew will represent our navy well, and that the ship will gain valuable experience while operating and making a positive impact with the 31st MEU and our regional partners.”

Throughout the patrol Bonhomme Richard and 31st MEU Marines will conduct land, sea and air training, as well as practice their ability to respond with humanitarian assistance in response to a natural disaster.