The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) transported Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to the coast of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in support of the Korean Marine Exchange Program (KMEP) 2015.
One major characteristic that makes Bonhomme Richard and the other ships of the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) unique is their ability to move hundreds of personnel and haul heavy equipment to and from the shore quickly, but none of this would be possible without the landing craft air cushion (LCAC) and landing craft utility (LCU) of Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7.
All sea bound traffic to and from Bonhomme Richard must go through the well deck, which is an entrance/exit in the aft portion of the ship very similar to the drawbridge of a medieval fortress.
As the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), composed of Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) participate in KMEP, the equipment transported includes: high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, medium tactical vehicles, M1161 internally transportable vehicles, light armored vehicles and, other equipment between Marine Prepositioning Forces (MPF) and Navy assets.
KMEP is designed to strengthen the interoperability in amphibious operations between the U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) Forces, which contributes to the security and stability on the Korean Peninsula as well as the entire Asia-Pacific region.
Image: US Navy