On July 12, 2020, flames spread across the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6) after an explosion rocked the bow of the famed landing helicopter dock. The Department of Defense and San Diego Fire Department have only reported minor injuries to the crew, although parts of the vessel remain to be cleared. The ship was undergoing regularly scheduled maintenance when the fire started, although the exact cause remains to be determined.
The United States Navy and San Diego Fire Department have established a unified fire command to battle the three alarm fire.
The Richard is a wasp-class amphibious assault ship, named in honor of famed US Navy commander John Paul Jones' frigate. Vessels such as the Richard are an intricate part of the United States Navy's strategy to project power in the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. The LHD is able to launch various types of helicopters at a moments notice and is able to strike enemy vessels, targets on land, or submarines below the surface.
The Intelligence Ledger will continue to report on developments as they emerge.
Update (2:58 - July 12, 2020)
The Navy announced that it believes a welding accident is responsible for the current fire. It does not believe foul play is involved.
The Navy is attempting to remove other vessels from the area in order to prevent further damage.