U.S. Navy ship Blue Ridge changed command during a port visit to Sri Lanka on March 29.
Captain Matthew Paradise relieved Captain Kyle P. Higgins as commanding officer of the Command-class ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19).
Higgins served as commanding officer for over 14 months, leading the ship and crew through two patrol cycles, one including the rescue of five stranded Filipino fisherman and several inspections and awards with the ship being awarded the Battle “E” Efficiency Award for the second year in a row.
Blue Ridge commanding officer Matthew Paradise said: “It is obvious that I’m stepping into a terrific command. That is a true testament to the men and women of Blue Ridge, but it’s also a testament to its commanding officer. Thank you for leaving me such a great legacy. I’ll make you proud and build on it.”
The ship is currently on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operations, strengthening and fostering relationships in the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
Senior military leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet and Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force on May 29 met to discuss operational topics aboard the fleet’s flagship.
Sixteen officials from Sri Lanka Navy and Air Force attended the bilateral meeting hosted by 7th Fleet, designed to share knowledge and discuss lessons learned within the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
There were also discussions about potential bilateral training between the U.S. and Sri Lanka during Pacific Partnership, a joint effort between the United States, foreign militaries, and other organizations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support.