USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) approaches the pier in Busan, Feb. 5. (U.S. Navy)

BUSAN, Republic of Korea - U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Busan for a regularly scheduled port visit, Feb. 5.

While in port, the crew and staff will have an opportunity to participate in cross cultural events that demonstrate the shared commitment to regional security with their Republic of Korea partners, including a sports exchange, medical readiness drills, and professional leadership discussions.

“Every visit we make to Korea gives us a chance to celebrate the shared values and mutual security interests that form the foundation of our maritime partnership,” said Vice Adm. Bill Merz, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “Bringing the flagship and the fleet staff to Busan provides the opportunity to engage with our counterparts in maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula.”

In addition to the professional events, Sailors will have the opportunity to explore the city through cultural tours, sightseeing, and cultural exchanges.

“Blue Ridge is no stranger to Busan and every visit further increases the bond we share with this beautiful city and its people,” said Capt. Craig Sicola, Blue Ridge’s commanding officer. “We are very grateful for the opportunity to share a piece of America with the people of Busan and even more excited to absorb the rich culture that South Korea has to offer.”

Blue Ridge port visits represent an opportunity to promote peace and stability. As the 7th Fleet flagship, Blue Ridge is crucial in demonstrating commitment to regional partners and fostering relationships. Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific.

Command Master Chief Adrian Watkins and Sailors assigned to USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the U.S. 7th Fleet staff man the rails as the ship arrives in Busan. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Matt Hall)