US, South Korea start extensive naval drills

The USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group arrived to Busan, South Korea, on Wednesday. Photo: US Navy

A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier and ships assigned to its carrier strike group joined South Korean Navy ships for extensive maritime exercises on Sunday.

According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, some 60 ships and submarines are taking part in the drill.

The exercises will consist of a routine bilateral training, subject matter expert exchanges, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare drills, communication drills, air defense exercises, counter-mine planning and distinguished visitor embarkations.

This exercise is yet another example of the strength and resolve of the combined U.S. and the ROK naval force,” said Rear Adm. James Kilby, commander, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. “The U.S. and the Republic of Korea share one of the strongest alliances in the world and we grow stronger as an alliance because of our routine exercises here in South Korea and the close relationship and ties that we forge from operating at sea together.”

“This defensive exercise focuses on enhancing the interoperability between the ROK and US navies and helps both navies maintain a combined defense posture to protect the ROK from future North Korean unprovoked acts of aggression,” said Rear Adm, Choi Sung-Mok, the chief of staff for the Republic of Korea Fleet.

Some of the U.S. Navy ships participating in the drill include the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Wayne E Meyer (DDG 108), USS McCampbell (DDG 85), USS Stethem (DDG 63), Los Angeles-class nuclear fast attack submarine USS Columbus (SSN 762), and P-3/P-8 Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft from Commander, Task Force 72.

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