US sailors told to act like ambassadors of goodwill during port call

March 10, 2013 6:21 am 

MANILA, March 9 — Highlighting the close relations enjoyed by the United States and the Philippines, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) commanding officer Capt. Will Pennington has told his 700 plus crewmen to behave themselves and act like ambassadors on their four-day port visit in the country.

The USS Blue Ridge anchored at Manila South Harbor on the morning of March 7. She is expected to leave by March 11.

"They should behave accordingly and watch out for each other (while enjoying their liberty)," Pennington said.

He also told his men to be polite and be courteous while they visit Manila's famous tourist and culinary spots.

The vessel is the lead ship of the two Blue Ridge-class command ships of the US Navy, and is the command ship of the United States Seventh Fleet.

Her primary role is to provide Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) support to the commander and staff of the 7th Fleet.

The visit is a routine port call and goodwill visit that highlights the strong historic, community, and military connections between the United States and the Philippines.

USS Blue Ridge was commissioned on Nov. 14 1970, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard as a command and control ship for the US Navy.

On Feb. 11, 1971, with Capt. Carroll ( later Vice Admiral Kent J. Carroll) in command, the ship steamed on her maiden voyage from the shipyard to her first homeport, San Diego, California, via the Strait of Magellan.

From 1972 until 1979, USS Blue Ridge deployed to the Western Pacific as the flagship, Commander Amphibious Force, 7th Fleet.

Since October 1979, Blue Ridge has been forward-deployed at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan as the flagship of the US 7th Fleet.

The USS Blue Ridge has a displacement of19,609 tons, length of 194 meters (636.5 feet), beam of 32.9 meters (108 feet) and a draft of 8.8 meters (26.9 feet).

With a speed of 23 knots (43 kph), she has a cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles 19,000 kms).

The USS Blue Ridge is armed with two Phalanx CIWS guns, four 25-mm Bushmaster cannons, eight .50-caliber machine guns, and Mark 36 SRBOC chaff rockets. (PNA)

LAM/PFN

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