160905-N-YG104-002 PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 05, 2016) Gunnery Sgt. Hughey Donald salutes Rear Adm. Marc H. Dalton, the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, as he disembarks an MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard, flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sarah Villegas/ Released)
ESG 7 Commander Breaks Flag on Flagship USS Bonhomme Richard

PACIFIC OCEAN – The commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7, Rear. Adm. Marc H. Dalton, arrived onboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the flagship of the Bonhomme Expeditionary Strike Group Sept. 5.

Dalton and associated ESG 7 staff will command over ships and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Marine Air-Ground Task Force as the expeditionary strike group continues its current patrol in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The BHR ESG and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are in the final phases of the MEU’s certification exercise (CERTEX).

"I look forward to joining my staff and the outstanding Sailors and Marines of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group as the team conducts training, exercises and operations in the Pacific," said Dalton. "We will be integrating with our allies, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and other partners in the 7th Fleet area of operations. Together we bring this region a highly capable force ready to respond to any contingency."

With increased capabilities beyond a traditional ARG, ESG 7 can rapidly integrate cruiser-destroyer assets in order to quickly and effectively react to any contingency that may occur, including responses to natural disaster or crises in the region.

This capability ultimately enhances the readiness and interoperability between the Navy and Marine Corps team that provides security and stability to the region.

While on patrol, the Bonhomme Richard ESG and 31st MEU will conduct a series of theater security cooperation engagements and exercises in order to strengthen ties and increase interoperability with allies and partners in the AOO.

The ESG 7 team includes USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Germantown (LSD 42), Amphibious Squadron 11 (PHIBRON 11), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 31st MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4, Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 Reinforced.

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