What it takes to prepare a US Navy ship for deployment: Kicking the tires, lighting the fires
141230-N-LM312-050 Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Jovoni West, left, and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Gregorio Rangel, members of the crash and salvage team, move a simulated casualty during an aircraft fire drill on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam D. Wainwright/Released)
What it takes to prepare a US Navy ship for deployment: Kicking the tires, lighting the fires
SASEBO, Japan – Aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) an engineer can often be spotted by their blackened hands and grease and paint-splotched coveralls. These are the tell-tale signs of those hard working Sailors.

As Bonhomme Richard prepares to get underway, engineering department Sailors are working long hours, deep in the bowels of the ship, ensuring the plants, generators and evaporators are ready when it is time to deploy.

“What we do down here for the ship is essential,” said Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Jordan Youngbluth, who is from McDonough, Georgia, and is the aft main engine room boiler console operator for the ship. “We give the ship life, we give the ship power.”

All that power giving equipment requires regular maintenance to keep the ship operational and mission ready.

“The most important step now is performing operational tests on our equipment to verify everything is in working order, fixing last minute issues and performing maintenance to make sure we are ready to get underway,” said Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Matthew Rogers, a Chicago native. “We will be lighting off the boiler this week; and if that goes well then we will be ready to light off when it’s time to get underway.”

Lighting off the boiler is an essential step to getting Bonhomme Richard out to sea. The steam the boiler generates not only helps propel the ship through the water, but also generates the electricity needed to perform nearly every mission aboard Bonhomme Richard.

“Any time we work on something, like the boiler, we want to test it,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jason Vannoy, an Aztec, New Mexico, native, and is Bonhomme Richard’s boilers officer. “We do it far in advance so if there is an issue we have time to fix it.”

The hard work of the Sailors of engineering does more than just move the ship through the water; the steam the boilers provide also supply underway essentials like potable water and heated showers.

“There’s a lot of work involved,” said Vannoy. “Getting the ship underway, it’s our reward. Seeing that is when the work pays off.”
US Navy Recruiting | US Navy | US Marine Corps | Navy Reserves | Individual Augmentee
No Fear Act | FOIA | USA.gov | Veterans Crisis Line | Vote | DoD SafeHelpline
This is an official United States Navy Website. This US Government system is subject to monitoring. Please read our Privacy Policy and Section 508/Accessibility Statement.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense, or the United States Department of the Navy of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy  does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD web site.