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Blue Ridge Arrives in Jakarta

Story Number: NNS100411-01

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josh Huebner, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Public Affairs

JAKARTA, Indonesia (NNS) -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff Sailors and Marines of the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, 1st Company pulled into Jakarta Apr. 11 to the sound of the Indonesian army band playing "Anchors Aweigh" to greet the 7th Fleet amphibious command ship.

Capt. Rudy Lupton, commanding officer of Blue Ridge, was treated to traditional Indonesian dance performances while visiting with dignitaries of the Indonesian military and local Jakarta community.

The 7th Fleet band is scheduled to perform a free show to foster cultural exchange at the Mango City Square Mall. "I don't know what to expect because I've never been here before. We're going to do a 'far east tradition' show at the mall. We'll be playing with our big band and our brass band," said Musician 3rd Class Danielle Clark, who plays the flute, piccolo and baritone saxophone for the 7th Fleet band. "These shows are great because it gives us a chance to interact with the people and see them smile," said Clark.

Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet staff Sailors will join locals during community outreach projects in Jakarta. More than 40 Sailors and Marines are scheduled to visit Rumah Singgah Orphanage to participate in charity work. "It's a wonderful chance to learn Indonesian culture and about their lives. We have an opportunity to meet and play with kids and really be ambassadors for the ship and 7th Fleet," said Chief Religious Programs Specialist Quartez Scipio, who will attend the event. "Everyone's really excited to go. We opened sign-ups and had all of the seats filled in under 30 minutes," said Scipio.

Blue Ridge departed its forward-deployed home of Yokosuka, Japan, Mar. 1, for a spring deployment to further positive relations with regional partners. The ship has made port visits to Busan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The 19,000-ton ship can carry more than 1,300 crewmembers and serves as a command and control ship for 7th Fleet operations. 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, U.S. 7th Fleet. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan. The U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest of forward-deployed U.S. Fleets, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.

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