ABOARD USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At sea (NNS) -- The multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) got under way in support of the global war on terrorism Dec. 6.
BHR became first West Coast-based LHD to deploy with the Navy's newest helicopter, the MH-60S.
According to BHR's Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 11, Det. 4's Officer in Charge, Lt. Cmdr. Dan F. Bogan, the helicopter brings new capabilities to his already multimission squadron.
"The 60 is like a sports car," said Bogan. "It's nimble and highly maneuverable."
The primary missions of HC-11 are search and rescue (SAR), logistics support and maritime naval special warfare training support.
SAR swimmers from HC-11, Det. 4, joined this elite group because they wanted to help people.
Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 3rd Class Thomas P. McQuin, member of the HC-11 team, prepares the SAR gear and lift rafts for their missions.
"It's a close knit community," McQuin said. "The best thing about serving with HC-11 is the people."
HC-11's officers are also taking the opportunity to get qualified as Officer of the Deck under way and Combat Information Center Watch Officer, adding to their professional development and increasing their contribution to the Navy's mission.
Bonhomme Richard is currently deployed as the Flagship of ESG 5, a combined expeditionary armada comprised of Navy ships and a submarine, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.
From the blue water of the open oceans to the brown water of the world's littoral areas, Bonhomme Richard carries the capabilities needed to accomplish a variety of missions, ranging from combat operations and non-combatant evacuations to maritime interdiction operations and humanitarian assistance.
For related news, visit the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/lhd6.