U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Hong Kong after a four-day port visit March 16.
During the port call, Blue Ridge crew members, along with Sailors from embarked 7th fleet staff, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 and Marines from Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific, gave guided-ship tours, hosted a distinguished guest reception and visited a local school.
Fifteen Sailors from Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet visited with nearly 150 children at Leung Shek Chee Girl’s College March 13. They answered questions concerning life as female servicemembers living aboard a U.S. Navy ship.
“The girls were very curious about what it’s like to live on a ship as a woman, so it was fun to dispel preconceptions and offer new insights.” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Amber MacMullin. “We explained that all Sailors, regardless of gender, look out for one another as shipmates and that camaraderie is important to the success of the crew.”
The command hosted several ship tours, including a group of Hong Kong medical industry professionals who toured shipboard medical facilities March 14. Blue Ridge Medical Office Lt. Cmdr. Omar Saeed showed off the operating, x-ray and pharmacy rooms while explaining how patients are treated aboard the ship.
“We’ve been trying to arrange this opportunity for a few years now, so I’m glad we could finally meet with one another,” said Saeed. “In certain circumstances Blue Ridge and local hospitals might need to work together – after a natural disaster, for instance – so it’s important for each side to understand each other’s capabilities.”
Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.
Press Release, March 17, 2014, 2014; Image: Wikimedia