Bonhomme Richard Sailors Host RIMPAC Cross-Deck

Story Number: NNS080717-02Release Date: 7/17/2008 3:56:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Webb and Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kenneth Hunter, USS Bonhomme Richard Public Affairs

USS BONHOMME RICHARD, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) (BHR) hosted 10 Australian sailors from HMAS Tobruk (LSH 50) July 14 for a 24-hour cultural cross-deck experiment.

Australian sailors experienced the daily routine of their U.S. Navy counterparts. They ate chow together, slept in the same berthing and learned about day-to-day operations aboard BHR.

Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Nicholas Slocum and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Gabriel Loop explained the ins-and-outs of making sure water is safe for the crew aboard BHR to Australian Able Seaman Matt Lancaster and Australian Seaman Troy Russell.

"Today we are testing water samples to ensure that it's within standards to see if it's good or bad," said Slocum. "We have a salinity indicator machine, but to ensure that it's working within standards we do nightly checks for conductivity, chloride and hardness."

Russell valued the instruction because he hopes to one day be aboard an LHD class amphibious assault ship.

"How they test their water is completely different from how we do it," said Russell. "We have a simple testing system, so having knowledge of the way BHR does it will be very beneficial to me."

Operations Specialist 3rd Class Kira Griffin showed her Australian shipmate, Able Seaman Claudia Bryan, her daily tasks in the comabt information center.

"Because we are from ally nations we do things pretty similar," said Griffin. "However, it seems like her job is equivalent to four of ours. She does the work of an [information systems technician], interior communications specialist, operations specialist and a quartermaster] all rolled into one rating."

BHR is in the Hawaiian operating region for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC is the world's largest multinational exercise and is scheduled biennially by the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Participants include the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

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Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Nicholas Slocum shows Able Seaman Matt Lancaster, left, and Seaman Troy Russel how to test water samples.
080714-N-9493W-033 PACIFIC OCEAN (July 14, 2008) Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Nicholas Slocum, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), shows Able Seaman Matt Lancaster, left, and Seaman Troy Russel, assigned to the Australian amphibious ship HMAS Tobruk (LSH 50), how to test water samples for conductivity, chloride and hardness. BHR is participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2008. U.S. Navy photo (Released)
July 16, 2008
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