An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

ArticleCS - Article View
NEWS | March 30, 2021

USS Blue Ridge Operates with Japan Maritime Self Defense Force

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Charles White, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) operated with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) JS Kongo (DDG 173), March 29, 2021 as a test of the partner nation’s combined maritime skills and intercommunication capabilities.

“This bilateral exercise was an excellent display of solidarity with our host nation and the JMSDF,” said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer, Capt. Tim Waits. “It provided important training and experience that enables both crews to operate and communicate safely and effectively while working closely together."

The exercise consisted of multiple ships sailing in formation while practicing communications and maneuvering procedures, with an aim toward increasing and improving cooperation and interoperability with naval counterparts in the region. Unique to this exercise was the participation of aircraft embarked aboard Blue Ridge, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12, which flew in formation with the ships and transferred Capt. Waits from Blue Ridge to Kongo during maneuvers to engage with leadership and visit the ship’s crew.

“In addition to improving the JMSDF’s tactical capabilities, we have deepened interoperability with the U.S. Navy.” said Capt. Fujisaki Masaru, commanding officer of JS Kongo, “I am convinced that we can improve deterrence and interoperability in response to possible contingencies through regular bilateral exercises such as the one we conducted.”

Blue Ridge has been forward-deployed and operating in the Area of Responsibility (AOR) for more than 40 years, continuing her primary mission of supporting Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet while conducting sustained operations at sea. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy, and as U.S.7th Fleet command ship, is responsible for patrolling and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.

“This combined exercise consisted of two forces from different nations working together toward a single end, which to me, represents strengthening alliances at the fleet level, and is something our Sailors, their families back home and our country can be proud of,” said Waits.

As the U.S. Navy's largest forward deployed fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates between 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors. 7th Fleet's area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South Pacific, providing security and stability to the region. 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security while conducting a wide-range of missions to support humanitarian efforts and uphold international laws and freedoms of the sea.

For more news from USS Blue Ridge, visit


Google Translation Disclaimer

  • Google Translate, a third party service provided by Google, performs all translations directly and dynamically.
  • Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, has no control over the features, functions, or performance of the Google Translate service.
  • The automated translations should not be considered exact and should be used only as an approximation of the original English language content.
  • This service is meant solely for the assistance of limited English-speaking users of the website.
  • Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, does not warrant the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information translated.
  • Some items cannot be translated, including but not limited to image buttons, drop down menus, graphics, photos, or portable document formats (pdfs).
  • Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, does not directly endorse Google Translate or imply that it is the only language translation solution available to users.
  • All site visitors may choose to use similar tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk.
  • IE users: Please note that Google Translate may not render correctly when using Internet Explorer. Users are advised to use MS Edge, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox browser to take full advantage of the Google Translate feature.
  • The official text of content on this site is the English version found on this website. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of the information contained in translated text, refer to the English version on this website, it is the official version.