U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), took the Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 aboard for a patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
Bonhomme Richard arrived in White Beach, Okinawa February 28 to receive the ESG 7 staff subsequently converting the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), consisting of forward-deployed Bonhomme Richard, amphibious dock landing ships USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), into the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (BHRESG).
ESG 7 is a compilation of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s amphibious forces, serving as the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force, and is responsible for conducting expeditionary warfare operations that support a full range of theater contingencies, ranging from humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
Rear Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr., commander, ESG 7, said: “It’s great to be back at sea with Sailors and Marines. With the successful completion of AIT/CERTEX this premier blue-green team is ready to demonstrate our capabilities as a Strike Group and the important role we have in maintaining security and stability within the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”
Sailors and Marines aboard Bonhomme Richard and Germantown recently completed their amphibious certification exercise (CERTEX) where the blue-green team demonstrated a full range of maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities.
The Bonhomme Richard ESG is scheduled to participate in Ssang Yong 2016, a biennial combined amphibious exercise conducted by integrated MEB/ESG forward-deployed forces with the ROK Navy and Marine Corps.