Losses and Aviation Safety

Fire erupts aboard USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious warship. 18 sailors injured.

Local news reported explosion from the fire while the San Diego Fire department said that several sailors are being treated for injuries.

According to USNI News, sailors have been hurt in a fire aboard amphibious warship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) that’s docked the pier at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on Jul. 12, 2020.

“The fire was called away at approx. 8:30 AM, July 12. 160 Sailors were aboard at the time. Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and has a crew size of approx. 1000. 18 Sailors have been transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” a statement on Twitter from Naval Surface Forces said.

Local news reported explosion from the fire while the San Diego Fire department said that several sailors are being treated for injuries.

Official confirmed to USNI News that Navy and local officials are battling the fire on Bonhomme Richard.

As a video from local news station CBS 8,the big deck amphib, which is adjacent to a crew berthing barge, is at Pier 2 on the naval base, sharing it with two Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers (DDG-51).

Wasp-class LHDs like Bonhomme Richard provide the Marine Corps with a means of ship-to-shore movement by helicopter in addition to movement by landing craft. LHAs (and later LHDs) have been participants in major humanitarian-assistance, occupation and combat operations in which the US has been involved. Such operations have included participating as launch platforms for Marine Corps expeditionary forces into Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and 2002, Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and humanitarian support after the catastrophic Tsunami in 2004. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, two LHDs served as “Harrier carriers,” launching an air group of AV-8B attack aircraft against targets inside Iraq. In 2004, LHDs were used to transport thousands of Marines and their equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan for combat operations. Post Hurricane Katrina support was provided in New Orleans by LHD 7 (Iwo Jima) where thousands of police, fire and rescue personnel were hosted onboard during recovery operations and Iwo Jima operated as the central command and control hub.

Bonhomme Richard spent six years in Japan as part of the US Forward Deployed Naval Force before arriving in San Diego in 2018.

Photo credit: CNN

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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