USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) prepares to arrive in Laem Chabang.
120524-N-CP762-190 LAEM CHABANG, Thailand (May 24, 2012) - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) prepares to arrive in Laem Chabang. Port visits provide an opportunity for the crew to serve as goodwill ambassadors from the U.S., promoting peace and stability in the Southeast Asia region and to demonstrate commitment to regional partnerships and foster growing relationships. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Fidel C. Hart /Released)
USS Blue Ridge Visits Thailand
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Kelby Sanders
LAEM CHABANG, Thailand - Sailors from U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), embarked 7th Fleet staff and Marines assigned to Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific arrived in Laem Chabang for a port visit May 24.

This port visit serves as an opportunity to promote peace, stability and our commitment to Thai allies.

"Our partnership with Thailand is built upon our professional and personal relationships," said Blue Ridge Executive Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Ralston. "We're here to develop and strengthen maritime partnerships with our Thai counterparts."

Blue Ridge Sailors are scheduled to conduct community service projects with local civilians everyday while in port.

"It's a great country; the crews I've been a part of in the past have always enjoyed visiting Thailand." said Ralston.

Ship Serviceman Seaman Jasmine Henry recalls the last time she was in Thailand and explains how she plans to spend her time during this port call.

"Last time I was able to experience the Thai New Year and it was a lot of fun, but this year I plan to spend some time interacting with children at a local children's home."

The U.S. has a longstanding relationship with Thailand going back to the early 19th century. In 1833 the two countries signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, making Thailand (then called Siam) the first east-Asian nation to make a formal diplomatic agreement with the U.S.
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