USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) file photo.

YOKOSUKA, Japan - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka to patrol the Indo-Asia-Pacific region June 17, after a month-long continuous maintenance availability (CMAV).

“CMAV supports Blue Ridge’s mission by planning and prioritizing all the ship’s maintenance with Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka,” said Senior Chief Wilfred Ignacio, Blue Ridge’s Maintenance Material Management Coordinator. “The big jobs are pushed back for longer maintenance periods, but it comes down to the maintenance furthering the ship’s lifetime.”

The CMAV gave Blue Ridge the opportunity to replace 4,500 square feet of decking and complete critical repairs to the engineering plant. Some of these repairs will ultimately increase the ships longevity, said Blue Ridge’s Ship’s Maintenance Management Officer, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Shawn Thomas.

The Blue Ridge team consists of more than 900 crew members including embarked U.S. 7th Fleet staff, the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 and Marines from Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team Pacific.

During patrol, Blue Ridge and 7th Fleet plan to participate in the joint exercise, Talisman Saber 2015, hosted by U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force Headquarters Joint Operations Command. Blue Ridge will provide command and control capabilities for the exercise. Previous Talisman Saber exercises have included up to 27,000 U.S. and Australian personnel conducting more than 70 different major training events.

Blue Ridge has been forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan for nearly 36 years. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Robert Thomas, Blue Ridge is currently on patrol, strengthening and fostering relationships within the Indo-Asia Pacific region.