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Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Hosts Staff Talks in Manila, Philippines Aboard USS Blue Ridge

26 June 2024

From Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

MANILA, Philippines — Sailors assigned to U.S. 7th Fleet hosted allied staff talks with members of the Philippines Armed Forces aboard U.S. 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) in Manila, Philippines, June 20-21.

These talks built upon previous discussions between the 7th Fleet and the Philippine Fleet staffs that took place in Manila, Philippines, May 13-14, 2024. 

Service members from both nations discussed maritime domain awareness, identifying areas to further strengthen interoperability, visual information, and enhancing communication capabilities. The desired end state of these staff talks was improving future operations, interactions, and coordination between the allied navies.

Lt. Cmdr. Joseph McGinnis, a 7th Fleet theater security cooperation officer, discussed the unique opportunity presented from the staff talks. 

“It is through forums such as staff talks that we align our efforts with our Philippine Fleet counterparts,” said McGinnis. “These opportunities strengthen the enduring partnership between our two maritime forces.”

The engagement centered around reinforcing the long-standing friendship between both nations and increasing the U.S.-Philippine bilateral relationship, which included subject matter expert exchanges in multiple warfare areas. 

“These talks help us to build bilaterally agreed upon lines of effort focused on mutually desired end states,” said Capt. Tuan Nguyen, assistant chief of staff of plans and engagements, 7th Fleet. “Subject matter expert exchanges, bilateral and multilateral exercises, Maritime Cooperative Activities, and Key Leader Engagements… all of these events advance our Fleets towards a common goal of enhancing interoperability. Interoperability is not just a military necessity, but it is also a reflection of the bonds that unite our maritime forces.”

The staff talks were one of many events between the U.S. 7th Fleet, USS Blue Ridge and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel during the ship’s port visit to Manila, the first stop of the U.S. 7th Fleet’s ongoing patrol. 

U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific. 

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