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The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard flies its colors as it arrives at White Beach Naval Base, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017.
The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard flies its colors as it arrives at White Beach Naval Base, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017. (Diana Quinlan/U.S. Navy)
The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard flies its colors as it arrives at White Beach Naval Base, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017.
The amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard flies its colors as it arrives at White Beach Naval Base, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017. (Diana Quinlan/U.S. Navy)
Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit load gear during an offload from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard at White Beach, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017.
Marines assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit load gear during an offload from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard at White Beach, Okinawa, Thursday, April 6, 2017. (Cameron McCulloch/U.S. Navy)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group — complemented by elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit — concluded its spring patrol this week, returning to Okinawa’s White Beach Naval Base on Thursday.

The routine patrol began with Marines aboard the USS Green Bay participating in Cobra Gold 2017 in Thailand in early February, and ended with training and certification exercises that concluded March 29, Marine officials said in a statement.

The patrols are designed to maintain Navy and Marine Corps amphibious operations within the Western Pacific region.

The Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU was embarked aboard the Sasebo, Japan-based ships USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Green Bay and the USS Ashland during the deployment, the statement said.

A MEU is a combined air and ground unit that sustains itself at sea for the “rapid accomplishment of any mission or to pave the way for follow-on forces,” the statement said.

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