On Thursday evening we attended a reception aboard the USS Blue Ridge. The communications and command flagship of 7th Fleet is making a friendly visit to the port of Osaka. The 900 sailors aboard will be enjoying a bit of R & R here in Kansai and doing a community service project with a local orphanage. The ship when not on patrol in the Asia Pacific region, is docked on a naval base near Yokohama. Nadia is shown above with a couple “cryptographers”, the communications specialists.
The heads of international schools in Kansai with US consulate students were invited to attend the reception hosted by US Consul General Greenburg. It was a crisp evening down at the port of Osaka where the Blue Ridge was docked, but the friendliness of the sailors and guests, live music and food and drinks kept us warm. It was my first time on a navy ship and it is incredible the logistics that goes into maintaining a vessel at sea carrying so many people. The Blue Ridge is quite old (since 1967) but it is well kept after and serves as a communications hub for the seventh fleet. We met the commander of the 7th fleet, Joseph Aucoin, and we discussed our memories of the Balkans, where Vice Admiral Aucoin also spent some time.
It is amazing and incredibly expensive the work of the US Navy. They have basically mapped out zones of the entire world that the various fleets cover. Thanks to the US navy, world trade and commerce can take place without disruption. Times are a bit tense in the Asia Pacific region with the always crazy North Korea and the rise of militarism of China in the South China Sea.
I would like to thank the personnel of the USS Blue Ridge and the US Consulate in Osaka for the pleasant evening! I also want to thank the men and women of the Blue Ridge and the entire seventh fleet for their service to our country and to the idea of democracy and free trade.