USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) completes SRA, set to undergo sea trials

16 February 2016 (Last Updated February 16th, 2016 18:30)

The US Navy's Seventh Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) is set to undergo sea trials following completion of the selective restricted availability (SRA).

USS Blue Ridge

The US Navy's Seventh Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) is set to undergo sea trials following completion of the selective restricted availability (SRA).

The SRA, which was carried out over a period of six months, involved repair works and modifications to the vessel, including major systems upgrades in the Information Systems Department and Engineering Department to habitability upgrades.

The sea trials will mark the initiation of its spring patrol season in the seventh fleet area of operations in February 2016.

"The engineers are already fully engaged and ready to deploy. We will be doing a full power run to check that all of our systems work in tandem."

Blue Ridge operations officer Lieutenant Daniel Kohlbeck said: "Sea trials is an opportunity to test the crew in all areas of the ship.

"We just spent the last six months tied to the pier for renovations and repairs and now, we need to switch our mindset to being at sea. Sea trials will give us the opportunity to adjust to the high-tempo daily routine that being underway demands."

The sea trials will see the vessel conducting a series of exercises to allow the assessment of every aspect of the ship and crew, from full power runs and boiler flexes, to seamanship training, including man overboard and abandon ship drills.

The crew will maintain and display their standard of interoperability and attention to detail.

They will be tested to measure their capacity before being deployed for the patrol season.

Blue Ridge chief engineer lieutenant commander Stephen Hartley said: "Throughout dock trials and since the light-off assessment, the engineers are already fully engaged and ready to deploy. We will be doing a full power run to check that all of our systems work in tandem."

Constructed by Philadelphia naval shipyard, the USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) measures 190m in length and has a displacement of 18,874t.

The vessel is propelled by two boilers, one geared turbine, and one shaft, equalling 22,000hp. It can achieve a speed of 23k.


Image: Personnel during a drill on board the USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Waldrop/Released.