SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Eighth grade students from the Vista Student Center Charter School in Vista, Calif., visited the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), America’s Mentor-Ship, to learn about career opportunities available to U.S. Navy Sailors as they took an in-depth tour of the ship, Oct. 29.
The students toured Bonhomme Richard in preparation for a career technical education course, which assists in guiding the student body for high school and other future endeavors.
“It felt good to represent my ship to these students and show them what it may be like if they ever decide that the military is their path,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Andrew Whiting, from Conway, S.C.
The eight students had the opportunity to connect with a diverse range of Sailors serving in various ratings and specialties to gain a better understanding of the various careers available on an amphibious ship. During the tour, the students met with the ship’s culinary specialists, damage controlmen, engineers, information systems technicians, hospital corpsmen and more.
“Because I like engines and I like being able to control stuff, my favorite part of the tour was our visit to the engine room and being able to be on the bridge,” said Joseph Nejia, a Vista Student Center Charter School student.
One of the most hands-on experiences of the day was when the tour stopped into Bonhomme Richard’s live recording studio and allowed the students to step in front of the camera. The feed was broadcast live throughout the ship with the help of the ship’s interior communications electricians.
“It is awesome to showcase our talents to potential future Sailors,” said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Nicholas Natelli, from Virginia Beach, Va. “These students could one day be our potential replacements. Their reaction to what we do on a day-to-day basis as interior communications electricians was very positive. This experience is an example of why we call USS Bonhomme Richard ‘America’s Mentor-Ship.’”
The advisors and students said their four-hour tour exceeded their expectations and purpose for visiting the ship.
“Our trip on the Bonhomme Richard was out of the ordinary,” said Pamela Beard, assistant child educator at Vista Student Center Charter School. “To see all the different areas of operations and different opportunities you can make out of the military and even translate to the civilian world is all really exciting.”
Bonhomme Richard is homeported in San Diego. Its mission is to embark, deploy and land elements of the Marine landing force in amphibious assault operations by aircraft, amphibious vehicles or any combination of these methods, as well as provide humanitarian assistance.
For more news from USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd6/.