Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group departed White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa March 25 to participate in Exercise Ssang Yong 2014.
U.S. Marines and Sailors of the 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet will participate in Exercise Ssang Yong 2014 in the Republic of Korea (ROK) with the ROK Navy and Marine Corps March 27 – April 7.
Ssang Yong is an annual combined exercise conducted by Navy and Marine forces with the ROK in order to strengthen mutual interoperability and working relationships across the range of military operations.
Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, said: “This exercise demonstrates how the Navy and Marine Corps amphibious team is equipped and organized to carry out these national objectives in cooperation with our international partners.”
Ssang Yong is intended to exercise amphibious capabilities of each nation’s Navy and Marine Corps, while enhancing the interoperability between the U.S. Marine air-ground task force and the ROK Marine task force.
Approximately 7,500 U.S. Marine Corps and 2,000 U.S. Navy personnel will participate in the exercise with approximately 3,500 ROK Marine Corps and 1,000 ROK Navy forces. ROK and U.S. Navy ships including Bonhomme Richard and Boxer Amphibious Ready Groups are scheduled to support the amphibious landing.
Exercise Ssang Yong will demonstrate the ability of a MEB headquarters to coordinate multiple Marine Air Ground Task Forces arriving in theatre via amphibious shipping, along with a ROK Regimental Landing Team, into an amphibious Combined Marine Expeditionary Brigade, the US Navy explained in a release.
Press Release, March 27, 2014; Image: US Navy