USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrives in Noumea, New Calendonia   

NOUMEA, New Caledonia (July 3, 2011) - Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Shericka L. Brantley, right, and Hospital Corpsmen 2nd Class Ivan Garcia, left, man the rails as the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrives in Noumea, New Caledonia, for a port visit. Blue Ridge and the embarked 7th Fleet staff are underway on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Kenneth R. Hendrix)
Blue Ridge Arrives in Noumea 
By Mass Communication Specialist Mel Orr, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs 
NOUMEA, New Caledonia - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia on July 3.

The ship's port visit is an opportunity to serve as goodwill ambassadors, promoting peace and stability in the Oceania region and to demonstrate commitment to regional partnerships and foster growing relationships.

“Visiting ports like Noumea is important to the deepening partnership between France, New Caledonia, and the United States,” Grieco said. “Our countries share a common strategic interest in promoting peace, fighting terrorism and creating a stable Asia-Pacific region. We look forward to ongoing professional exchanges and development of our mutually supportive relationship.”

During the port visit, embarked 7th Fleet staff Sailors will engage in staff talks with their French counterparts to increase maritime partnership between the two Navies. The visit is consistent with the United States desire to interact with Pacific rim nations and to promote regional cooperation.

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