Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 8, 2019

7th Fleet Command Ship USS Blue Ridge Visits Otaru, Japan

By MC2 Adam K. Thomas USS Blue Ridge

OTARU, Japan -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff arrived for their first port visit to Otaru, Japan, in nearly five years, Feb 8.

The port visit is also Blue Ridge’s first since completing a two-year maintenance period. It reflects the enduring strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and 7th Fleet’s commitment to the Japanese people.

During the welcoming ceremony 7th Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer expressed his deep appreciation for the opportunity to visit Otaru. ”This is a special port visit for USS Blue Ridge and for Seventh Fleet,” Sawyer said. “While we call Yokosuka home and work with the Kaijo Jieitai throughout the year, opportunities to visit this part of Japan are rare and we truly appreciate Otaru’s hospitality.”

As part of the port call, Blue Ridge crew members and embarked 7th Fleet staff will take part in several community relations (COMREL) events that build on the longstanding friendship between American and Japanese citizens.

The COMREL events include a friendly basketball game with Otaru Meiho High School students and volunteer work at the Snow Light Path Festival.

"I see this as a chance to learn about Japanese culture outside of what I’ve learned about in Yokosuka," said Personnel man 3rd Class Razi Nil, one of Blue Ridge’s COMREL participants. "Being a part of creating and continuing our relationships with the people here as an ambassador for the Navy is an unbelievable experience."

Blue Ridge recently completed nearly two years of extended maintenance and numerous certifications to ensure it remains ready to promote regional security and stability.

Capt. Eric J. Anduze, Blue Ridge's commanding officer spoke on the importance of the visit in light of the long maintenance period. "In order to protect our interests and those of our partners, we must work closely with our Japanese hosts, and this port visit is an essential piece of that mission," he said. Our relationship was highlighted over the last three years, as the Blue Ridge crew worked hand-in-hand with our neighbors to refurbish our fine warship. It is due to everyone's hard work, both Navy and civilian, that we are able to be here today."

Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and is responsible for patrolling and fostering relationships within the Indo-Pacific region.
CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
307,294
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
U.S. Army Hawaii Breaks Ground on $80 Million Maintenance Hangar on Historic Airfield
From left to right stand Command Sgt. Maj. Leon C. Black III, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade senior enlisted advisor; Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Oliver, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii senior enlisted advisor; Aaron Lane, Hensel Phelps; Jean McAninch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Honolulu District; Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Lynn, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade chief warrant officer; Col. Rob Bryant, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade commander; Col. Cain Baker, deputy commander for support, 25th Infantry Division; Col. Dan Misigoy, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii commander; Ron Mitchell, Hensel Phelps; Lt. Col. Eric Marshall, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Honolulu District; James Knight, aviation division chief, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and Kahu Hailama Farden.
Jan. 21, 2022 - WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- Army leaders from U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, the 25th Infantry Division and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground today on a multi-year aviation maintenance project designed to replace...

Arctic Guardians Support Response to Yakutat Local Disaster
Alaska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen arrive in the Southeast Alaska community of Yakutat, Jan. 12, 2022, after the region received tremendous amounts of snow and rain over a seven-day period. Guard members serving on Joint Task Force-Yakutat will provide building safety assessments and emergency snow removal for Tribal, public and government facilities in the community following hazardous winter weather and heavy snowfall resulting in building damage and continued risk of unsafe conditions. Yakutat is in the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the U.S. and home to the largest population of bald eagles in the world. The Alaska National Guard is trained, equipped and ready to provide disaster response support for the State of Alaska when requested by civil authorities.
Jan. 21, 2022 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON (JBER), Alaska -- Alaska Air National Guardsmen of the 176th Wing worked late into the night of Jan. 11 to ensure 20 Alaska National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were ready to depart JBER on a...

Joint Statement on the January 11, 14, and 17 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch
Joint Statement on the January 11, 14, and 17 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ballistic Missile Launch.
Jan. 21, 2022 - United States Mission to the United Nations -- The following is a joint statement as delivered by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, on behalf of Albania, Brazil, France, Ireland,...

U.S., Indonesia, and Switzerland Celebrate Water and Sanitation Gains for Millions of People
United States, Indonesia, and Switzerland Celebrate Water and Sanitation Gains for Millions of People.
Jan. 21, 2022 - JAKATA, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Indonesia -- As a result of a five-year partnership between the United States and Indonesia, more than 1.6 million Indonesians, including nearly 530,000 people from low-income communities,...

7th Fleet Destroyer Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in South China Sea
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) conducts routine underway operations. Benfold is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Jan. 20, 2022 - SOUTH CHINA SEA -- On Jan. 20, USS Benfold (DDG 65) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law. At the conclusion of the operation, USS Benfold exited...