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Bonhomme Richard ESG WESTPAC 05 Deployment
LHD-6 Bonhomme Richard
"Revolutionary Gator"

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the command ship for Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, took part in a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of Southern California, which ran through Nov. 15, 2004. Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and various types of Navy and Marine fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft also participated. During this 'graduate-level' exercise, more than 6,000 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen work together to improve their operational skill sets in preparation for their deployment. Upon successful completion of the exercise, U.S. 3rd Fleet Commander was to certify ESG 5 "ready for deployment", with the strike group scheduled to deploy in the following months.

Participating in JTFEX were USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Duluth (LPD 6), USS Milius (DDG 69), USCGC Munro (WHEC 724), USS Pasadena (SSN 752), USS Helena (SSN 725) and USS Thach (FFG 43). The strike group was also training with the Canadian destroyer HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283), two Canadian frigates, HMCS Winnipeg (FFG 338) and HMCS Regina (FFH 334), and the Canadian replenishment ship HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509). The Canadian ships were supported by two detachments of CH-124 Sea King helicopters, Canadian CF-18s and a Canadian CP-140, a multimission reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft.

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) deployed on Dec. 6, 2004, along with the rest of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5, for which it served as the flagship, on a routine Western Pacific deployment. As a result of the deployment, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) became first West Coast-based LHD to deploy with the Navy's newest helicopter, the MH-60S. While on deployment, the ships of the ESG were to operate in the Pacific and Indian Oceans in support of the global war on terrorism and other missions as assigned by naval leadership. Embarked Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (Special Operations Capable) are part of ESG 5, along with amphibious ships USS Duluth (LPD 6) and USS Rushmore (LSD 47), guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), guided-missile destroyer USS Milius (DDG 69), and frigate USS Thach (FFG 43).

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) was dispatched to provide support to humanitarian relief operations following the devastation caused by the December 26, 2004 Asian Tsunamis. USS Bonhomme Richard reached the South China Sea on 30 December 2004. USS Bonhomme Richard's surgical wards, engineering and construction capabilities, in addition to water purification equipment and helicopters were expected to provide much-needed assistance in relief operations, but also search and rescue missions as well as the ferrying of needed supplies to disaster areas.

More than 5,000 military personnel of the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group 5 skipped their New Year's holiday on Guam to fulfill a humanitarian mission in Sri Lanka. The USS Bonhomme Richard docked in Apra Harbor for what was originally planned to be a five-day stay, but was called to bring relief aid to the inhabitants of Sri Lanka who were devastated by a tsunami. Sri Lanka was one of 10 nations that were affected by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that originated in the northern area of the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The USS Essex (LHD 2) relieved USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on station Jan. 18, 2005 off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. After delivering more than 1 million pounds of humanitarian relief supplies ashore during Operation Unified Assistance, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) moved to the Persian Gulf, where it arrived on Jan. 26.

After delivering more than 1 million pounds of humanitarian relief supplies ashore during Operation Unified Assistance, the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) arrived on station Jan. 26 in the Persian Gulf. BHR and the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit bring a flexible, versatile and powerful combination of capabilities to the region, including the ability to conduct amphibious operations, non-combatant evacuations, humanitarian assistance operations and maritime interdiction operations.

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) completed its mission in the U.S. Central Command area of operations after backloading the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit April 9-16. Over the course of eight days, BHR's combat cargo department safely backloaded and secured Marine gear for sea. Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) from Assault Craft Unit 5, helicopters and AV-8B Harriers from 15th MEU's Air Combat Element and embarked Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 made many trips from Kuwait to the multipurpose amphibious assault ship, bringing with them more than 1,560 Marines, 132 pieces of rolling Marine equipment and 90 pallets of Marine supplies.

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) departed the Persian Gulf April 19 after bringing the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) back aboard from combat operations in Iraq. BHR was on station in the Gulf for almost three months, serving as a sea base for the 15th MEU and command ship for Commander, Task Force (CTF) 58, protecting vital Iraqi oil terminals and conducting maritime security operations (MSO).

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) visited Brisbane, Australia, May 10-15 for BHR's first port visit on the return leg of its 2004-2005 Western Pacific Deployment.

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) returned to its homeport of San Diego June 6 and concluded its 182-day deployment in support of the global war on terrorism. After steaming through 27 time zones, operating off the coasts of four continents and participating in two major operations, BHR Sailors and Marines received a hero's welcome at Pier 8 on Naval Station San Diego.

Chronology

    6 Jun 2005 - Returns Home
    31 May 2005 - Pacific Ocean
    27 May 2005 - Port visit, Pearl Harbor
    23 May 2005 - Pacific Ocean
    16 May 2005 - Coral Sea
    10-15 May 2005 - Port Visit, Brisbane
    06 May 2005 - Arafura Sea
    04 May 2005 - Pacific Ocean
    25 Apr 2005 - Indian Ocean
    21 Apr 2005 - North Arabian Sea
    19 Apr 2005 - Departs Persian Gulf
    9-16 Apr 2005 - Backloads 15th MEU
    26 Jan 2005 - Persian Gulf
    25 Jan 2005 - North Arabian Sea
    06 Jan 2005 - Indian Ocean
    04 Jan 2005 - Andaman Sea
    30 Dec 2004 - South China Sea
    28 Dec 2004 - Philippine Sea
    16 Dec 2004 - Pacific Ocean
    13 Dec 2004 - Port visit @ Pearl Harbor
    06 Dec 2004 - Deploys
    05 Nov 2004 - JTFEX
    09 Aug 2004 - Pacific Ocean
    04 Aug 2004 - Port visit @ Everett, WA
    04 May 2004 - Pacific Ocean
    ?? Apr 2004 - San Diego
    16 Apr 2004 - Pacific Ocean
    Mar 2004 - San Diego
    10 Feb 2004 - Pacific Ocean
    22 Dec 2003 - San Diego
    18 Dec 2003 - Pacific Ocean
    Oct 2003 - San Diego
    23 Sep 2003 - Pacific Ocean
    17 Sep 2003 - Pacific Ocean
    08 Sep 2003 - Port visit @ San Francisco
    05 Sep 2003 - Departs San Diego



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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:57:34 ZULU