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Seventh Fleet, Blue Ridge conduct port call in Brunei

13 August 2023

From By U.S. 7th Fleet and USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

BRUNEI - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) made a port visit to Muara, Brunei August 3-5.

 

This is Blue Ridge’s first visit to Brunei since 2002.

“The United States and Brunei’s relationship has entered its fourth decade in a position of strength and we continue to build our partnership through joint military exercises and engagements such as the Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) and the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT),” said the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei, Her Excellency Caryn McClelland. “The USS Blue Ridge visit to Brunei today is another testament to our exemplary cooperation based on mutual desire for the peace, security, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region,” she added.

SOUTH CHINA SEA – (Aug. 5, 2023) U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducts a passing exercise with Darussalam-class off shore patrol vessel KDB Darussalam (06), Aug. 5. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and as U.S. 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
230805-N-PH222-1006 SOUTH CHINA SEA – (Aug. 5, 2023) U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducts a passing exercise with Darussalam-class off shore patrol vessel KDB Darussalam (06), Aug. 5. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and as U.S. 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
SOUTH CHINA SEA – (Aug. 5, 2023) U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducts a passing exercise with Darussalam-class off shore patrol vessel KDB Darussalam (06), Aug. 5. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and as U.S. 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducts PASSEX
230805-N-PH222-1006 SOUTH CHINA SEA – (Aug. 5, 2023) U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducts a passing exercise with Darussalam-class off shore patrol vessel KDB Darussalam (06), Aug. 5. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and as U.S. 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden
VIRIN: 230805-N-PH222-1006

During the visit, which complements the many bilateral military cooperation activities conducted by the U.S. Navy and Brunei, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, conducted talks with Ambassador McClelland, the Minister of Defence II, The Honorable Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof, the Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan, and other key-leaders from Brunei.

USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) visits Muara, Brunei.
MAURA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) Maj. Gen. Haszaimi Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan, commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, salutes the side boys while boarding U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during Blue Ridge's port visit to Muara, Brunei, Aug. 3, 2023. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas Furnish)
USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) visits Muara, Brunei.
230803-N-RW305-1028
MAURA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) Maj. Gen. Haszaimi Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan, commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, salutes the side boys while boarding U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) during Blue Ridge's port visit to Muara, Brunei, Aug. 3, 2023. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas Furnish)
Photo By: MCSN Thomas Furnish
VIRIN: 230803-N-RW305-1028

“It was an absolute honor to visit Brunei Darussalam this past week,” said Thomas. “U.S.-Brunei defense cooperation has never been stronger. The U.S. Navy is grateful to have the opportunity to strengthen our friendship with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and our common understanding that a safe and secure maritime environment fosters economic prosperity and regional security for all nations.”

The U.S. Navy shares a deep history with Brunei. USS Constitution made the first visit to the country in 1845. Five years later, the U.S. and Brunei formalized relations with the signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation.

During a welcome ceremony held aboard Blue Ridge, the ship’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Dale Gregory, expressed his gratitude and desire to continue building upon the partnership. He also spoke to the historic tie between Brunei and the Blue Ridge, when his Majesty the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah made his first visit to a U.S. Navy ship in October 1985.

MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, meets with leaders from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces during key leader engagements aboard U.S. 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Aug. 3. The port visit reflects the United States' commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and complements the many bilateral military cooperation activities conducted by the U.S. Navy and Brunei. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, meets with leaders from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces during key leader engagements aboard U.S. 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Aug. 3. The port visit reflects the United States' commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and complements the many bilateral military cooperation activities conducted by the U.S. Navy and Brunei. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, meets with leaders from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces during key leader engagements aboard U.S. 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Aug. 3. The port visit reflects the United States' commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and complements the many bilateral military cooperation activities conducted by the U.S. Navy and Brunei. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Karl Thomas meets with leaders from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces
MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, meets with leaders from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces during key leader engagements aboard U.S. 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), Aug. 3. The port visit reflects the United States' commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and complements the many bilateral military cooperation activities conducted by the U.S. Navy and Brunei. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden
VIRIN: 230803-N-PH222-1001

“The Blue Ridge and Brunei have a rich history reaching all the way back to 1985,” said Gregory. “It brings great pleasure to be welcomed by this great nation and continue building upon and already fortified partnership, our shared vision on the international rules-based order, and for peace and stability for a free and open Indo Pacific”.

While in Brunei, Muslim Sailors had the opportunity to visit and pray at a local mosque for Friday prayers.

“It was a great and exciting experience to be afforded the opportunity to pray at the local Mosque,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Faisal Ebadi. “The Mosque was amazing and the people were very welcoming and friendly. They even gave us a tour, explaining the history of the Mosque and Islam in Brunei”.

Blue Ridge Sailors also took part in a sports day with members of the Royal Brunei Navy, strengthening the bond between our service members and giving them a chance to interact.

Capt. Dale Gregory Jr., commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), presents gifts to members of the Royal Brunei Navy after arriving in Muara, Brunei.
MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) Capt. Dale Gregory Jr., commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), presents gifts to members of the Royal Brunei Navy after arriving in Muara, Brunei, Aug. 3, 2023. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet's command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas Furnish)
Capt. Dale Gregory Jr., commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), presents gifts to members of the Royal Brunei Navy after arriving in Muara, Brunei.
230803-N-RW305-1018
MUARA, Brunei (Aug. 3, 2023) Capt. Dale Gregory Jr., commanding officer of the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), presents gifts to members of the Royal Brunei Navy after arriving in Muara, Brunei, Aug. 3, 2023. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as 7th Fleet's command ship, routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas Furnish)
Photo By: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas Furnish
VIRIN: 230803-N-RW305-1018

“It was really cool because it is something we can do coed while respecting their cultural and religious practices,” said Damage Controlman 1st Class Brandon Carrick. “Overall, the event was really fun because it showed sportsmanship and appreciating other cultures.”

Blue Ridge, with the embarked Seventh Fleet staff, is currently on a scheduled patrol in the Indo-Pacific operating with allies and partners in support of preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific.

~END~

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