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Flagship's Arrival in Manila Marks Renewed Cooperation for US, Philippine Navies

18 March 2019

18 March 2019

U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and embarked 7th Fleet staff arrived in Manila, March 13, for the ship's first port visit to the Philippines in three years. As the talks aboard Blue Ridge will provide opportunity for professional exchanges, many Filipino-American Sailors will also have the chance to reconnect with their heritage during the port visit.

 

 

 

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190313-N-YG414-004 MANILA, Philippines (March 13, 2019) Capt. Eric J. Anduze, from Manati, Puerto Rico, commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), answers questions from media representatives after arriving in Manila, Philippines, March 13, 2019. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Semales)
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190313-N-YG414-004 MANILA, Philippines (March 13, 2019) Capt. Eric J. Anduze, from Manati, Puerto Rico, commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), answers questions from media representatives after arriving in Manila, Philippines, March 13, 2019. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Semales)
Photo By: MC2 Patrick Semales
VIRIN: 190313-N-YG414-004
 

The Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet team undertook maritime cooperative activities with the Philippine Navy BRP Davao Del Sur LD602 shortly before arriving in Manila to reaffirm longstanding ties with the counterparts in the Philippine Navy.

 

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190313-N-YM543-250 MANILA, Philippines (March 13, 2019) - Philippine Navy frigate BRP Davao Del Sur LD602 passes in front of U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) shortly after completing a cooperative deployment en route to Manila, Philippines. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy, and as 7th Fleet command ship, is responsible for fostering relationships within the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McKay)
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190313-N-YM543-250 MANILA, Philippines (March 13, 2019) - Philippine Navy frigate BRP Davao Del Sur LD602 passes in front of U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) shortly after completing a cooperative deployment en route to Manila, Philippines. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy, and as 7th Fleet command ship, is responsible for fostering relationships within the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McKay)
Photo By: Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan C
VIRIN: 200610-N-ZZ998-0513

Representatives from the 7th Fleet staff met with counterparts from the Philippine Navy for staff talks, aboard Blue Ridge.

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190318-N-DS193-003 MANILA, Philippines (March 18, 2019) - U.S. 7th Fleet Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Ted LeClair welcomes Philippine Navy Vice Commander Rear Adm. Rommel Jude Ong aboard U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)
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190318-N-DS193-003 MANILA, Philippines (March 18, 2019) - U.S. 7th Fleet Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Ted LeClair welcomes Philippine Navy Vice Commander Rear Adm. Rommel Jude Ong aboard U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)
Photo By: Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K T
VIRIN: 200610-N-ZZ998-0499
 

During the visit, 7th Fleet and Blue Ridge Sailors spent time playing a friendly basketball game with a local college, and reading to children in local neighborhoods around Manila.

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190315-N-DS193-047 MANILA, Philippines (March 15, 2019) - Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Tyjhay McCain, from South Bend, Ind., and Mark Sangalang leap for the tip off of a goodwill basketball game between U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the Colegio de San Juan, Letran Knights in Manila, Philippines. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)
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190315-N-DS193-047 MANILA, Philippines (March 15, 2019) - Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Tyjhay McCain, from South Bend, Ind., and Mark Sangalang leap for the tip off of a goodwill basketball game between U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the Colegio de San Juan, Letran Knights in Manila, Philippines. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam K. Thomas)
Photo By: Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam K T
VIRIN: 200610-N-ZZ998-0504

 

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190316-N-YG414-031 MANILA, Philippines (March 16, 2019) - Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Michael Flores, from Santa Paula, Calif., attached to U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), reads a story to children at Gawad Kalinga Munting Pamayanan during a community relations event. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Semales)
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190316-N-YG414-031 MANILA, Philippines (March 16, 2019) - Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Michael Flores, from Santa Paula, Calif., attached to U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), reads a story to children at Gawad Kalinga Munting Pamayanan during a community relations event. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific Region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Semales)
Photo By: Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael
VIRIN: 200610-N-ZZ998-0505
 

More than 150 Filipino-American Sailors serve aboard as part of the 7th Fleet and Blue Ridge team and many took the opportunity to reconnect with both relatives and their heritage during the port visit.

Ensign Samantha Angosta-Westley says, "I feel that we’re really committed to our allies. It means the Philippines matters to the U.S. The Navy took the time to schedule to visit the country and make sure they know that we support them."

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VIDEO | 01:10 | Honoring Filipinos Serving in the US Navy - Ensign Samantha Angosta-Westley

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Tuazon's hometown in Philippines is Bulacan, and it is San Diego, California in the United States. He has had three years in service.

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VIDEO | 01:32 | Honoring Filipinos Serving in the US Navy - Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Tuazon

Seaman Christen Castro, whose hometown in Philippines is Baguio City, says that being in the Navy has taught her to be a leader and a role model.

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VIDEO | 00:56 | Honoring Filipinos Serving in the US Navy - Seaman Christen Castro - Seaman Christen Castro

Lieutenant Commander Patricia Cunanan, originally from Manila, Philippines, has had 24 years in service. She says, "In the 24 years that I’ve been in the Navy, it makes me feel proud that I’m doing everything I can to make sure I make my family and friends back home feel proud of everything that I’ve accomplished so far.”

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VIDEO | 01:41 | Honoring Filipinos Serving in the US Navy - Lieutenant Commander Patricia Cunanan

Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders of various backgrounds have served in the U.S. Navy since the early 19th century, including those of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Indian and Polynesian heritage. According to Navy statistics, there are approximately 25,000 Asian-American and Pacific Islander Sailors currently serving. Among those who served in the U.S. Navy is Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., the former commander, U.S. Pacific Command. Before his recent retirement, he was the highest-ranking Japanese-American to serve in the U.S. Navy.

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