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OKINAWA, Japan - The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) arrived at White Beach, Okinawa to embark Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), June 5.
During the visit, the ship will embark 31st MEU personnel, vehicles and equipment, prior to continuing a scheduled patrol.
During the transit from Sasebo, Japan, landing craft air cushions (LCACs) of Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, MV-22B Ospreys of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265, CH-53E Super Stallions of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, AV-8B Harriers of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 311 and MH-60S Sea Hawks of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 have all joined the Bonhomme Richard crew.
“The crew of Bonhomme Richard is focused and ready for our upcoming mission. The team has demonstrated a strong sense of professionalism and teamwork in the short time that we have been underway from our homeport in Sasebo,” said Capt. Larry McCullen, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer. “It takes a well choreographed effort from all hands to embark LCACs and five squadrons of aircraft safely on board this warship. From the engineers of the lower decks to the air boatswain mates of the flight deck, Bonhomme Richard is a capable team, and we are ready to link up with our brethren from 31st Marines; together we will be ready to execute any contingency."
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (BHR ARG), together with the 31st MEU, are scheduled to train alongside Australian counterparts in the biennial exercise Talisman Saber and serve as a ready-force for any type of contingency while on the multi-month deployment.
Talisman Saber, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defence Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command, will incorporate U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force and the Australian Defence Force, as well as other government agencies from each country.
The BHR ARG is comprised of flagship Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 42).