By MC2 Zackary Alan Landers
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrives in Busan, March 15. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Jermaine M. Ralliford) >>
BUSAN, Republic of Korea - Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) for a scheduled port visit, March 15.
The Carl Vinson Strike Group completed two weeks of routine operations in the South China Sea and will continue on their regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment after departing Busan.
Assets from the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group and other United States forces will conduct bilateral exercises with forces from the ROK Navy in the waters around the Korean peninsula during the annual Foal Eagle exercise.
"The training opportunities we have in this region are world-class and allow us to build upon our strong alliance with the Republic of Korea," said Rear Adm. James Kilby, commander, Carrier Strike Group 1. "For more than 60 years, the United States and Republic of Korea have operated side-by-side as partners and I couldn't be more excited to further this relationship."
The U.S. Navy routinely works with ROK forces to maintain interoperability and presence in the area. Exercises are conducted throughout the year including subject matter expert exchanges, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare drills, communication drills, air defense exercises, counter-mine planning and distinguished visitor embarkations.
While in Busan, Team Vinson Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in multiple community relations events at local schools, tour local historic and cultural sites and sample local cuisine.
"For many Sailors, myself included, this is the first time visiting the Republic of Korea and we are looking forward to all the ROK has to offer," said Capt. Douglas Verissimo, commanding officer of Carl Vinson. "The Sailors will have opportunities to go on tours, try the local food and gain an appreciation for the Republic of Korea's rich culture."
U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years and will continue to do so. Carl Vinson has deployed to the region and has operated in the South China Sea during 16 separate deployments over its 35 year history.
CSG-1 departed San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment to the western Pacific, Jan. 5. Carl Vinson, CVW 2 and embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 1 deployed with Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and Wayne E. Meyer.
CSG-1 deployed with approximately 7,500 Sailors and will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. The strike group assets will conduct bilateral exercises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to include anti-submarine warfare, maneuvering drills, gunnery exercises, and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) subject matter expert exchanges.
While deployed, CSG-1 will remain under U.S. 3rd Fleet command and control, including beyond the international dateline which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for 3rd and 7th Fleets. Third Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of 3rd and 7th Fleets.