US, ROK Navy Diving Experts Complete Salvage Exercise

U.S. Navy and Republic of Korea (ROK) navy diving and salvage experts wrapped up two weeks of advanced training during Salvage Exercise (SALVEX) Korea 2015, March 14.

Building on thirty years of partnership since SALVEX Korea began in 1985, approximately 180 U.S. and ROK navy personnel conducted a series of advanced combined salvage operations, both in-port and at-sea. Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 embarked aboard the rescue and salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) sharpened skills with ROKN counterparts from Salvage Squadron (SALVORON) 55 embarked on their diving and salvage ship ROKS Pyongtaek (ATS 27).

Training focused on combined diving operations, heavy lift procedures, and for the first time this year, a two-day salvage operations conference to discuss bilateral certification procedures and coordination. For the capstone event, Salvor and Pyongtaek teamed up in a real-world salvage operation to conduct bow-lifts of a 30-ton fishing vessel on an underwater training range near Chinhae, Korea. This highly complex evolution highlighted the continued importance of diving and salvage interoperability between the U.S. and ROK navies.

SALVEX Korea 2015 is part of Exercise Foal Eagle — an umbrella of regularly-scheduled, annual exercises that are the culmination of many months of planning and based on realistic training scenarios. The naval portion of the Foal Eagle exercises take place in international waters around South Korea and features a full spectrum of maritime operations.

Image: US Navy

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