U.S. Consul General, Naha Visits USS Bonhomme Richard
WHITE BEACH, Okinawa – Mr. Alfred R. Magleby, the U.S. Consul General to Naha, Okinawa, visited with officers and crew of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Jan. 27.
Bonhomme Richard is in White Beach to embark Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and then will continue on to conduct various exercises in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, including the annual joint, multi-national exercise Cobra Gold 2013.
Magleby arrived in the well deck of the Bonhomme Richard via a landing craft air cushion (LCAC) ride provided by Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7. He toured various spaces on the ship, including the well deck, hangar bay, flight deck and medical spaces.
“I was appreciative that he took the time to come by. I think it’s very important for people like Mr. Magleby to walk through our spaces, see our capabilities and learn how we take care of Sailors and Marines,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman Jason Herring, medical department leading chief petty officer. “He was very inquisitive and asked plenty of good questions.”
Magleby talked with Capt. Dan Dusek, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer, Capt. Cathal O’Connor, Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, and Col. John Merna, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s commanding officer, as he toured the ship.
The last stop on Mr. Magleby’s tour took him to the flight deck where he was able to see various U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft – from Super Cobras and Seahawks to Harriers and Sea Knights.
“He had some of the best and most experienced FDNF [Forward Deployed Naval Forces] operations subject matter experts walking with him around the ship,” said Lt. Kyle McDaniel, Bonhomme Richard’s flight deck officer.
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, currently on deployment in the U. S. 7th Fleet area of operations, will take part in amphibious integration training (AIT), certification exercise (CERTEX), and participate in the annual multi-national combined joint training exercise Cobra Gold.