USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) Commanding Officer Capt. Will Pennington is greeted by Indonesia Marine Brig. Gen. Ikin Sodikin following Blue Ridge's arrival in Jakarta, June 14. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class James Norman)

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Sailors from 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), embarked 7th Fleet staff and Marines assigned to Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific arrived in Jakarta for a port visit June 14.

While in port, the U.S. 7th Fleet Pacific Navy Band will perform at Pacific Place Mall, and the command soccer and volleyball teams will play friendly matches against their Indonesian navy counterparts.

"Our languages and cultures may be different but sports are a universal activity that all countries can relate to," said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Robert Smith, Blue Ridge Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports coordinator. "Having the opportunity to participate in friendly competitions is a priceless experience for everyone involved."

The 7th Fleet staff will kick off the visit by hosting a Big Top reception on Blue Ridge's main deck to establish positive theater security cooperation between Blue Ridge and Indonesian nationals.

"Our partnership with Indonesia is crucial," said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Meyers, Blue Ridge Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 Golden Falcons Air Boss. "I think it's great we hold these events. It shows that we welcome our host nation to a different aspect of our military, and it shows our willingness to maintain friendships within the 7th Fleet area of responsibility."

Indonesia carries a national motto of "Unity of Diversity." With 34 provinces and over 238 million people is the world's fourth most populous nation.

For 33 years, Blue Ridge has maintained a presence in the South Indo-Asia Pacific region, strengthening allied ties through community service projects and conducting joint military exercises with regional nations.