Timor-Leste and Indonesian Sailors Partner with USS Blue Ridge
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cody Babin, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs
USS BLUE RIDGE, At Sea - U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) hosted two sailors from the Republic of Indonesia and five sailors from the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste while on patrol June 18 - 24.

The sailors embarked Blue Ridge in Jakarta, Indonesia, spending six days underway with crew members until the ship's arrival in Dili, Timor-Leste.

"We always want to host other navies to show them what we do, how we operate and to exchange ideas," said Lt. Sylvester Thompson, 7th Fleet theater security coordination officer. "Working together always helps us to understand each other's capabilities and reinforces our mission to provide security throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region."

Although the East Timorese and Indonesian sailors brought their own experiences from their respective commands, Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet staff Sailors were shared Blue Ridge's shipboard system capabilities and how the crew maintains underway preparedness.

Blue Ridge's corpsman took the Indonesian sailors on a tour of the ship's battle dressing stations and shared how Blue Ridge responds to medical emergencies.

"We showed the them our medical stations, because their ships don't typically have the same set up," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Ernesto Edeza. "I hope they learned something from us they can take back to their own ship."

"We learned about battle dressing stations and how to handle ship-board casualties," said Indonesian navy Maj. Lila Irawati.

During a man overboard drill, Timorese sailors were invited to the bridge to observe how the ship's crew responds.

"It was a great way to show them our system and capabilities, so that if their commands needed any assistance, we would be there to readily help," said Chief Quartermaster Andrey Mihaylovski, Navigation leading chief petty officer.

"We enjoyed being included in the training evolutions," said Timor-Leste navy Ensign Zito Dos Belo. "Learning about the digital navigation systems taught us some things we can take back to our commands to increase our effectiveness."

Lt. Cmdr. Roderick Davis, fleet medical planner, said Blue Ridge hosts other navies to allow each nation's representatives to share their experience and knowledge.

"It helps us understand each other, and it makes our relationship and partnership that much stronger," he said.

As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Scott Swift, Blue Ridge is crucial in maintaining a presence in the South Indo-Asia-Pacific region, strengthening allied ties through community service projects and conducting joint military exercises with regional partners.
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