Blue Ridge departs Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Ben Larscheid
YOKOSUKA, Japan - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka to patrol the southeast Asian-Pacific region.

With Capt. Will Pennington at the helm for the first time since he assumed command July 27, Blue Ridge will continue to strengthen partnerships through exercises with foreign navies and various community service opportunities with local aid groups. She is manned by more than 700 sailors, including embarked 7th Fleet staff, Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light – 51 (HSL 51) “Warlords” and Marines from Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific.

Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Terrence Phillips said, “We have got ourselves a great and knowledgeable crew. I know this patrol is going to be great because we are mission capable and mission ready. We always do whatever it takes to do it right.”

Blue Ridge will provide advanced communications capabilities throughout the 7th Fleet, supporting theater security cooperation, fleet coordination and engagement goals during the patrol.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for nearly 33 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Scott H. Swift, Blue Ridge is instrumental in forging partnerships in the region while leading the fleet with its advanced shipboard communications systems.

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