- The crew aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) conducted a General Quarters (GQ) drill in preparation for real-life events while underway Aug. 12.
The drill simulated an attack by enemy forces and compartment fires, which challenged Sailors in a variety of ways including: firefighting, damage control and various medical emergencies.
“GQ is by far one of the most important things we train for,” said Damage Controlman Fireman Ashley Perez. “It gives everyone a personal view on how things work and helps them know what to do in different situations.”
Once General Quarters was called all crewmembers aboard the Bonhomme Richard reported to their assigned stations and prepared for the evolution. Then roll was called and duties were assigned according to the situation requiring the GQ alarm.
“Every Sailor is vital, during General Quarters,” said Perez. “The more we train now, the easier it will be to save a life if the time comes.”
Sailors aboard the USS Cole (DDG 67) proved that GQ training was essential in their efforts to keep the ship afloat after a terrorist attack by a boat loaded with explosives in 2001.
“I have been in real life situations before and without the training I wouldn’t have been as successful,” said Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Racheal Rasch, a leading petty officer aboard the Bonhomme Richard. “Sometimes it can be a little repetitive but it’s definitely necessary.”
Commander, Amphibious Squadron 11, along with Bonhomme Richard, USS Denver (LPD 9), and USS Tortuga (LSD 46), are forward deployed in Sasebo, Japan, and are part of Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, operating in the 7th fleet area of responsibility.