USS Blue Ridge Makes Port Call in Qingdao, China

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the United States’ 7th Fleet, arrived in Qingdao, on Tuesday to promote maritime cooperation with the People's Liberation Army Navy’s North Sea Fleet, U.S. Navy said.

"We greatly appreciate the warm welcome our North Sea Fleet counterparts have given the 7th Fleet staff and USS Blue Ridge," said Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. "This visit will be a positive and unique experience for our sailors and I hope the beginning of more interaction in the future."

While in Qingdao, the Blue Ridge will welcome Chinese guests and media on board for guided tours. Personnel will also participate in sporting events with their Chinese counterparts and conduct planning for a search-and-rescue exercise.

Qingdao is a major seaport, naval base and industrial center in Eastern China.

"It's good for the crew to experience a little of the culture and for us to build relationships with our PLA(N) counterparts," said Blue Ridge Command Master Chief Mark Tomlinson. "The more cooperation we have between our two navies, the better sailors we all become."

The 7th Fleet's area of operation spans from the International Date Line in the East to the India/Pakistan border in the West, and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, for 34 years.

PanOrient News

© PanOrient News All Rights Reserved.