SEPANGGAR, Malaysia - The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Malaysia's sub-district of Sepanggar for a scheduled port visit in Kota Kinabalu, Feb. 23.
During the visit, Bonhomme Richard Sailors and Marines will be involved in various community service projects, hosting tours of the ship, sporting events, as well as enjoying the sights of this quickly expanding city of 600,000 people. Kota Kinabalu is a popular gateway for people travelling to Sabah or Borneo and is one of the major commercial and industrial cities in all Malaysia.
"The men and women of BHR have waited a long time for a liberty port and everyone's excited for this visit," said Bonhomme Richard Commanding Officer Capt. Joey Tynch. "It's no small feat getting a steamship back to sea after a long time pierside and I couldn't be more proud of how hard everyone worked to get us back underway after our extended time in the yards."
Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is currently deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
"We're glad to be back at sea, working shoulder to shoulder, with the Marines of the 31st MEU as we continue to refine all aspects of our amphibious capability and engage with our partner nations in the Pacific," said Tynch. "We're thrilled to be in Malaysia representing the United States Navy and Marine Corps Team and can't wait to take in everything this country has to offer from sea level to the summit of Mount Kinabalu."
Bonhomme Richard ARG is currently under the tactical command of embarked Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11, Capt. Heidi Agle and reports to Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, headquartered in White Beach, Japan.