160809-N-XM324-014EAST CHINA SEA (Aug. 9, 2016) Sailors observe a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB) as it approaches the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). Green Bay, part 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 3rd Class Patrick Dionne/Released)
Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group Sails for Patrol

The final ship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) departed its forward-deployed station of Sasebo, Japan for a routine patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations, Aug. 10.

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 region.

“Our amphibious forces train to operate where and when they are needed,” said Capt. Ed Thompson, commander, Amphibious Squadron 11. “I’m very proud of the way our commanding officers and their crews prepared for this deployment through extensive training and maintenance periods.”

Ships of the ESG will conduct a series of unit-level training and then embark Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary to further train and certify in the full range of ESG-MEU mission sets.

After this naval integration is complete, the ESG-MEU will sail throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater, taking part in various exercises and exchanges with regional partners and allies across a wide range of mission sets.

The BHR ESG’s patrol coincides with the operations of the Boxer Amphibious Ready, who are in the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater after serving in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The Boxer ARG have been conducting exchanges with partners such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka since arriving in theater.

The Bonhomme Richard ESG consists of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS Germantown (LSD 42).

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