GULF OF THAILAND -- Distinguished visitors participated in a one-day embark aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), as part of exercise Cobra Gold 2013 (CG 13), Feb. 14.
The guests arrived on a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter assigned to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 262 and had an opportunity to observe some of the capabilities of Bonhomme Richard as the ship was underway in the Gulf of Thailand in support of CG 13.
During the visit, Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Fleet, Adm. Kanat Thongpool expressed his gratitude and stressed the importance of the continued relationship between Thailand and the United States, and what it meant to him to be aboard the Bonhomme Richard.
“It’s an honor to be aboard a ship with such a rich history as the Bonhomme Richard,” said Thongpool.
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) is named in honor of Capt. John Paul Jones’ famous frigate and is the third ship in U.S. Navy history to bear the name.
The visitors had an opportunity to observe various shipboard evolutions including well deck amphibious operations, hangar bay and flight deck procedures, and they toured the second largest afloat medical facility in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
"We provided a tour of the major medical spaces, including the operating room and the intensive care unit," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Alejandro Salinas, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 7, surgical technician. "They seem to be very impressed with our capabilities to provide a level of care comparable to that of a land-based hospital."
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, including USS Germantown (LSD 42), USS Tortuga (LSD 46), and Naval Beach Unit (NBU) 7, along with Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted equipment and personnel off loads and supported a simulated amphibious assault on Hat Yao Beach during a demonstration for CG 13 on the day of the visit.
CG 13 is a Thai-U.S. co-sponsored exercise in its 32nd iteration. It’s designed to advance regional security and ensure effective response to regional crises by exercising a multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.