USS Blue Ridge Completes Sea Trials

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phillip Pavlovich

Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) deploy aboard the ship's rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) during a man overboard drill. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ben Larscheid

Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) deploy aboard the ship’s rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) during a man overboard drill.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ben Larscheid

YOKOSUKA, Japan – U.S. 7th Fleet flag ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) concluded sea trials Feb. 27, completing a two-day underway following a ship’s restricted availability (SRA) maintenance period.

Sea trials are a series of graded evolutions that assesses the ship’s equipment and operational readiness while at sea.

“We put the ship’s equipment through rigorous inspections to ensure its 100 percent operational after coming out of SRA,” said Blue Ridge Main Propulsion Assistant, Lt. Art Palalay.

Blue Ridge crew members tested a number of shipboard systems, including communication, damage control and navigation, as well as the electrical generator plants. The crew also flexed the boiler plants and operated the ship at full power.

“This is a critical step in getting the ship ready to deploy and the crew re-adjusted to being out to sea,” said the ships Training Officer, Lt. j.g. Jason Park.

More than 140 Sailors checked on board during SRA. For many, this was the first opportunity to see life at sea and participate in various shipboard evolutions such as general quarters, abandon ship and man overboard drills.

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Jamelle Smith relays orders to the main deck during a man overboard drill aboard U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ben Larscheid

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jamelle Smith relays orders to the main deck during a man overboard drill aboard U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ben Larscheid

“Some crew members have never been out to sea, so doing these drills gives us an opportunity to show them what to expect when deployed. I’d rather train and get it right now than try to teach them during a real casualty,” said Park.

Sea trials are the final step before being deemed fully operational to go on patrol.

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