The flight deck of LHD 6 USS Bonhomme Richard is loaded with aircraft during the photo op when the vessel moved through the East China Sea (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Achterling)

Korean exercise Ssang Yong 2014 underway

The flight deck of LHD 6 USS Bonhomme Richard is loaded with aircraft during the photo op when the vessel moved through the East China Sea (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Achterling)
The flight deck of LHD 6 USS Bonhomme Richard is loaded with aircraft during the photo op when the vessel moved through the East China Sea (Image © Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Achterling)

More than 20 US Navy and Republic of Korea vessels, tens of air assets and more than 14,000 participating troops kicked of Exercise Ssang Yong on 27 March 2014. It is one of the largest amphibian operational exercises in Asia, with the US Navy 7th Fleet and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3rd MEB) involved, as well as the ROK Navy from Flotilla 5 and a small detachment of the Australian Army.

The deployed US Navy fleet units include the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the Boxer ARG, which means Ospreys, Cobras, Sea Stallions, Hueys and some Seahawks will swarm over sea and ground forces during the landings. Approximately 7,500 U.S. Marine Corps and 2,000 U.S. Navy personnel are participating in the exercise with approximately 3,500 ROK Marine Corps, 1,000 ROK navy and 130 Australian army forces.

Exercise Ssang Yong is meant to demonstrate the ability of a Marines Expeditionary Brigade headquarters to coordinate multiple forces arriving in theatre via amphibious shipping, along with a ROK Regimental Landing Team, into one amphibious fighting force. The USS Bonhomme Richard was caught on camera with 9 MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor medium-transport aircraft, 4 CH-53E Sea Stallions heavy-lift helicopters, 3 AH-1W/Z Cobra attack helicopters, 3 UH-1N/Y assault helicopters and a single UH-60 Seahawk.

Source: US Navy

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