USS John P. Murtha Supports Firefighting Efforts Aboard USS Bonhomme Richard

18 July 2020
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VIRIN: 210120-N-N0831-0002
SAN DIEGO (July 18, 2020) At about 8:30 in the morning on July 12, a fire was called away aboard Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) while it was moored pierside at Naval Base San Diego. 
 
Over the course of the four-day fire, 60 Sailors from San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) joined base and shipboard firefighters and responded to the fire. John P. Murtha also provided Naval firefighting thermal imagers (NFTI), hoses, chemical lights, and various medical supplies.
“Seeing things over there really drives home how fast a fire can spread and how much damage it can do,” Senior Chief Damage Controlman Grant Warren from Eldorado Hills, California. “This is why we constantly train and why damage control is so critical to learn. We know the Sailors over there have been working hard. It feels good to be able to help and support them through this difficult time.”
The complex evolution required more than an all hands effort; multiple commands volunteered to assist in combating the blaze, including John P. Murtha. Sailors of all rates and ranks who joined the fight.  
“Seeing the Bonhomme Richard like that was absolutely mind blowing,” Yeoman 1st Class Christopher Shaffer from San Antonio, Texas said. “I am at a loss for words. We went over there to do anything we could to help the firefighting efforts. In situations like this, every Sailor is a firefighter. I was proud to step up and help out in any way I could. It really drives home how important damage control drills and training are at all times.”   
 
On July 16, Rear Adm. Philip E. Sobeck, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Three (ESG 3) announced that firefighting efforts had paid off. “After four days of firefighting, all known fires have been extinguished aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6),” Sobeck stated. “What we do know is, that brave Sailors from commands all across San Diego worked tirelessly alongside Federal Firefighters to get this fire extinguished and I want to thank them for their efforts. This was a Navy team effort.”
For information on donations for Sailors stationed aboard the Bonhomme Richard Contact, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (619) 767-6800, website https://action.nmcrs.org/BHR, Support the Enlisted Project (858) 695-6810, or USO San Diego (619) 253-6503. John P. Murtha is the 10th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship of the United States Navy and is named in honor of Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania and homeported in San Diego and is part of Naval Surface Forces and U.S. 3rd Fleet.

 
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