Bonhomme Richard ESG returns to Okinawa for Marines offload

28 October 2016

From PO2 Sarah Villegas, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 Public Affairs

The last two ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to offload the the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Oct. 28.

OKINAWA, Japan - The last two ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Group (BHR ESG) arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to offload the embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Oct. 28.

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Germantown (LDS 42) arrived Oct. 28, following USS Green Bay (LPD 20), which arrived on Oct. 26, as the three amphibious ships wrapped up more than two months of joint operations with the 31st MEU Marines in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

During the deployment, the Sailors and Marines of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group worked together to complete exercise Valiant Shield, Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise 33 (PHIBLEX), integration with the Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG), and their amphibious integration training (AIT) and certification exercise (CERTEX).

“The Navy-Marine Corps team here is as well-integrated as any I’ve seen,” said Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, who also commands the BHR ESG. “Every aspect of this deployment—whether conducting amphibious operations or enhancing international partnerships—the Sailors and Marines here have demonstrated ‘one-team, one fight.’ I want to pass a sincere Bravo-Zulu to everyone in the ESG and a sincere thank you to their families for support throughout the deployment.”

The Sailors and Marines of the ESG also enhanced partnerships through port visits to places such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.

The ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group departed their forward deployed base of Sasebo, Japan Aug. 10 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

ESG 7 units included flagship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Germantown (LSD 42), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Naval Beach Group 7, and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 31st MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment (2/4), Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 Reinforced.

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