By MC2 William Sykes, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs
WHITE BEACH, Okinawa – The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Feb. 2, to continue a scheduled patrol following the embarkation of Marines assigned to the 3d Marine Division (MARDIV).
During the visit, Bonhomme Richard embarked 3d MARDIV personnel, equipment and supplies in preparation for multinational combined joint training exercise Cobra Gold 2018.
“The Sailors and Marines did an outstanding job onloading equipment and supplies, and now with the 3d Marine Division part of the Bonhomme Richard blue-green team, we are ready to continue with our mission,” said Capt. Larry McCullen, commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard. “We have enjoyed a great partnership working with our Marine counterparts in the past, and I am confident we will enjoy the same success working with the 3d Marine Division as we conduct exercise Cobra Gold.”
Cobra Gold 2018, in its 37th iteration, is an annual peacetime exercise co-sponsored by the United States and the Kingdom of Thailand designed to increase partnerships and security in the region. This year, the focus of the exercise will be humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
"Returning to our amphibious roots is critical to maintaining our readiness," said Lt. Col. Steven Eastin, battalion commander for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. "The seamless integration with the Navy provides us the ability to move from ship to shore as quickly and safely as possible."
Cobra Gold is the largest theater security cooperation exercise in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and builds naval interoperability with a U.S. ally in Southeast Asia, Thailand.
Bonhomme Richard is underway on a regularly scheduled patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.