WHITE BEACH , OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) have embarked onto the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, beginning their annual fall patrol from White Beach, Okinawa, Japan Aug. 21, 2016. This regularly-scheduled patrol of the Pacific region is designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. partner nations.
The fall patrol is the culmination of the combined effort of Amphibious Squadron 11 and the 31st MEU, embarked on the three ships of BHR ARG. The ARG consists of the USS BHR (LHD-6), the USS Green Bay (LPD-20), and the USS Germantown (LSD-48). Each ship’s unique capabilities meet the needs of each of the four major subordinate elements of the 31st MEU: the command element, the ground combat element, the air combat and the logistics combat elements.
Unlike the six other MEUs on the East and West coasts of the United States that deploy for six months every year and a half, the 31st MEU normally deploys at least twice a year throughout the Pacific. The deployments focus on theater security cooperation exercises and humanitarian assistance operations. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.