The tragic news about the fire aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (BHR) this week is another terrible blow for our Navy and directly affects some of our Naval Intelligence Professionals stationed on board. In addition to the ship itself, Expeditionary Group 3, Amphibious Squadron Five and Seven staffs are affected as they were in the middle of turnover. We received communication that no NIP personnel were injured, but several have lost uniforms and personal possessions as a result of the fire. Our San Diego Chapter, along with the active duty leadership, are directly engaged supporting crew members and families. Navy-Marine Corps relief is also supporting the crew and has set up this website if you want to support them.
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6/BHR) is a 40,000 ton, 844 foot long WASP class amphibious assault ship laid down in 1995 and commissioned in 1998 at a cost of $750M. The “Bonnnie DIck” is one of eight Wasp class assault ships carrying a crew of about 1200. The US Navy’s newest class amphibious ship, USS America (LHA7), is costing $3.5B to build with one more ship (LHA-8/Bougainville) currently under construction.
BHR was just completing a 2 year overhaul and its loss is clearly articulated in this article by Defense News. Read more.