USS Blue Ridge departs

U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste after completing a three-day port visit June 27.

USS Blue Ridge departs

By Mass Communications Specialist Second Class (SW) Jeff Troutman

DILI, Timor-Leste – U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste after completing a three-day port visit June 27.

During their visit, Blue Ridge crew members, embarked 7th Fleet staff and Marines from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific volunteered to clean-up at a local clinic, engaged students and faculty members at local schools and shared their technical expertise with members of the Timor-Leste Defence Force.

“We’re building relationships with the Timorese,” said 7th Fleet Theater Security Coordination Officer Lt. Sylvester Thompson. “This is something we encourage all U.S. Navy ships to do when they visit Dili. They consider us professionals and among the best in our fields.”

Elsewhere, Sailors and Marines were happy to roll up their sleeves and help tidy up the local medical clinic.

“We applied a new coat of paint to the walls and did a general clean-up of the facility,” said Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class Kevin Zita. “I think we made a great impression on the people there, and hopefully they remember our time together for years to come.”

Volunteers from Blue Ridge’s Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions stopped by the Science of Life Systems 24/7 Teacher Training Center to speak to teachers and students about the benefits of education.

“This has been one of the most unique ports we’ve visited,” said Sulo. “Interacting with students of all ages was amazing. They’re taught the same subjects, like math and history, we’re taught in the U.S., but they’re also taught how to succeed in life and follow their dreams and that impressed me.”

Blue Ridge is currently on patrol in the South Indo-Asia Pacific region, engaging allies and strengthening partnerships.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for nearly 34 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Scott H. Swift, Blue Ridge is vital in forging partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

Source: DVIDS.

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