SOUTH CHINA SEA – Marine Capt. Benjamin Leatherbury, a communications officer, is currently serving aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) on deployment in the Western Pacific.
Leatherbury, the officer in charge of the Marine Communication Detachment from Expeditionary Strike Group 7 and Commander, Task Force 76 aboard Bonhomme Richard, works to ensure the integration of the Marine Air Ground Task Force’s communication structure into the ship’s existing communication system.
“Our main responsibilities are keeping the Marines’ spaces operational for communications when they come on board,” said Leatherbury. “For example if an antenna on one of the ships used by the Marines does not work, we work to ensure the blue side is working on the issue and follow up until the problem is solved.”
Leatherbury, an Indianapolis native, graduated from Indiana University. He said that he joined the Marines because he wanted to serve his country and to travel and see the world.
“I like being around Marines and the cohesiveness of a disciplined unit,” said Leatherbury. “After working in a joint environment, I now have a much better appreciation for the camaraderie that Marines have.”
Leatherbury said that he enjoys his job and plans to stay in the Marines for a few more years. He would eventually like to become a foreign area officer.
“I like the challenge and difficulty that my job presents and I like working with the extremely bright people who are in my field,” said Leatherbury. “They do some pretty amazing work and many outside the field don’t realize what goes into making even the basic communications work.”
The Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, commanded by Capt. Cathal S. O’Connor, is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and is currently operating in the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.