Blue Ridge Begins Patrol

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Phillip Pavlovich

PACIFIC OCEAN – U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Yokosuka, Japan for its first patrol of the year, Feb. 28.

Seaman Tyler Winstead, left, and Seaman Carreon heave in a line in the forecastle as U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departs from Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka for patrol. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Sloan

Seaman Tyler Winstead, left, and Seaman Carreon heave in a line in the forecastle as U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departs from Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka for patrol.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brian Sloan

During the patrol, Blue Ridge crew members are joined by embarked 7th Fleet staff, members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12, the “Golden Falcons,” and Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific.

“This team has worked hard in preparation for this patrol and is ready to go, “said Commanding Officer Capt. Richard McCormack. “The dedication and commitment shown by Blue Ridge Sailors will serve the country well in support of our global national interest.”

“The crew is proud of their accomplishments and is becoming more confident with every training evolution,” Blue Ridge Command Master Chief Mark Tomlinson. “In a matter of days we’ve gone from being repaired pier side to a mission-ready, massive and impressive naval vessel, ready to proudly wave the American flag and carry out the business of 7th Fleet.”

Blue Ridge will participate in exercises Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Key Resolve, strengthening relationships with U.S. allies and partner nations while providing advanced communication capabilities and support Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) during the patrol across the Asia-Pacific region.

Sailors prepare to launch an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the flight deck of U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral

Sailors prepare to launch an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the flight deck of U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Harral

“The versatility and capability of the Blue Ridge/7th Fleet team is incredible,” said Master Chief Fire Controlman Craig A. Hohnstein, 7th Fleet senior enlisted leader “Whether we are conducting exercises or TSC visits with our partners and allies, this ship is a concrete representation of the commitment the U.S. Navy has to this region’s security and prosperity.”

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flag ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

Leave reply:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s