Bonhomme Richard back on patrol after upgrades
The USS Bonhomme Richard left its homeport at Sasebo Naval Base in southern Japan on Saturday after four months of upgrades to its combat and engineering systems.
“We are very excited to get the ship back to sea after a successful maintenance period,” Capt. Jeffrey Ward, the amphibious assault ship’s commander, said in a Navy statement. “The crew has put in a lot of hard work to make sure this ship is ready to return to sea and operate with our regional partners. I am confident in our ability to carry out any mission required of us.”
The Bonhomme Richard usually takes on Okinawa-based Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and patrols 7th Fleet waters, which extend from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the north to the Antarctic in the south.
The ship is an integral part of the 7th Fleet’s Task Force 76, the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious force. It’s also the flagship of Expeditionary Strike Group 7.