KOTA KINABALU, Feb 23 (Bernama) — The United States forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) today arrived at the Sepanggar naval base near here, as part of its scheduled port visit to Malaysia.
USS Bonhomme Richard Commanding Officer Captain Joey Tynch said during the visit, its sailors and marines would be involved in various community service projects, hosting tours of the ship, sporting events, as well as enjoying the sites of the city.
“Kota Kinabalu is a popular gateway for people travelling to Sabah or Borneo and is one of the major commercial and industrial cities in Malaysia.”
“It’s no small feat getting a steamship back to sea after a long time pier side and I couldn’t be more proud of how hard everyone worked to get us back underway after our extended time in the yards,” he said in a statement issued by USS Bonhomme Richard public affairs unit.
Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group and with the embarked 31st MEU, is currently deployed in the United States 7th Fleet Area of Operations.
Tynch said they were glad to be back at sea and working shoulder to shoulder with the marines of the 31st MEU in continuing to refine all aspects of amphibious cabapility and engage with partner nations in the Pacific.
“We’re thrilled to be in Malaysia representing the United States navy and marine corps team and can’t wait to take in everything this country has to offer from sea level to the summit of Mount Kinabalu,” he added.
Bonhomme Richard ARG is currently under the tactical command of Amphibious Squadron 11 embarked Commander, Captain Heidi Agle and reports to Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Hugh D. Wetherald, headquartered in White Beach, Japan. — BERNAMA