MANILA, Philippines - Sailors aboard 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) brought sailors from the Philippine navy into the command ship's engineering department for a professional development exchange.

Engineers from Blue Ridge demonstrated the use of damage control equipment, U.S. Navy firefighting techniques and gave a tour of the ship's boiler's and engine room.

Machinists Mate 2nd Class Pierre Angeles, a boiler technician of the watch, discussed U.S. Navy methods of conventional engine operation and maintenance, as well as discussing propulsion theory with hands-on demonstrations.

As a native of the city of Marikina, Philippines, knowing the culture and local language of Tagalog made it easier to interact with the tour guests and share experience, said Angeles.

"It feels great to see our counterparts here," said Angeles. "We rarely have an opportunity to do something like this."

Damage Controlman 2nd Class William Julian demonstrated the use of firefighting equipment in damage control drills to the visiting sailors.

"I think they learned a lot today," said Julian. "I always think it's good for to work with other militaries like this. It lets us understand each other better and get to know how they work in the same kind of environment."

Ensign Ranier Ybaz, a Phillipine sailor assigned to Headquarters, Assault Craft Force, said he was particularly interested in learning about the way the U.S. Navy organizes damage control training.

"I've been learning a lot from the Americans," said Ybaz. "We've learned a lot today that we can take back and teach to our troops on our own ships."

Blue Ridge serves under Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 76, the Navy's only forward deployed amphibious force. Blue Ridge is the flagship for Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. CTF 76 is headquartered at White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan, with an operating detachment in Sasebo, Japan.