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ESG 7 Embarks Bonhomme Richard, Focus on Core Combat Capabilities

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS150309-07
Release Date: 3/9/2015 9:18:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam D. Wainwright, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

WHITE BEACH, Okinawa (NNS) -- The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), embarked Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7 for patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

The ARG is comprised of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), the Whidbey Island-class amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

'It's great to be back at sea with our Sailors and Marines where we can continue to focus on our core combat capabilities,' said Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, Commander, ESG 7. 'With the addition of Green Bay and the significant capabilities she brings to the 7th Fleet amphibious forces, this deployment is the first opportunity to integrate her into the ARG-MEU team and the very important role we have in maintaining security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.'

Bonhomme Richard ARG Sailors and Marines from the 31st MEU will focus on executing amphibious assault, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations and non-combatant evacuation missions.

'Practicing each mission set is vital to ARG-MEU readiness,' said Capt. Heidi Agle, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11. 'Each evolution requires seamless integration among all units to execute effectively. I have no doubt every ship and Sailor in the ARG and every Marine onboard will successfully complete this intense training period and demonstrate the professionalism and proficiency we've learned to expect.'

The 31st MEU and ships in the ARG work hand-in-hand every day to conduct amphibious, air and combat operations that assist in executing the Chief of Naval Operations Three Tenets: Operate Forward, Warfighting First and Be Ready.

The Bonhomme Richard ARG, tactically controlled by Capt. Heidi Agle, commodore, Amphibious Squadron 11, reports to the Commander, Amphibious Force U.S. 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.

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