By MC2 Jeanette Mullinax, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Public Affairs
The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed Sasebo, Japan, Jan. 23, to conduct its second day of a Ready for Sea Assessment following the completion of a four-month in port maintenance period.
The assessment, which requires a day of at-sea operations, takes place in advance of a regularly scheduled patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The Naval Surface Forces-led assessment evaluates the crew’s proficiency in propulsion and navigation, as well as equipment essential to operating at sea, in order to certify the ship as ready for deployment.
“The crew has prepared for this patrol by devoting themselves to training, performing ship-wide preservation and executing all of the maintenance necessary for our warship to operate successfully at sea,” said Capt. Larry McCullen, commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard. “I am proud to lead them into this patrol as they continue to uphold Bonhomme Richard’s highest standards of professionalism and warfighting readiness.”
In addition to completing maintenance during their in-port period, the crew of Bonhomme Richard carried out training and drills specific to combat systems operations, ship handling skills, medical response and damage control scenarios.
Taking into account the inherent risks present for any ship operating at sea, Bonhomme Richard’s damage control organization focused on consistent all-hands training paired with integrated damage control drills that incorporated lessons learned from recent Navy operational mishaps.
“We were able to utilize this in-port period to build upon our ship-wide damage control knowledge by running weekly drills which were built to test and enhance the crew’s rapid-response efficiency, and included everything from firefighting and flooding to structural damage.” said Lt. j.g. Sean Murray, Bonhomme Richard’s damage control assistant. “Bonhomme Richard Sailors continue to set the highest standard of damage control proficiency and readiness, as our ability to respond in any emergency is fundamental to our ship’s mission success.”