USS Blue Ridge docks in Sri Lanka

USS Blue Ridge a command-ship of the U.S. Navy and the 7th flagship arrived at the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 26.

The flagship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions.

The senior officer of the ship, Chief of Staff of the US Navy’s 7th fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin visited the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo.

The crew of the USS Blue Ridge is scheduled to take part in an array of programmes organized by the Sri Lanka Navy. The ship is scheduled to leave Sri Lanka on March 31 after conducting a joint naval exercise (PASSEX) with the Sri Lanka Navy.

USS Blue Ridge is crewed by over a thousand sailors and displaces 19,200 tonnes. Commissioned in 1970, it is the oldest ship in service with the U.S. Navy. The USS Mount Whitney is close behind him having been commissioned in 1970.

USS Blue Ridge and USS Mount Whitney’s service lives were extended in 2011 by the Chief of Naval Operation to 2039 under an Extended Service Life Program (ESLP).

Blue Ridge recently completed a selected restricted availability (SRA), making repairs and improvements throughout the ship, ranging from major systems upgrades in information systems and returned to sea in February 2016.