150730-N-DQ503-041 BALI, Indonesia (July 30, 2015) Marine Col. Romin Dasmalchi, commanding officer of 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, greets Indonesian leaders and military members before a tour of forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group and is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Taylor A. Elberg/Released)
Bonhomme Richard hosts Indonesian Leaders
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Hammond, Amphibious Squadron Eleven Public Affairs
INDIAN OCEAN (NNS) – The USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) with embarked Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11 and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) hosted members of Indonesian government and military onboard while underway in the Indian Ocean.

The commander Indonesian Eastern Fleet, Rear Adm. Darwanto S.H., was in attendance. The ship showed the group how the Expeditionary Strike Group works together to provide security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

“Having an opportunity to host and tour Indonesian leaders around our ship was a great way to start our visit,” said Capt. Jeff Ward, commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard, “This helps to learn each other’s perspectives and how we each operate in the maritime environment in the event we must be ready to work together on short notice in the future.”

Theater Security Cooperation events, like this one, are designed to provide a better understanding of Bonhomme Richard’s mission and capabilities as a U.S. naval asset. Highlights of the tour included Bonhomme Richard’s hangar bay, medical facilities, well deck, and flight deck.

“Bonhomme Richard brings unparalleled capabilities to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” said Ward. “Our hospital facilities are second only to our hospital ships, and with our embarked Marine counterparts we have the ability to deliver food, water and other supplies.”

As part of the visit, the ship’s crew will have the opportunity for rest and relaxation in Bali, Indonesia over the next 3 days.

Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, comprised of USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and USS Ashland (LSD 48) and is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
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