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USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19)
USS blueridge
USS Blue Ridge
Career (US) Flag of the United States.svg
Name: USS Blue Ridge
Namesake: Blue Ridge Mountains
Operator: Flag of the United States.svg United States Navy
Ordered: 31 December 1964
Builder: Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
Laid down: 27 February 1967
Launched: 4 January 1969
Commissioned: 14 November 1970
Homeport: Yokosuka, Japan
Motto: Finest in the Fleet
Nickname: "Building 19"
"Blue Fridge"
"The Blue Cruiser"
"Large Cabin Cruiser"
Status: In active service
Badge: USS Blue Ridge LCC-19 Crest
General characteristics
Class & type: Blue Ridge class command ship
Displacement: 19,609 tons
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)
Complement: Crew: 52 Officer, 790 Enlisted
With Command Staff: 268 Officers, 1173 Enlisted
Armament: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.

HistoryEdit

USS Blue Ridge Mount Fuji

USS Blue Ridge steams within sight of Japan's Mount Fuji as it heads for port at the end of a six-week Spring Swing tour, Shimizu, Japan (May 2008).

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.[1]

From 1972 until 1979, Blue Ridge deployed to the Western Pacific as the Flagship, Commander Amphibious Force, Seventh Fleet.

Since October 1979, Blue Ridge has been forward-deployed at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan as the flagship of the US 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.[citation needed]

Blue Ridge participates routinely in U.S. and allied training exercises each year with countries throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.[citation needed]

This ship was one of several participating in disaster relief after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami/Operation TOMODACHI.[2] 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.

Blue Ridge is expected to remain in service until 2039.[3][4]

AwardsEdit

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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