|USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)|
USS Blue Ridge
|Name:||USS Blue Ridge|
|Namesake:||Blue Ridge Mountains|
|Operator:||United States Navy|
|Ordered:||31 December 1964|
|Builder:||Philadelphia Naval Shipyard|
|Laid down:||27 February 1967|
|Launched:||4 January 1969|
|Commissioned:||14 November 1970|
|Motto:||Finest in the Fleet|
"The Blue Cruiser"
"Large Cabin Cruiser"
|Status:||In active service|
|Class & type:||Blue Ridge class command ship|
|Length:||194 m (636.5 ft)|
|Beam:||32.9 m (108 ft)|
|Draft:||8.8 m (26.9 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Two boilers, one geared turbine|
|Speed:||23 kn (43 km/h)|
|Range:||10,000 nmi (19,000 km)|
Crew: 52 Officer, 790 Enlisted|
With Command Staff: 268 Officers, 1173 Enlisted
2× Phalanx CIWS guns|
4× 25 mm Bushmaster cannons
8× .50 cal. Machine guns
Mark 36 SRBOC chaff rockets
|Aircraft carried:||Two helicopters, currently the Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk|
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) is the lead ship of the two Blue Ridge-class command ships of the U.S. Navy, and is the command ship of the United States Seventh Fleet. Her primary role is to provide Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) support to the commander and staff of the United States Seventh Fleet. She is currently forward-deployed to US Navy Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan and is the third Navy ship named after the Blue Ridge Mountains, a range of mountains in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States. Blue Ridge is currently the second oldest active ship in US service after Denver.
History[edit | edit source]
USS Blue Ridge was commissioned on 14 November 1970, at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard as a command and control ship for the navy. On 11 February 1971, with Captain Carroll (Vice Admiral Kent J. Carroll) in command, Blue Ridge steamed on her maiden voyage from the shipyard to her first homeport, San Diego, California, via the Strait of Magellan.
From 1972 until 1979, Blue Ridge deployed to the Western Pacific as the Flagship, Commander Amphibious Force, Seventh Fleet.
Blue Ridge performed a nine-and-one-half month deployment as flagship for the Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 through 24 April 1991.
Blue Ridge participates routinely in U.S. and allied training exercises each year with countries throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.
This ship was one of several participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami/Operation TOMODACHI. Blue Ridge brought relief supplies from Singapore to Japan and remained underway in the vicinity of Honshu providing C4I support to Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet for the duration of Operation TOMODACHI.
Awards[edit | edit source]
Nguyen Van Thieu, President of the Republic of Vietnam, came aboard Blue Ridge on 28 June 1972 to confer with Vice Admiral Holloway, Admiral Gaddis and General Miller. On 18 July, USS Blue Ridge was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for her action at Tiger Island and on 9 August, the ship was awarded the Battle Effectiveness Award (Battle "E") for her Vietnam operations. The ship earned the second star on the Vietnam Service Medal for her support role in the de-mining of North Vietnamese waters in 1973.
She earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation and Navy Unit Commendation for her role in Operation Frequent Wind, the helicopter evacuation of Saigon in April 1975. The ship was also awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Humanitarian Service Medal during Operation TOMODACHI.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Command History Report 1970-71
- Rabiroff, John. "U.S. military delivers 40 tons of supplies to hardest-hit areas," Stars and Stripes (US). 17 March 2011; Seawaves,"Warships Supporting Earthquake in Japan"
- Cavas, Christopher P. "Revised U.S. Fleet Plan Extends Some Ships to 70 Years." Defense News, 31 May 2011.
- Command History Report 1972
- Command History Report 1973
- Command History Report 1975
References[edit | edit source]
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Index for History/Command Operations Reports, USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)
- U.S. Marines in Vietnam, The War That Would Not End
[edit | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19).|
- USS Blue Ridge official Web site
- navsource.org: USS Blue Ridge
- All Blue Ridge CO's
- USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) 70's photos
- USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) command histories – Naval History & Heritage Command
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