EAST CHINA SEA - The amphibious 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a Codes for Unexpected Encounters at Sea (CUES) exercise with their People's Liberation Army (Navy) counterparts, May 10, after a successful port visit in Shanghai.
Adopted as a multilateral protocol at the 2014 Western Pacific Naval Symposium, CUES provides guidelines for unplanned maritime encounters at sea, including safety procedures, basic communication plans and basic maneuvering instructions.
"The exercise went very well," said Blue Ridge Commanding Officer, Matt Paradise. "While in Shanghai, we were able to sit and plan with much of the crew aboard the [Chinese] Lanzhou destroyer, Xi'an (DD 153) and since they escorted us out of port, take those new relationships and lessons learned right to sea.
"The more we practice the more we increase our cooperation; it's a win-win," continued Paradise.
CUES also promotes safe navigation and coordination between vessels, helping to reduce the risk of misunderstandings.
As Sailors from the two Navies continue to learn and work together, having a foundation of understanding is essential to success.
"During our patrol season, we have had the opportunity to see them work real time," said Paradise. "They provided a set of standard procedures and terms that both Navy's referenced, allowing for more affective communication and less miscalculation."
Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for 36 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Blue Ridge is vital in maintaining partnerships in the 7th Fleet area of operations.