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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Under reported…USS Bonhomme Richard scares away pirates

Press release from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command dated February 22, 2005:
USS Bonhomme Richard Chases Pirates Away From Fishermen

ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea – After answering a bridge-to-bridge distress call from a Kuwaiti fisherman Feb. 17, multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) chased two pirate boats away from a group of fishing dhows in the Northern Arabian Gulf.
BHR received the call when a fishing boat was seized by a group of pirates in Boston whalers. Bonhomme Richard made best speed in pursuit of the pirates, chasing them away from the group of dhows.
According to BHR Commanding Officer Capt. J. Scott Jones, just the presence of the big deck amphibious ship was enough to scare the bandits away.
“With 44,000 tons of combat power chasing after them, they got out of there in a hurry,” Jones said.
“This proves again the deterrent capability of this ship and her Sailors and Marines. Just by being here, we were able to protect these fishermen.”
The San Diego-based ship is currently supporting maritime security operations around oil terminals that are vital to Iraq’s economy, and serving as one of the many maritime interception operations platform to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorist threats at sea.
“On our deployment so far, we have delivered more than one million pounds of humanitarian supplies to Indonesian tsunami survivors, sent Marines ashore to conduct exercises and chased pirate ships away,” Jones said. “We have always been there when called, and BHR’s Sailors and Marines continue to answer every bell.”
Bonhomme Richard, the Flagship of Expeditionary Strike Group Five, is currently operating in the Northern Arabian Gulf in support of the sovereign government of Iraq and the maritime effort against terrorism.

Bonhomme Richard:
U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Felix Garza Jr. (photo taken when the ship was supporting the tsunami relief effort.)

If 44,000 tons of anything comes after me, I'm leaving, too.

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