BUSAN, South Korea – U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Busan after a three-day visit Aug. 19.
While in Busan, the ship's crew and her embarked 7th Fleet Staff participated in a community relations project and enjoyed the city’s culture and rich history.
Some sailors volunteered their time at the Hee-Rak-Won orphanage, which translates to “Delight and Merriness Home."
“We assisted the staff with cleaning and gardening and gave toys to the younger children,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Gomer Cubol, Blue Ridge’s chaplain assistant. “Blue Ridge visits Hee-Rak-Won every year, so the children grow to know the sailors pretty well and are always happy to see us.”
Sailors also had opportunities to enjoy Busan’s exciting nightlife, sporting events and tours organized by Blue Ridge’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
“I went off the beaten path and took a tour to Osan because I wanted to experience and embrace the Korean culture as much as possible,” said Ship’s Serviceman 2nd Class Walter Malone.
Blue Ridge port visits represent an opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, demonstrate commitment to regional partners and foster growing relationships.
Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 34 years. As the flagship for U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge is vital in forging partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.