Tuesday, July 29, 2008

International RIMPAC Observers Embark Bonhomme Richard

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Ryan Tabios, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs Office

Naval officers from Russia, Mexico and Colombia visited the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) July 25 as part of the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2008 Foreign Observer Program.

"The intent of the visit was to provide them with information concerning RIMPAC as it pertains to coalition interaction," said Commodore, Amphibious Squadron 7 Capt. Rodney Clark. "Hopefully, this will give them confidence to participate in future coalition operations and future RIMPAC exercises."

The visitors toured BHR's bridge, medical facilities, aviation electronics shop, well deck and observed flight operations from vulture's row.

"The visit is a testament to the continuing international appeal that the RIMPAC exercise has to countries and their respective navies around the Pacific theater," said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Petersen, visit coordinator. "RIMPAC provides an excellent opportunity for coalition partners to exercise and improve upon interoperability while operating in a multinational environment."

BHR is currently in the Hawaii operating region for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational exercise and is scheduled biennially by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Participants include the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore and the United Kingdom.