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Ship’s Movement

In port and underway, one thing keeps us moving... You



Four section duty begins on Thursday starting with Section 2 of 4. The ship’s gym ribboncutting ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Thursday. Blue Ridge’s Thanksgiving Meal on the mess decks is being held November 24, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Holiday Party tickets are being sold on the Mess decks. The Holiday Party is being held at the CPO Club, Tuesday, November 29. All CAP/SSOQ/ JSOQ/BJOQ nominations due to ship’s secretary December 5. Gifts for the Shunko Gaku-En Orphanage COMSERV need to be turned in by December 16 at noon. Assistance is needed in the ship’s library on December 19 and 20 to wrap the gifts. The gifts will be delivered to the orphanage on December 21. Please see Chaplain Baker or RP1 Phillips to sign-up.

Congratulations to COM7THFLT/BLR MWR Sports teams... Captain’s Cup volleyball- finished in 1st place Captain’s Cup soccer- finished in 1st place Intramural basketball won the Fall League championship 35 and over basketball won the 35 and over Fall League championship Captain’s Cup co-ed flag football finished in 1st place During Navy sports week, first place finishes in basketball, soccer and volleyball

The Blue Ridge family gives food to Yokosuka’s less fortunate If you’re off base on a Tuesday evening, strolling down ‘Blue Street’ or leaving Daiei Mall, you are likely to see shipmates giving food to the less fortunate. Each Tuesday while in port, Chaplain Baker and a group of volunteers meet in front of Daiei Mall at 7:30 p.m., and begin their mission. The mission is to make a presence in the community and show that we care. There are four points surrounding the base where volunteers and the citizens meet. Contact Chaplain Baker to sign up.

Blue Ridge is an authorized publication for Sailors aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Contents herein are not the views of, or endorsed by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy or the Commanding Officer of the USS Blue Ridge. All news, photos and information for publication in Blue Ridge must be submitted to the Public Affairs Officer. Produced by Media Services Ext. 4155 Commanding Officer: Capt. Daniel Grieco Executive Officer: Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Ralston Command Master Chief: CMDCM(SW/SS) David Unnone Public Affairs Officer: Lt. Clinton Beaird LCPO/Chief Editor: MCC (SW) Katherine Strom Production Chief: MCC (SW/AW) Allen Onstott Leading Petty Officer: MC1 Heather Ewton Media Services Staff: MC1 (SW/AW) Jerome Foltz MC2 Aaron Pineda MC2 (SW) Brian Dietrick MC2 Joshua Curtis MC2 (SW/AW) Steven Khor MC2 Fidel C. Hart MC3 Colin Sheridan MC3 Timothy Wakefield MC3 Mel Orr MC3 (SW) Alexandra Arroyo MC3 Cale Hatch MC3 (SW) Brian Stone MCSN James Norman On the cover: The fire team investigates the fire room during the ship’s light off assessment (LOA). The LOA ensures that the ship’s crew have the knowledge to safely operate the engineering plant and the ability to light off its boilers following a routine maintenance period. (U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Steven Khor).


Sailors of the Year


Shipmates, Before we hit the first leave period for the holidays, I want to take a moment of your time to pass along a few thoughts. First, let me say, “Job well done! “ Through your hard work, attention to detail and skilled efforts, we successfully completed the ship’s Selected Restricted Availability on time, while staying on top of routine business and professionally flexing to support short notice schedule changes, such as the secretary of defense visiting the ship. We have now shifted from a maintenance period back to the mindset of safely and properly operating at sea. With a near herculean effort to regain our engineering spaces, we completed our Light Off Assessment, tackled numerous other certifications, ironed out small wrinkles in our underway routine during our FAST cruise, set out for sea trials and proved Team BLUE RIDGE was ready to get back in step. My sincere, “Well done” to each and every one of you! You should be rightly proud of your ship and your performance, I know I am. As we move into the holiday period, I want all of you to continue to do the great work you do, but also take advantage of the opportunity to rest and have fun on your off time. You have worked very hard and deserve this break. I also ask that you carefully plan your leave and liberty to ensure you return to the finest command ship without injury to yourself, others or your career. Historically during the holidays, some Sailors’ plans have fallen short of providing adequate rest or thought through travel plans to successfully get them to their destination. I don’t want that happening to you. Before you depart, please ensure you retain contact information for your chain of command, have a plan to prevent driving under the influence or driving while tired and have an emergency plan for any activities which have even one element of risk. If you find yourself in a predicament, please reach out to friends, family and/or your shipmates-there is no situation that can’t be corrected through proper planning and/or counsel. However, once a bad decision is made and that path is traveled, it is almost always difficult to recover. Have the courage to say “no” to a badly developing situation. If you’re out enjoying yourself, spending a large sum of money on a safe taxi ride home is worth preserving your life, career and your stellar reputation. You genuinely are the single most important resource onboard BLUE RIDGE, please take care of yourselves. Lastly, 2011 has been a stellar year for Team BLUE RIDGE with fantastic port visits, adventures that have made lasting memories and professional tests and challenges that have shown how good a team you are. I want each of you to know that it has been my true honor and privilege to serve each of you as your Commanding Officer. There’s no other unit or command I would rather be a part of. Thank you for your service to BLUE RIDGE, our Navy and our country. Enjoy your holidays and return rested and ready to continue our mission into 2012 as the finest command ship in the Navy! Respectfully, CO

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Brian A. Stone

“WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES ARE EXPECTED OF YOU NOW THAT YOU’VE BEEN AWARDED SAILOR OF THE YEAR?” IT1 (SW/AW) Martin Rudolph Senior Sailor of the Year “My greatest responsibility is being a role model for younger Sailors as well as my peers. Once you earn this award, you have to keep your professional ‘game face’ on.” ET2 (SW/AW) Ryan James Junior Sailor of the Year “I have to continue what has made me successful: Leading by example, assisting Sailors with any help they need and always being available to help no matter what.” SHSN (SW) Stephen Graham Blue Jacket of the Year “I’m trying to maintain my current level of professionalism and continuing to progress as a person and Sailor. I’m finishing my degree and will graduate within a month.”

Blue Ridge Departs Yok

Photo by MC2 Joshua Curtis

Photo by MC2 Fidel C. Hart

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor

kosuka for Sea Trials

Photo by MC2 Fidel C. Hart

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor

Photo by MC2 Fidel C. Hart

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor

Photo by MC2 Fidel C. Hart

Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Steven Khor

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor

Blue Ridge Sailors completed a Light Off Assessment (LOA) Nov 9-10 in Yokosuka, Japan. The evolution, assessed by Expeditionary Strike Group Seven (ESG 7) with the assistance of Afloat Training Group Western Pacific (ATGWP), checked the ship’s ability to safely operate the engineering plant and light off its boilers following the ship’s maintenance period. “A lot of people set the standard, you could tell the crew trained extensively in preparation for the LOA and it showed in the fire drills and overall condition of the ship,” said Commander Task Force 76 Training and Readiness Officer and Senior Engineering Assessor for ESG 7, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Williams. During the LOA, assessors verified Navy Occupational Safety and Health (NAVOSH) and engineering programs, checked the ship’s minimum equipment for light off and observed a coldplant main space fire drill. All aspects of the assessment were to verify the ship’s ability to light off boilers for underway and combat at-sea casualties. The ship’s Damage Control Assistant, Lt. Jerry Belmonte, said the assessors verified the ship was able to demonstrate proper firefighting techniques and casualty control actions to combat a fire scenario. “There was a proper team replacement plan in place and

material checks were conducted with zero discrepancies,” Belmonte said. Engineering department dealt with long, grueling days of drills, repairs and maintenance. Although the evolution called for longer hours and more detailed

“A lot of people set the standard, you could tell the crew trained extensively in preparation for the LOA and it showed in the fire drills and overall condition of the ship.” - Lt. Cmdr. Eric Williams work, it provided an opportunity for Sailors to learn and grow in the fast-paced environment. Belmonte said countless hours over many months were spent training for the LOA and numerous rates were involved; from enginneers and hull technicians to culinary specialists and yeoman. The ship’s ER-09 division made sure all portable damage control equipment was functional. Damage controlman trained constantly to be ready to fight fires, and engineers worked around the clock to ensure the engineering plant was up to standards. All personnel involved worked long, arduous hours training and preparing for the assessment, getting the ship ready for sea trials.

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor

Know? Did You

Facebook has rapidly become one of the most popular and efficient ways to communicate messages to a variety of audiences. Blue Ridge’s Media Services team works hard to communicate our ship’s mission via the most high-profile avenues of social media to date. Our team wants to hear from you and give your divisions and departments the chance to be the focus of daily topics on our page. Sharing your accomplishments on Facebook gives your family, friends and shipmates another way to see how hard you’re working, how you’re playing and what great ports you’re visiting. Facebook allows us to create an enriching relationship between our families, our host nation, the world-wide Navy community and our crew.


Blue Ridge Completes Light Off Assessment In Port

Blue Ridge Completes Sea Trials Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mel Orr Blue Ridge completed three days of sea trials after extensive training, a planned maintenance period and a successful light off assessment. According to Blue Ridge Damage Control Assistant, Lt. Jerry Belmonte, the crew was fully-engaged in preparations leading up to sea trials after a two-month maintenance period with Ship Repair Facility (SRF) at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. “We conducted testing on equipment that was repaired during SRF to ensure everything worked properly,” Belmonte said. “The crew put in a tremendous level of hard work to get the job done right and it paid off.” Such testing included bringing the ship to full power, flexing the boiler plants, and testing relief valves, boiler safety and electrical generator plants. Additionally, crew members participated in damage control exercises, proving proficiency within repair lockers

and setting material conditions of readiness in an expeditious manner. “The Engineering Department and program managers performed safely and professionally throughout the assessment in demonstrating material checks and program reviews,” said Commander Task Force 76 Training and Readiness Officer and Senior Engineering Assessor, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Williams, “The engineering spaces were at the highest standards of material readiness, looked amazing and minimum discrepancies were noted. All programs are in place and program managers are heavily engaged.” Leading up to sea trials, engineers put in long hours to get ready for a light off assessment, which was conducted by Expeditionary Strike Group 7 with assistance from Afloat Training Group Western Pacific. The ship’s engineering department conducted a series of checks and a main space fire drill as part of the assessment. During the assessment, each engineering

system was verified as functional. “Failing this assessment was not an option,” Engineering Department Leading Chief Petty Officer, Master Chief Machinist’s Mate (SW) Gilfredo Belantes said. “Our Sailors were motivated to provided a quality example of damage control knowledge and ship readiness.” Blue Ridge Commanding Officer, Capt. Dan Grieco, expressed his appreciation to the crew for its efforts in getting the ship ready. “I am tremendously proud of the crew’s performance during Sea Trials,” Grieco said. The entire team pulled together to make this a success. “I give great credit to the engineers, combat systems technicians and flight deck teams for their tireless efforts to return the ship to underway operations and full certification after an extensive maintenance period,” he added.


Photo by MC3 Brian A. Stone

A day in the life of the Sailors aboard the Navy’s finest command ship

Photo by MC3 Cale Hatch

Photo by MC2 Steven Khor Photo by MC3 Mel Orr

Photo by MC3 Cale Hatch

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Blue Ridge Issue 17  
Blue Ridge Issue 17  

Blue Ridge magazine returns with an issue highlighting our Sailors great work during the SRA and LOA periods.