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Blue Ridge Arrives in Mumbai

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS160405-03
Release Date: 4/5/2016 9:45:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Public Affairs

MUMBAI, India (NNS) -- U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Mumbai, India for a regularly scheduled port visit to promote friendships and strengthen ties with our allies April 4.

The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 members, including embarked 7th Fleet staff, Marines from Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) and the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.

This port visit is Blue Ridge's first visit to India in 11 years.

"We are strengthening the ties with countries where the United States already has a presence and building new ones in places we have yet to go in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility," said Command Master Chief Charles Ziervogel. "This visit is particularly important as India is one of our allies with common interests in maintaining the freedom of the seas from those who seek to benefit from a reduced U.S. Navy presence and limit or control trade and resources."

During the ship's visit, Sailors and Marines will have the opportunity to interact with the local community through community service events, such as working with Corp India, an organization that runs shelters, daycare centers and family counseling centers, and the Organization for Social Change, Awareness, and Responsibility (OSCAR) Foundation, which helps teach children the value of education through sports.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing a new culture and doing my part to strengthen ties with our allies," said Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Brian Jewel. "We have some great community service projects lined up that I'm excited to be a part of."

"India is a growing naval power with the ability to project an allied presence into areas of concerns," said Ziervogel. "This visit will definitely help strengthen our ties with them and renew our commitments and common interests."

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 36 years. As the flag ship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.

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