TOKYO - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) welcomed more than 3,000 visitors while the ship was moored in Tokyo June 17.
Blue Ridge opened its brows to allow visitors the opportunity to see what a U.S. Navy ship looks like and how it operates. The tours were an outward demonstration of the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan.
"I think everybody had a good time," said Cmdr. George Davis, communications officer. "We had more than 3,000 visitors come on board the ship. Our guests are able to experience a Sailor's life through demonstrations on the ship."
Guests had the opportunity to watch damage control demonstrations and look at weapon displays presented by the Marines from Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) Pacific, 3rd Platoon as well as getting a close look at the SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter on the flight deck.
For one guest, it was his first time being on a United States vessel.
"On television your ships look huge and beautiful," said Johnnie Moylett, an Ireland native who resides in Japan. "When I approached the ship, I underestimated how big it really was. It's enormous. Inside the skin of the ship, it was very roomy, comfortable and clean. I was very impressed with the United States Navy."
Lance Cpl. Bryan Cook of FAST helped guests understand the equipment he uses aboard Blue Ridge and throughout the fleet.
"We like to let other people try on our gear because they probably have never seen anything like it before," said Cook. "They seemed to be very fascinated with all the different tools and equipment we had out there."
"The demonstrations were beyond my expectations. The Sailors showed us how to operate their equipment effectively, safely and with a smile," added Moylett. "The tour left me feeling fulfilled and with an understanding of the U.S. Navy's global force for good."