The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group deployed out of its homeport in Sasebo, Japan, earlier this week after just two months rest at home.
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) was already underway in the East China Sea, and USS Ashland (LSD-48) and USS Green Bay (LPD-20) departed Japan on June 3 to join the flagship.
The Bonhomme Richard ARG and embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will take part in an amphibious integration training (AIT) and certification exercise (CERTEX), along with other training to increase mission readiness in areas like amphibious assault capabilities, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and non-combatant evacuations, according to a Navy news release.
The ARG returned home April 10 after a three-month deployment that included conducting theater security cooperation exercises in Malaysia and working with the Republic of Korea’s navy and marine corps as part of the Korean Marine Exchange Program.
That three-month deployment was Green Bay’s first as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Force. It stayed at sea during the past two months, whereas Bonhomme Richard and Ashland came in to port to prepare for the next deployment, according to a Navy news release.
Bonhomme Richard also changed command during the in-port period, with Capt. Jeffrey Ward relieving Capt. Murray Tynch. Tynch commanded the big-deck amphib since October 2013, and Ward served as the ship’s executive officer during that time.