By Chief Journalist (SW/AW) Walter T. Ham IV, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs
To maintain crew readiness, USS Bonhomme Richard (BHR) (LHD 6) Sailors and Marines have been conducting regular damage control training and attending firefighting courses since the ship entered drydock Oct. 1.
Bonhomme Richard holds weekly shipwide training sessions with its Integrated Training Team to keep the crew mission ready, even while BHR Sailors and Marines are living and working between three barges and the ship.
According to Senior Chief Dental Technician (SW/AW) Dejuan Wilmore of Newark, N.J., the firefighting courses BHR Sailors recently attended at Naval Station San Diego’s Center for Naval Engineering Damage Control and Firefighting School will
keep the crew well prepared to handle any emergency.
“Damage control is an all hands responsibility,” Wilmore said. “We are all warriors first, and this training ensures that we can properly combat fires and other damage at sea.”
Cmdr. Michael Feyedelem, from Norwalk, Ohio, the ship’s executive officer, said staying focused on training while in the shipyard is the key to remaining mission ready.
“Readiness is our business,” said Feyedelem, “and being ready means we can accomplish any mission, anywhere at any time.”
BHR Commanding Officer Capt. Stephen Greene, a native of Haddonfield, N.J., said training remains one of the crew’s top priorities while in drydock.
“While successfully completing the docking availability safely, on time, and within budget is our primary focus, training and readiness are also in our sights,” said Greene. “We want to lay the groundwork now so we’re ready to enter the new continuous readiness training environment at a run instead of a crawl. We know that if we invest our effort into getting ready now, we have the opportunity to shorten our training cycle and make BHR available to the commanders for fleet operations sooner rather than later.”