PACIFIC OCEAN - The Carl Vinson Strike Group will visit the Republic of Korea beginning Jan. 11. USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) will visit Busan, while USS Gridley (DDG 101) and USS Stockdale (DDG 106) will visit Chinhae.

The Strike Group is conducting a deployment to the Western Pacific. While in port, the crews will participate in community service projects, as well as sporting events with the ROK Navy.

“Regular visits to ports in this region are an important part of our presence and engagement here. We are not only allies but we’ve been fortunate to forge real friendships with the Korean people,” said Rear Adm. Samuel Perez, Vinson Strike Group Commander. “Through the events we have planned in Busan and Chinhae, our Sailors are looking forward to learning more about this wonderful culture and strengthening an already healthy relationship.”

In addition to the surface ships attached to the Strike Group, Vinson is home to Destroyer Squadron 1 and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, which includes the “Red Lions” of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 15, the “Fighting Redcocks” of Strike Fighter Squadron 22, the “Fist of the Fleet” of Strike Fighter Squadron 25, the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron 81, the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40, the “Garudas” of Electronic Attack Squadron 134, the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron 113 and the “Tigertails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125.

“For many of our Sailors, this will be their first visit to a foreign land,” said Perez. “We feel very fortunate that they’ll be able to experience that here and build relationships they’ll remember for years to come.”

The U.S. Navy maintains a robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region, utilizing both forward deployed naval forces in Japan and Guam, as well as rotationally deployed forces from the continental United States and Hawaii.

Carrier Strike Group 1 was formally established October 1, 2009, and led Vinson and Bunker Hill when the ships supported disaster response and humanitarian operations in Haiti this year. This is the first deployment of the Arleigh Burke class destroyer, Stockdale. This is Bunker Hill’s first deployment since it underwent cruiser modernization, the first Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser to complete its mid-life modernization. This is Vinson’s first deployment to 7th Fleet since 2005.