USS Blue Ridge Departs Busan

USS Blue Ridge Departs Busan

Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), embarked 7th Fleet staff personnel, and Marines assigned to Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific departed Busan, Republic of Korea Aug. 20, after a three-day port visit focused on promoting goodwill.

While in Busan, Sailors and Marines visited locals, experienced the Korean culture and volunteered in the community to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and South Korea.

“I enjoy volunteering at COMSERVs (community service projects) because it allows me the opportunity to give back to those who are less fortunate,” Chief Culinary Specialist George Wilson said. “We really enjoyed the chance to meet and play with the children at the Sung Ae Won Home for Children. I had a genuine moment at the children’s home when a little girl fell asleep in my arms. It reminded me of my daughters back home and how much I miss them.”

While some Sailors enjoyed the sights and sounds of Busan, others participated in sporting events with their South Korean navy counterparts including soccer, basketball and volleyball.

“I had an excellent time interacting with the South Korean Sailors in our game of volleyball,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Andrea Montanez. “After the game, everyone was invited to enjoy a barbeque and it gave me the chance to try some delicious Korean food.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, for nearly 33 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge is instrumental in forging partnerships in the region while leading the fleet with its advanced shipboard communications systems.

Naval Today Staff, August 21, 2012; Image: US Navy