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Military

BHR Conducts EPW Drill

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070219-07
Release Date: 2/19/2007 7:23:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Mark Patterson II, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors and Marines aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) conducted an Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) handling drill, Feb. 18.

The EPW drill, guided by BHR's Force Protection Training Team (FPTT), was part of Composite Training Unit Exercise, a required hurdle before the ship can deploy later this year.

Starting ashore at San Clemente Island, Calif., Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) loaded a hostile detainee role-player onto a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and brought him to BHR.

“Once aboard, the Marines handed over custody of the detainee to BHR’s Ship’s Self Defense Force (SSDF) Transport Team,” said Master-At-Arms 2nd Class Alphonso D. Ramirez.

According to Ramirez, once the detainees were aboard they were searched for contraband, weapons, and given medical screenings before they were taken to the ship’s brig.

Ramirez said the SSDF Transport Team and the ship’s Masters-at-Arms secured the transport route during the transfer of the detainee.

“If we are to ever bring a detainee aboard, our transport team will have to make sure we have a safe and secure route to take them from point to point,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez said this exercise was good training for the SSDF Transport Team, the Masters-At-Arms, and the brig staff.

“BHR is the only ship in the (ESG) [5] [Expeditionary Strike Group] with a brig facility,” said Ramirez. “This exercise helped everyone involved in the process of transferring detainees.”

According to Master-At-Arms 1st Class Aristotle Jimenez, this scenario put BHR Sailors and attached Marines to the test, helping prepare them for real world scenarios.

“During WESTPAC, while the Marines conduct operations in hostile-infested areas, they could bring back detainees who would await transfer to a land-based detainee facility,” said Jimenez. “Since we are the only ship in the ESG with a brig, we would serve as the temporary holding facility.”

Bonhomme Richard and ESG 5 are currently underway off the coast of Southern California conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment.



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