SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The USS Bonhomme Richard is returning to the U.S., making San Diego its new homeport.
In 2012, the ship replaced the USS Essex in Sasebo, Japan. It has been serving there as the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship.
The USS Bonhomme Richard has taken part in various missions and exercises in the past six years, including a 2014 search-and-rescue effort after a Korean ferry capsized and relief assistance following the 2016 earthquake in Kumamoto, Japan.
Capt. Larry McCullen, the USS Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer, issued this statement on the move to San Diego:
"Bonhomme Richard was forward deployed to Japan during the past six years. This crew and every other crew that has served on the ship during that time can be justifiably proud of their accomplishments while executing our nation's business in the challenging FDNF environment. The ship performed at a high level of excellence during exercises and in response to real-world events. We are honored to be part of this moment in the ship's history and the crew is excited to have San Diego as our new homeport. We accomplished much while serving in the 7th Fleet and I am happy to report that Bonhomme Richard stands ready to complete any tasking and any mission in support of 3rd Fleet."
While in San Diego, the ship will spend time preparing for operations and will receive various upgrades.