USS Blue Ridge back in the water

U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan to conduct sea trials after spending six months dry-docked in the harbor.

During sea trials, Blue Ridge will execute a series of exercises, testing every aspect of the ship and crew, from full power runs and boilers flexes to seamanship training including man overboard and abandon ship drills.

Blue Ridge spent the last six months in selected restricted availability (SRA), making repairs and improvements throughout the ship, ranging from major systems upgrades in information systems department and engineering department to habitability upgrades.

Blue Ridge Operations Officer, Lt. Daniel Kohlbeck: “Sea trials is an opportunity to test the crew in all areas of the ship. We just spent the last six months tied to the pier for renovations and repairs and now, we need to switch our mindset to being at sea.”

“Sea trials will give us the opportunity to adjust to the high-tempo daily routine that being underway demands.”

Blue Ridge chief engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Hartley, added: “Sea trials is our opportunity to fully test the ship in a safe environment. Throughout dock trials and since the light off assessment, the engineers are already fully engaged and ready to deploy. We will be doing a full power run to check that all of our systems work in tandem.”

“The crew’s focus will be key in determining if there are any outstanding issues that need to be addressed prior to our deployment in support of 7th Fleet operations.”

Blue Ridge, a U.S. Navy command ship which has been commissioned in November 1970, has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, for 36 years.

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