News: Combat Cargo prepares for 31st MEU embark
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Lacordrick Wilson, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs
EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) – The Marines of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard’s (LHD 6) combat cargo team trained for the future embarkation of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Aug. 17.
The training consisted of hooking up cargo to helicopters during vertical replenishment as well as securing and inspecting equipment to avoid future hazards.
“The training we do now is vital,” said Lance Cpl. Kevin Adams, senior well deck operator. “This will help ensure we have the knowhow to perform our job safely and keep everyone safe when it’s time to perform.”
The combat cargo team’s primary duties are coordinating, planning, and executing ship-to-shore movement, transferring cargo between ships, and obtaining tactical information from the MEU before actual embarkation and debarkation.
“We are a liaison between Bonhomme Richard and the MEU,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher J. Pearo, combat cargo assistant. “We ensure that all operations with the MEU go smoothly, whether by land or air.”
The combat cargo will be accountable for the 31st MEU’s air assets including rotary wing aircraft (helicopters) such as the CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-46 Sea Knight, UH-1N Huey, and AH-1W Super Cobra, and fixed-wing aircraft (jets) such as AV-8B Harrier.
“We’re responsible for maintaining the correct load throughout the ship, making sure there’s accountability for all equipment, and visually inspecting all cargo,” said Pearo.
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) is comprised of amphibious assault ships USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46).
The ARG participates in exercises and training evolutions throughout the year, to improve interoperability and to be prepared to collectively respond to any crisis or contingency throughout the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.