Friday, October 30, 2009

Blue Ridge Arrives in Singapore

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Singapore Oct. 29 for a scheduled port visit as part of the ship's fall 2009 deployment.

The 7th Fleet flagship's approximately 1,000 crew members and embarked staff will have the opportunity to enjoy visiting one of the world's most vibrant city-states, while fostering friendship and cultural relations.

"Singapore and the United States have a long history of working together in this region, and this port visit gives us the opportunity to build on that excellent relationship," said Capt. Thom W. Burke, Blue Ridge's commanding officer. "The crew is looking forward to experiencing the hospitality and culture."

While in Singapore, Blue Ridge's crew and embarked 7th Fleet staff will see the island city-state during scheduled tours and participate in several community outreach projects.

"Blue Ridge has been here several times in recent years," Burke said. "Our visits to Singapore have always been a great way to show the relationship that exists between the U.S. Navy and this great city."

Blue Ridge departed its forward-deployed home of Yokosuka, Japan, Sept. 2 for a fall deployment to further positive relations with regional partners. The ship has made port visits in Guam, New Caledonia, Sydney and Cairns, Australia, and Port Kelang, Malaysia.

Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, 7th Fleet. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.