Skip to comments.Bonhomme Richard flight deck unfit for flight operations, could delay next deployment
Posted on 08/23/2014 4:07:48 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan The USS Bonhomme Richard will likely miss its next underway deployment after a botched $3 million resurfacing of the amphibious assault ships flight deck.
The ship had undergone the resurfacing less than a month ago.
A recent application of non-skid coating on the flight deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard was not up to Navy safety standards and is being reapplied, Cmdr. William Marks, spokesman for 7th Fleet, said in an email to Stars and Stripes. This will cause an increase in port time and decrease in underway days for Bonhomme Richard.
An accidental gouging of the flight deck on Aug. 8 led to a visual inspection, during which time officials from Naval Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center Detachment Sasebo saw the non-skid surface was flaking.
Further testing confirmed the nonskid material had not set properly, making the surface unsafe for flight operations, something preliminary quality-assurance testing didnt indicate, Marks said.
The problem was immediately reported to Naval Surface Forces Pacific.
We are now researching the root cause of the failure, Marks said. There could be a number of reasons it didnt set properly and we wont know the final details until additional testing takes place.
As a result, the ship will likely have to delay its next deployment, which was set for late September or early October. The ship is currently conducting sea trials, and the repairs will take place afterward.
Personnel from SRF-JRMC Detachment Sasebo are working with technical experts from Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock on a rework plan, the Navy said. The same contractor, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, is expected to reapply the nonskid with increased oversight.
At this time, the contract for this rework is not yet complete, said Marks. SRF is still reviewing what it can do to hold the original contractor accountable for paying for the rework.
The Bonhomme Richard which can carry a crew of 100 officers, 1,000 sailors and 1,900 Marines, along with four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters is often called into duty when disaster strikes. Most recently, the ship spent more than a week in the Yellow Sea, assisting South Korean officials after the April 16 sinking of a South Korean ferry.
While the ship is out of commission, Navy officials say they will lean on the USS Peleliu which arrived Friday in Sasebo a port visit and the USS Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group to pick up the slack.
Peleliu can be configured to conduct the same operations and take the same types of aircraft and landing and attack craft as USS Bonhomme Richard in different numbers, Marks said. Her characteristics are different, but she can support the same mission as USS Bonhomme Richard and this will not affect our participation in planned exercises throughout the deployment.
The Bonhomme Richard arrived in Japan in April 2012 to replace the USS Essex, which had its share of problems during its final days in Sasebo.
In the months before the hull swap, mechanical and maintenance issues made the Essex unfit to fulfill its mission. In July of 2011, the ship was unable to take part in the Talisman Sabre exercise in Australia, and it never left port in February of 2012 when it was to participate in Cobra Gold training in Thailand.
Ironically, the Bonhomme Richard broke down while en route to Sasebo to replace the Essex. Problems with its boiler forced the ship to stop in Okinawa for repairs before making it to Sasebo.
For years, Navy officials have said that the high operations tempo placed on ships have led to advanced wear and tear.
Testifying before Congress in 2012, then-Vice Adm. William Burke, who was serving as deputy chief of naval operations for fleet readiness and logistics, said the Navy has a limited supply of forces.
When you have these additional deployments, you sometimes impact the maintenance, or you impact the training, which will impact the maintenance, Burke said. So what we have is one event cascading into another, so we dont get either of them quite right.
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The ship had undergone the resurfacing less than a month ago.
So they were trying to resurface the flight deck at the height of the rainy season? It wouldn't surprise me if that was a big factor in the failure.
I had a friend who served on The Bonhomme Richard in the early 1960s. He went on to become a maritime attorney after his service was done. May John RIP.
I agree, but also find it kind of messed up that a $3 million mistake seems like chump-change these days
In Obama’s America, it’s normal to perform delicate work in bad weather. Wanna put up an eyesore windmill? Do it during tornado season.
That would have been USS Bonhomme Richard (CV-31), an Essex class carrier commissioned in WWII. This is USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), a WASP class amphibious assault ship. Both named of course after John Paul Jones’ ship.
Your friend was on the Bon Homme Richard CV-31 Essex Class full size aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1944.
This one is the LD-6 amphibious assault ship, commissioned in 1998.
A somewhat different Bonhomme Richard in the 60s, full WWII-era CV.
Different ship-—that Ben Franklin was a submarine and a boomer at that. The current Ben is a non-nuke assault ship.
Sorry for the confusion. The name of the ship just brought back many memories.
Definitely his fault we had NO deployed carriers in the pacific when the Chinese buzzed the P8.
Vinson now getting on station.
Bush in Indian
Nothing in Atlantic
The ‘new navy’
There’s one in between-—a boomer-—nuke sub. Bon Homme Richard is the French nick name for Ben Franklin. I expect there will always be a Bon Homme Richard in the US Navy so it’s necessary to keep track.
No confusion friend. By the date of 1969 in your post, I knew what you meant.
Just wanted to clarify for the younger Freepers that there has been more one Bon Homme Richard.
I do not know what you are complaining about. Two times in the past six years, the American people had a choice to make. Both times a majority of voters said ,via their votes, this was what they wanted. I said that I did not want to go in tis direction both times, to no avail. This is what, as evidenced by their votes, the majority wants. Let them enjoy it.
One 0bama vacation costs more
John Paul Jones sailed on the original, no?
There was some voter fraud in the first election, also criminal acts in the primaries.
The second election had so much documented and witnessed voter fraud that to claim that the majority of voters wanted 0bastard is just not factual.
And of course saddling us with Romneypuke the second time, and McIsane the first, was another method to tamp down the opposition to 0bastard. Added to that the fact that McInsane stopped trying to win in July for some reason. He gave up at that point for some reason.
This incident as told so far is disgusting beyond explanation. How much of this Sumitomo contract money came back to the dimokrats? Shaving the specs is the only explanation for this clusterflock. We’ve been putting this non-skid stuff on decks for nearly half a century. Nothing new about it and nothing complicated. Somebody watered down the mix. And maybe didn’t prep the steel deck as req’d. There have to be sign-offs.
And how the bleep did these jerkopfs from Sumitomo get the job anyway? The ship is a non-nuke so maybe the source stuff gets looked at a little less closely but back in the early 70’s I blackballed these guys from trying to supply steel pipe for Nuke sub work. They pedalled some pipe to our federal supply system without specs/certs/anything and it simply didn’t meet fedspecs let alone nuke specs. My supply guys got absolutely clear instructions to not send me any foreign sourced steel pipe especially Sumitomo. This is walk-the-plank kind of stuff and I’ll be listening to hear who gets fed to the sharks.