US 7th Fleet flagship trains with Philippine Navy ahead of first visit to country in three years

USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrives for a port visit to Manila, Philippines. Photo: US Navy

Command and control ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), the US 7th Fleet flagship, arrived in Manila, the Philippines, on March 13, for the ship’s first port visit to the Philippines in three years.

The Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet team carried out a cooperative deployment with Philippine Navy (PN) frigate Davao Del Sur shortly before arriving in Manila.

“Our nations are longstanding allies and our navies have worked together for generations,” said Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander, US 7th Fleet. “Our visit to Manila strengthens the bonds between our navies and our shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Blue Ridge commanding officer, Capt. Eric Anduze, will meet with PN officials and distinguished visitors for a tour of the flagship to explain the ship’s mission and goals.

“We are very proud to be back in Manila after a long absence,” Anduze said. “The Philippines has been an ally of our country for many years, and being able to show our appreciation for that friendship is something we always look forward to continuing to foster and maintain our deep relationships here are paramount to what we do in 7th Fleet.”

Blue Ridge commissioned Nov. 14, 1970, and is the oldest operational ship in the Navy. Plans are for the 7th Fleet Flagship to stay in active service for another 20-plus years after it completed an 18-month dry dock maintenance in February 2018.

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