Bonhomme Richard Successfully Completes Light-off Assessment 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marcus L. Stanley, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Public Affairs  
SAN DIEGO - USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) successfully completed its light-off assessment (LOA) June 27.

The ship scored 99.7 percent on programs and materials in its Engineering Department and gained the "ready to light off" recommendation by Afloat Training Group Pacific assessors, which means the ship is qualified to light the boilers to make steam and power the ship.

LOA is a comprehensive assessment of all engineering, machinery and administrative programs

"This was just one of many goals we set for ourselves," said Cmdr. Robert B. Bailey, Bonhomme Richard chief engineer. "All the credit goes to a hardworking group of Sailors."

Ensign George Strobel, USS Bonhomme Richard Engineering Department division officer, said the checks are observations or demonstrations involving watch standers and reflect on material readiness.

"Every space and piece of machinery is inspected for safety, labels, leaks, parameters, calibration and cleanliness," said Strobel.

Sailors from each division within the Engineering Department worked more than 80 hours a week for a month in preparation for LOA.

"We engineers live for this," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Benjamin Cascario. "To put in so many hours and not do well would be catastrophic. We have a lot of pride in our machinery, and we hold ourselves to the highest standards."

Strobel said everyone plays a role in LOA.

"All watch standers demonstrate machinery and material condition to the engineering assessors," said Strobel. "In preparation for LOA, all hands were in the spaces cleaning, performing maintenance and practicing machinery checks. Coming out of such an intense yard period and maintenance availability demands strict attention."

Passing LOA brings Bonhomme Richard to a new chapter as the ship prepares for its future operational schedule.
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