FREMANTLE, Australia (NNS) – USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) along with USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) arrived in Fremantle, Australia June 25 for the first port visit of their patrol.
More than 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group will visit Perth, all of them eager to take advantage of the local attractions. Sailors say they are looking forward to tasting the local cuisines at Perth’s restaurants, shopping at the retail businesses and enjoying recreational tours and activities.
Some of the activities Sailors will enjoy during their liberty include; visiting many of the local beaches, touring the local wineries and viewing some of the local wildlife while participating in the many tours offered by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).
“I definitely want to see some of the animals you can’t see in America, koala and kangaroos,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Rachel Wood. “When I joined the Navy I definitely wanted to see Australia.”
In addition to the rest and relaxation, Sailors and Marines will volunteer their time and services at a local animal park and a neighborhood school.
“We're here to come alongside and work together with local students and side-by-side with young Australian Naval Cadets and Australian Army Reservists, to accomplish some goals within the local community" said Cmdr. Curtis Price, Bonhomme Richard's chaplain. "We have a lot in common with one another and it's all about fostering and building upon those commonalities.”
Bonhomme Richard has been underway since June 1, conducting exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. Since leaving Sasebo, the Expeditionary Strike Group has completed a vast array of certification exercises, from detect and engage to underway-replenishments.
Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group which is composed of Bonhomme Richard, the 31st MEU, the guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).