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Bonhomme Richard ARG Ready to Deploy

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090916-05
Release Date: 9/16/2009 3:04:00 PM

From U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is scheduled to depart Naval Base San Diego Friday, Sept. 18 for a deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East.

Nearly 4,500 Sailors and Marines will deploy aboard the ready group's three ships, amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the ARG flagship; the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7); and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47).

Commanded by Capt. Rodney Clark, the Bonhomme Richard ARG includes 2,100 embarked troops from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) based in Camp Pendleton.

Maintaining peace and stability, preserving freedom of the seas, and fostering cooperative relationships with international partners are key focal points of the deployment as the ARG/MEU executes the Navy and Marine Corps' maritime strategy.

The Bonhomme Richard ARG/11th MEU team employs a full range of operational capabilities. With the ability to reach 70 percent of the world's coastline, the ARG/MEU can rapidly respond to crises if called upon to project combat power ashore or provide humanitarian assistance.
In addition to its ships, the ARG consists of the command element, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 7; Tactical Air Control Squadron 12, Detachment 1; the "Wild Cards" of Helicopter Sea Combat 23, Det. 3; Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 1, Det. B; ACU 5, Det. F; Beachmaster Unit 1, Det. B; and Fleet Surgical Team 9.
Bonhomme Richard ARG will help provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the sea and humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50 million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

Media wishing to attend the homecoming should contact Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs at (619) 437-2735 by 4 p.m, Sept. 17.



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