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In India, Carter Greets Service Members on USS Blue Ridge

April 12, 2016 | BY Lisa Ferdinando , DOD News

Defense Secretary Ash Carter greeted service members on the USS Blue Ridge during a port call in Goa, India, yesterday, saying they are doing important work in a strategically vital part of the world.

Carter thanked the sailors and Marines on the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship for their service, saying they and all those who wear the uniform make the U.S. military the "finest fighting force the world has ever known."

The Blue Ridge, which is forward deployed to Japan, arrived in Goa April 8 for a regularly scheduled port visit to promote friendships and engagements with theater partners in the region.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin while visiting the USS Blue Ridge in India, April 11, 2016. Aucoin is commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin while visiting the USS Blue Ridge in India, April 11, 2016. Aucoin is commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin while visiting the USS Blue Ridge in India, April 11, 2016. Aucoin is commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Blue Ridge Walk
Defense Secretary Ash Carter walks with Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin while visiting the USS Blue Ridge in India, April 11, 2016. Aucoin is commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet. DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
Photo By: Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
VIRIN: 160411-D-DT527-519

"You represent our style of strategic interaction," Carter told the service members. "You're working with others to make a better world for everyone and a better world for all our children."

While aboard the Blue Ridge, Carter met with the commander of the 7th Fleet, Navy Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Carter is in India as part of the U.S. focus on the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. He travels on to the Philippines. Other stops of his two-week tour are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)