Blue Ridge Invites Friends and Family for a Cruise

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Don Patton,
USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

160516-N-XF387-045 YOKOHAMA HARBOR (May 16, 2016) - Sailors attached to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and their friends and family watch a performance on the main deck during a family day cruise. Blue Ridge is currently on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations strengthening and fostering relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Dunagan/RELEASED)

160516-N-XF387-045 YOKOHAMA HARBOR (May 16, 2016) – Sailors attached to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and their friends and family watch a performance on the main deck during a family day cruise. Blue Ridge is currently on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations strengthening and fostering relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Dunagan/RELEASED)

YOKOHAMA – After more than 80 days, the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) welcomed it’s family and friends on board for the final stretch of it’s 2016 patrol cycle, May 16.

More Than 200 friends and family members joined the ship in Yokohama as it made its journey back to Yokosuka, Japan.

“We are hosting this friends and family day cruise to provide our friends and family a first hand look at what we do as Sailors onboard, allowing them to have a better understanding of the duties we perform day-to-day,” said Chief Information Systems Technician Troy Young, Blue Ridge’s family day cruise coordinator.

The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 members, including embarked 7th Fleet staff, Marines from Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) and the “Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.

While on board, Blue Ridge’s visitors will be treated to a steel beach picnic and get to see the “Golden Falcons” and the ship’s flight quarters crew perform a helicopter exercise.

“Not many civilians get to see a flight quarters evolution in real life,” said Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Jamal Najjar, Blue Ridge’s flight quarters Landing Signalman (Enlisted). “This event gives us the rare chance to showcase the type of work that we do on a daily basis, while underway.”

160516-N-XF387-138 YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 16, 2016) - Ensign Connor Reasonerblasch, attached to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), stands as the Helm Safety Officer with his guest during a friends and family day cruise as the ship arrives in Yokosuka, Japan. Blue Ridge returned to its homeport after completing a three-month patrol, strengthening and fostering relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Dunagan/RELEASED)

160516-N-XF387-138 YOKOSUKA, Japan (May 16, 2016) – Ensign Connor Reasonerblasch, attached to the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), stands as the Helm Safety Officer with his guest during a friends and family day cruise as the ship arrives in Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liz Dunagan/RELEASED)

The ship’s Damage Controlmen and Marines will also provide guests with the opportunity to see static displays of some of their equipment.

“We prepared a display of our fire fighting equipment on the ship’s main deck to give our visitors a chance to see how it works and actually try on some of our gear for themselves,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Kevin O’Connell.

“I’m hoping that all of the families and friends will leave with warm hearts, and a better appreciation for what their loved ones do and the sacrifices that each Sailor makes,” continued Young.

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