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Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group Returns to Okinawa for MEU Offload

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS161031-08
Release Date: 10/31/2016 9:00:00 AM

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Sarah Villegas, Expeditionary Strike Group 7 Public Affairs

OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- The last two ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Group (BHR ESG) arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to offload the embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Oct. 28.

Amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LDS 42) arrived Oct. 28, following amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), which arrived on Oct. 26 as the three ships wrapped up more than two months of joint operations with the 31st MEU in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

During the deployment, the Sailors and Marines of the BHR ESG worked together to complete exercise Valiant Shield, Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 33, integration with the Pacific Surface Action Group (PAC SAG), and their amphibious integration training (AIT) and certification exercise (CERTEX).

"The Navy-Marine Corps team here is as well integrated as any I've seen," said Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7, who also commands the BHR ESG. "Every aspect of this deployment -- whether conducting amphibious operations or enhancing international partnerships -- the Sailors and Marines here have demonstrated 'one team, one fight.' I want to pass a sincere 'Bravo Zulu' to everyone in the ESG and a sincere 'thank you' to their families for support throughout the deployment."

The Sailors and Marines of the ESG also enhanced partnerships through port visits to places such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.

The ships of the BHR ESG departed their forward-deployed base of Sasebo, Japan, Aug. 10 as part of a regularly scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

ESG 7 units included flagship Bonhomme Richard, Green Bay, Germantown, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, Naval Beach Group 7, and the 31st MEU. The 31st MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2nd Battalion, 4th Regiment (2/4), Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 Reinforced.



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