USS Blue Ridge, after long refit, makes first port visit in nearly five years

USS Blue Ridge sailors stand watch on board the Navy's oldest operational ship during a port visit in Otaru, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. (CAITLIN DOORNBOS/STARS AND STRIPES)
USS Blue Ridge sailors stand watch on board the Navy's oldest operational ship during a port visit in Otaru, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. (CAITLIN DOORNBOS/STARS AND STRIPES)

USS Blue Ridge, after long refit, makes first port visit in nearly five years

by Caitlin Doornbos
Stars and Stripes

ABOARD THE USS BLUE RIDGE in Otaru, Japan — Quarter-sized snowflakes pummeled the USS Blue Ridge on Friday as the Navy’s oldest operational ship pulled into this city for its first port call in nearly five years.

Snow piled on the shoulders of the ship’s leadership during a morning ceremony. The hulking, gray flagship of the U.S. 7th Fleet behind them stuck out against the blizzard-white sky and snow-packed pier.

Hokkaido businessman Yoshiro Ito of the Japan Defense Cooperative Association welcomed 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer and his staff to Otaru during an outdoor welcoming ceremony on the snowy pier Friday morning. A crowd of about 75 shivering onlookers gath-ered to hear his short speech.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.567820

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