USS Bonhomme Richard Completes Ammo Onload
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Edward Guttierrez III
SASEBO, Japan - The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) completed loading ordnance, while preparing for a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), June 13.

For more than 12 hours, the weapons department Sailors offloaded more than 120 pallets of non-exercise related ordnance and received more than 160 pallets of munitions needed for upcoming exercises.

"Everything went smoothly," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Charles Mifsud. "We had no equipment mishaps and no personnel mishaps. My Sailors were outstanding."

Aviation ordnancemen, gunner's mates, and Naval Ordnance Command (NOC) Sasebo civilian contractors used a variety of methods to move ordnance. As a safety precaution, large sections of the hangar bay were restricted to non-essential traffic.

"I like to say altitude leads to aptitude," said Mifsud. "And these Sailors were flying high today."

The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is scheduled to take part in certification exercises, as well as a comprehensive, complex training evolution that combines the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities, and work with partners and allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to improve combat readiness and interoperability.

Bonhomme Richard is the first ship of the ARG to deploy and will be met at a later date by USS Germantown (LSD 42) and USS Denver (LPD 9). Bonhomme Richard ARG reports to commander, Amphibious Squadron 11 and is currently conducting regularly scheduled operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR.

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