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US Navy decommissions amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard

16 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 16th, 2021 13:31)

The US Navy has decommissioned the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) at Naval Base San Diego, California, US.

US Navy decommissions amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard
The decommissioning follows an explosion and fire on 12 July on board the ship. Credit: US Navy.

The US Navy has decommissioned the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) at Naval Base San Diego, California, US.

Following the decommissioning, the amphibious assault ship will be dismantled at International Shipbreaking’s facility in Texas, US.

The decommissioning follows an explosion and fire on 12 July last year on board the ship. There were no fatalities reported.

A total of 63 personnel, comprising 40 US Navy sailors and 23 civilians, were treated for minor injuries, including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation in the incident.

USS Bonhomme Richard suffered extensive structural, electrical and mechanical damage due to the fire.

Plans to decommission the fire-damaged ship was announced in November last year.

Expeditionary Strike Group 3 rear admiral commander Philip Sobeck said: “The original Bonhomme Richard sailors gave their all to prevail against seemingly impossible odds, and they won.

“They taught us that you don’t always save the ship, but you never stop fighting. The reputation of that fighting spirit began to proceed our navy wherever we sailed and that same spirit persists today.”

During its time in service, Bonhomme Richard served as the foundation of Amphibious Ready Groups or Expeditionary Strike Groups.

It projected power and maintained presence by transporting Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) or Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) elements.

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the ship supported over 500 combat launches and 800 sorties, as well as expended more than 175,000lb of ordnance.

Bonhomme Richard commanding officer caption Gregory Thoroman said: “For this crew and what we experienced together is the embodiment of our core values of honour, courage, and commitment.

“The resiliency I saw, man or woman, seaman and up to our highest ranks, united in our common cause and strength to depend on each other, lived up to my motto of train to fight and fight to win. It has been my honour and absolute privilege to serve as your commanding officer.”