USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bryan Reckard)
February 5, 2009, Nagasaki -- While in Nagasaki, flagship Sailors will connect the surrounding communities in a wide range of activities, beginning with friendly soccer and basketball games with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) sailors from Ohmura Base.
Additionally, Sailors plan to visit Myojoo-en Children's Home to present a variety of sports equipment the children. A trip is also scheduled to the Nozomi No Mori Senior Citizens Home in Nagayo.
The crew is also hosting local government, civic, and business leaders for an onboard reception and ship tours.
Blue Ridge Commanding Officer Capt. Thom W. Burke said on behalf of his crew, "We are excited to be here and we look forward to enjoying the sites of Nagasaki, going to the Peace Park, and seeing the Lantern Festival. There are so many things to see in this city and we are very happy to be here."
Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward-deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. Task Force 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan. (navy.mil)
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