ABOARD THE USS BONHOMME RICHARD --
ABOARD THE USS BONHOMME RICHARD (NNS) – The Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (BHRESG) entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations (AOO) May 19.
The San Diego-based ship's arrival demonstrates the United States’ steadfast resolve to enhance security and support long-term stability in the region.
BHRESG is comprised of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)(BHR) and its embarked staff, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 7, and 2,200 combat-ready Marines of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., USS Denver (LPD 9), USS Rushmore (LSD 47), USS Milius (DDG 69), USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93)and USS Chosin (CG 65).
Commander, BHRESG/PHIBRON 7, Capt. Bradley D. Martin, said the strike group brings a flexible and easily-deployed amphibious force that will further complement coalition forces currently operating in the region.
“We bring with us an inherently adaptable force that is capable of delivering elements of the 13th MEU ground and air forces anywhere their services are required,” said Martin. “We are well prepared to take up our duties and support the efforts of the combatant commander whether it be at sea, in the air or on land.”
According to 13th MEU’s commanding officer, Col. Carl E. Mundy III, his Marines and Sailors have used their time aboard BHRESG’s transit to raise their already high level of operational readiness.
“While there is never any doubt to a Marine's level of readiness, 13th MEU Marines and Sailors are taking advantage of their time aboard Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group by conducting constant training evolutions while underway,” said Mundy. “This includes live-fire ranges, equipment maintenance and classes on tactics, law of armed conflict, and Arabic culture and language.”
Mundy said the 13th MEU is capable of conducting a wide variety of missions, including combat operations ashore, humanitarian assistance, and noncombatant evacuations.
“Broadly speaking, the 13th MEU provides the theater combatant commander with a highly trained, versatile landing force and will respond to missions and taskings that span a wide range of possibilities,” said Mundy.
BHRESG will be conducting Maritime Security Operations while in 5th Fleet. U.S. and coalition forces conduct Maritime Security Operations to help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.