Bonhomme Richard ARG WESTPAC 03 Deployment
Amphibious Task Force West
LHD-6 Bonhomme Richard
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) completed its mission in the Arabian Gulf, May 25, after back-loading Marine troops and vehicles in record time. In about four hours, Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) brought more than 110 pieces of rolling Marine gear and equipment aboard the amphibious assault ship.
Bonhomme Richard departed the Arabian Gulf, May 30, and began steaming east after all the ATF-West ships were loaded up. The ship is homeported in San Diego, and is scheduled to return in late July.
After more than three months in the Arabian Gulf and after launching more than 800 sorties - including 547 combat launches - USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) has chopped out of the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and is heading home.
Bonhomme Richard played two significant roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom. First, it offloaded more than 1,000 Marines and gear from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines into Kuwait. Then, it took up position just miles off the coast of Kuwait and became one of two Harrier Carriers in the Arabian Gulf - launching AV-8B Harrier strike aircraft into Iraq. Pilots from Marine Attack Squadrons 211 and 311, embarked aboard Bonhomme Richard, expended more than 175,000 pounds of ordnance, providing close air support to the Marines on the ground and during predetermined strikes in Iraq.
During OIF the Bonhomme Richard launched more than 800 sorties, including 547 combat launches.
The last of the wartime amphibious fleet that participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom returned home July 26. Known as Amphibious Task Force West, the combined 3,500 Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ships USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) and the amphibious transport dock ships USS Cleveland (LPD 7) and USS Dubuque (LPD 8) pulled into their homeport for the first time since Jan. 17. Nearly 3,000 Marines aboard the ships, comprising a composite unit known as Landing Force West, offloaded at Camp Pendleton July 24 and 25.
27 Jul 2003 - Returns to San Diego
25 Jul 2003 - Arrives Camp Pendleton
17 Jul 2003 - Departs Pearl Harbor
13 Jul 2003 - Port visit @ Pearl Harbor
24 Jun 2003 - Coral Sea
20 Jun 2003 - Port Visit @ Sydney
03 Jun 2003 - Indian Ocean
19 Mar 2003 - OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
24 Feb 2003 - landing ops off Kuwait
?22 Feb 2003 - arrives Persian Gulf
17 Jan 2003 - deploys w/ ATF-W
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