JAKARTA, Indonesia - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Jakarta, Indonesia, after completing a four-day port visit June 18.
The amphibious command and control ship is currently deployed to the South Indo-Asia Pacific region, engaging allies and strengthening partnerships.
In addition to immersing themselves in the local Indonesian culture, Blue Ridge crew members and 7th Fleet staff Marines, from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific, had the opportunity to participate in a friendly soccer game and engage with the citizens of Indonesia during a "Big Top" ceremony on the ship's main deck.
"The opportunity for Blue Ridge to visit Jakarta presents us with a more in depth engagement with the Indonesian navy," said Vice Adm. Scott H. Swift, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. "Bringing my entire staff here allows us to have direct staff talks with the Indonesian navy, which is very important. Our specialty is security - maritime security in particular. From security comes stability, which is why 7th Fleet teams with strong partners like the Indonesian navy: to provide greater stability to the region."
Despite a day of rain and inclimate weather, the Blue Ridge soccer team were able to participate in a friendly game of soccer with Indonesian sailors and marines.
"Before the game started, we were afraid the rain would cause the game to be cancelled," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Victor Trujillo. "The rain ended up making it that much more fun and competitive. You could see that everyone from both teams had the biggest smiles on their faces. Sporting events like this are always a great way to bring people together and create bonds between two countries."
Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for nearly 34 years. As the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, Blue Ridge is vital in forging partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.