Germantown Conducts Ammo Onload 
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Lindahl  
SASEBO, Japan - The forward-deployed dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42) completed loading ammunition in reparation for its patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) as part of the USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), June 17.

Local contractors and Germantown Sailors worked together to transfer 19 pallets of ammunition by crane in under two hours.

"When we're in Japan, we can't load ammunition from the pier," said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Judah Burton. "So we pull out and anchor in the harbor to load from there."

Safety is paramount when loading ammunition. The crew focused on consistency, accuracy and efficiency in their movements and with a well established daisy chain of handoffs.

"The most dangerous things we take on board are probably flares and pyrotechnics," Burton said. "That stuff is made to burn under water and in any conditions. If that ignites, it's really hard to put out."

In regards to efficiency, the Germantown has one of the best track records in the fleet.

"Our ability to move ammo safely and quickly is really impressive," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Andrew Mattson.

Germantown is the second of three ships from the Bonhomme Richard ARG to get underway and complete its on load of ammunition.

Forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) departed, June 13. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) will depart at a later date.

The Bonhomme Richard ARG is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR and reports to the commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley, headquartered in White Beach, Okinawa, Japan.
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