A landing craft air cushion (LCAC) disembarks from the well deck of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) to return Marines and their equipment ashore at White Beach Naval Facility. (U.S. Navy/MC3 Jeanette Mullinax)

OKINAWA, Japan - Amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flag ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), arrived in White Beach, Okinawa after completing a nine-day certification exercise (CERTEX) with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in the East China Sea, Feb. 28.

CERTEX is a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combines Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities. The ARG was evaluated on a wide range of complex scenarios. These scenarios tested their ability to operate in several mission critical areas ranging from maritime boarding and combat flight operations to amphibious landings, raids and civilian evacuation drills.

“CERTEX is an opportunity to put our interoperability to the test,” said Capt. Ed Thompson, commander, Amphibious Squadron 11. “Integration with the 31st MEU is essential to the ARG’s mission readiness. Each scenario demanded a series of aircraft, landing craft, equipment and personnel movements. The 'blue-green team' drove the problem and safely executed the mission. I am proud of what our team accomplished over the past nine days.”

During CERTEX Bonhomme Richard and Germantown Sailors and Marines supported over 250 flight deck operations and conducted over ten landing craft launch and recovery evolutions demonstrating Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities. Bonhomme Richard ARG is comprised of Bonhomme Richard, Germantown and USS Ashland (LSD 48).