Posts tagged ‘USS Bonhomme Richard’

FRIDAY FOTO (July 17, 2020)

Four-Day Fire — Update

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Fire

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Austin Haist)

This photo shows the Navy amphibious assault ship, USS Bonhomme Richard, on fire beside the pier at Naval Base San Diego, California on July 12. It wasn’t until Thursday, July 16, after four harrowing days of smoke, intense heat and flames that the fire was put out.

The Navy announced firefighters have extinguished all known fires on Bonhomme Richard, Seapower magazine reported. Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3, said “fire teams are investigating every space to verify the absence of fire.”

Until every space is checked and there are no active fires we will not be able to commence any official investigations. We did not know the origin of the fire. We do not know the extent of the damage,” Sobeck said July 16.

The 22-year-old Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) had been in San Diego since 2018 undergoing modernization including being prepared to accommodate the F-35B, a vertical lift and short take-off variant of the Lightning II joint strike fighter.

Experts said the loss of Bonhomme Richard — whether completely or just lost for extensive repairs — deals a significant blow to the Navy’s plans to have F-35Bs continually deployed in the Pacific. according to Defense News. And that could pose problems for asserting freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and rejecting China’s territorial claims in the area.

At a press briefing in San Diego Friday (July 17), the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday said the damage to the ship was extensive to electrical, mechanical and structural systems.   While he was confident the defense shipbuilding industry could restore the BHR so it could return to sea, he added “the question is, should we make that investment in a 22-year-old ship.”

Gilday praised the ship’s firefighting crew and Sailors from other ships in port as well as federal and local fighters for their lengthy battle against the inferno, which at times reached over 1,000 degrees. He said looking into the cause of the fire will be one of three parallel investigations.


(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Natalie M. Byers/Released)

A second investigation, routine in such incidents, will be conducted by the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), to determine if the fire was caused by any malfeasance or criminal activity,  Gilday said the Navy also will conduct a third investigation that will look into several echelons of command to determine if the correct procedures were in effect during the emergency, Seapower reported. That third probe will look into whether the Navy reacted properly to the fire, and if measures should have been in place that were not, among other factors.

The top Navy commander promised “We will follow the facts of what happened here. We will be honest with ourselves. We will get after it as a Navy,” Seapower noted.

In the photo above, federal firefighters assess damage in the hangar bay aboard the Bohomme Richard on July 15. None of the firefighters or ship’s crew were seriously injured.

It’s worth noting that at Naval Service Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois — the Navy’s only enlisted boot camp –recruits are trained in firefighting as one of five basic competencies, which also include damage control, watch standing, seamanship and small-arms handling and marksmanship.

July 17, 2020 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 27, 2015)

A Study in Lighting.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham

Sometimes the Friday Foto illustrates a military operation or training exercise. Sometimes it shines a spotlight on unsung heroes like para-rescue men and under-appreciated military skill sets like sappers and hospital corpsmen.

And sometimes we just feature an arresting, beautifully-composed photo by one of the services’ many photographers. This is one of those times. This sailor, waiting to take off in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter, has been caught in what appears to be a shaft of sunlight caused by the rotating helicopter engine blades. This shot was taken on the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in the East China Sea on March 24.

BTW, the sailor is a naval aircrewman assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25. Make sure you click on the photo to enlarge it and get the full effect.

March 27, 2015 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (August 31, 2012)

Three Helos on Deck

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Terry Matlock)

An Aviation boatswain’s mate prepares for flight operations aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). The Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship in the only forward-deployed amphibious ready group now in the East China Sea.

This photo shows three different Navy helicopters from left to right: The CH-53 Super Stallion; the SH-60 Seahawk and the CH-46 Sea Knight.

In addition to five Harrier AV-8B jump jets, the Bonhomme Richard carries four Sea Knights and six anti-submarine warfare helos — either the the Sea Stallion or the Seahawk. Both of those aircraft can also serve as  transport for personnel or supplies from one vessel to another in the ready group.

August 31, 2012 at 12:35 am Leave a comment


June 2023


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