160912-N-YG104-002 PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 12, 2016) Chief Operations Specialist Ronnie Johnson, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 works with Operations Specialist First Class Ryan Brown, assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7, in the joint operations center on the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard. DESRON 7 and ESG 7 staffs, embarked with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, are 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)
DESRON 7 Embarks on Bonhomme Richard ESG Ahead of Valiant Shield

PACIFIC OCEAN – A contingent of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 staff embarked onboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group , Sept. 11.

DESRON 7 will serve as the sea combat commander (SCC) for the expeditionary strike group for the upcoming joint exercise Valiant Shield.

This will be the second time DESRON 7 has embarked on the Bonhomme Richard, with previous embark taking place in the spring for Ssang Yong 2016.

"It’s good to be back aboard Bonhomme Richard and integrate with the expeditionary strike group in this role as sea combat commander," said Capt. Lex Walker, deputy commodore, Destroyer Squadron 7. "Destroyer Squadron 7 offers an important capability in managing surface assets to defend and project power for the ESG."

Destroyer Squadron 7’s primary duties while embarked will be to oversee movements for all ESG ships, coordinate surface fire support, utilize air assets for search and surveillance, and coordinate anti-submarine warfare operations.

ESG 7 is comprised of 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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