Ocampomontano serves in Japan aboard USS Bonhomme Richard

Seaman Diego Ocampomo serves in Japan aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. (Submitted photo)

Seaman Diego Ocampomo serves in Japan aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. (Submitted photo)

Seaman Diego Ocampomontano, a 2014 Hope High School graduate and Phoenix native, is serving in Sasebo, Japan in the US Navy aboard the only forward deployed amphibious assault ship, USS Bonhomme Richard.

Recently assigned to the vessel, he is responsible for ensuring the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship remains functional and operational, according to press release.

“What I like best about my job is having had the opportunity to stand behind the helm of the ship, which was a really fun experience,” said Seaman Ocampomontano in a prepared statement.

With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the US has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, the release said.

With a crew of more than 1,000, Bonhomme Richard is 884-feet long and weighs approximately 40,000 tons. Resembling a small aircraft carrier, Bonhomme Richard is one of the largest of all amphibious warfare ships and is equipped with a mix of helicopters and attack aircraft, launchers, machine guns and an extensive medical facility with 600 hospital beds.

“The sailors in my crew never cease to amaze me with the effort they put into their daily work,” said Capt. Jeffrey A. Ward, commanding officer of USS Bonhomme Richard, in a prepared statement. “Their dedication and hard work make me proud to be in command of Bonhomme Richard and this crew.”

According to the press release, Bonhomme Richard sailors work rigorous hours filled with drills and training to assure that the ship is always mission-ready.

“Being forward deployed means that the ship has to be ready when called-up, whether for security or humanitarian assistance,” Seaman Ocampomontano said. “Serving in the Navy has meant not only valued service, but also traveling around the world while working with some really great people.”


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