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USS Bonhomme Richard Positions More Than 200,000 Pounds of Disaster Relief Supplies

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050104-06
Release Date: 1/4/2005 1:36:00 PM

By Chief Journalist Walter T. Ham IV, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) -- Helicopters attached to USS Bonhomme Richard (BHR)(LHD 6) airlifted more than 200,000 pounds of disaster relief supplies Jan. 4 from two warehouses on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The supplies were positioned aboard BHR and USS Duluth (LPD 6) in preparation for distribution to more isolated and devastated areas of the island.

"Our ship is uniquely equipped to do this kind of mission," said Capt. J. Scott Jones, commanding officer of the San Diego-based BHR. "This crew always rises to the challenge, and this mission is no exception. I couldn't be more proud of our Sailors and Marines."

Jones said BHR Sailors are also working to produce and distribute water, a basic necessity of life that is so desperately needed on the island.

The ship's desalinization plants can produce more than 30,000 gallons of fresh water daily beyond that of what is needed on the ship. To make the distribution of water ashore easier, Sailors from BHR's Repair Division are making water manifolds to fill large collapsible water bladders.

"The blue-green team on Bonhomme Richard trains for these kinds of humanitarian missions," Jones said. "But the flexibility and ingenuity of this crew never ceases to amaze me."

"We are always ready to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations at sea, since that is our primary mission," Jones continued. "The same attributes that make us such a formidable force in battle also give us the ability to help those in need."

Bonhomme Richard is currently conducting humanitarian operations off the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

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