Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Sailors wave U.S. and ROK flags to welcome USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) to Busan, March 20. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua B. Bruns)

BUSAN, Republic of Korea - The last of the improved Los Angeles-class submarines, USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), arrived in Busan March 20 following its participation in the bilateral training exercise Foal Eagle with the Republic of Korea armed forces.

“I am proud of our crew’s participation in Foal Eagle,” said Cmdr. Noel Gonzalez, commanding officer. “The exercise provided great unit level training for teams from both countries.”

During the exercise, two officers from the Republic of Korea’s navy embarked Cheyenne.

“This engagement was an excellent opportunity for us to share submarine practices and history, as well as learn about our respective cultures,” said Lt. Cmdr. Micah Maxwell, executive officer of Cheyenne. “This sharing of ideas and building of friendships is a key part of strengthening our ties with an important ally.”

Cheyenne was welcomed to Busan by a live 50-member band, and the welcoming party included a Korean girl who placed a flower wreath around Gonzalez’ shoulders.

“This port visit will allow the crew of Cheyenne to enjoy some of the best liberty the Pacific has to officer,” said Master Chief Michael Hinkle, chief of the boat. “We are all excited about the opportunity to experience Busan. Many of our guys are interested in experiencing the food and culture.”

For some Sailors, this is their first time visiting the Republic of Korea, while others look forward to connecting with their own Korean heritage.

“I would love to visit a museum and learn about Korean history,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Aaron Novitski. “Experiencing my culture is very important to me, and my fiancée is even meeting me on the pier. I can’t wait to teach her about my culture and the cuisine I have enjoyed since my childhood.”

Cheyenne, homeported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is one of the most capable fast-attack submarines in the U.S. Navy. Embodying a fighting spirit, Cheyenne’s enhanced war-fighting capabilities include vertical launch cruise missiles, advanced sonar systems, and a state of the art engine room. This sophisticated design provides Cheyenne the ability to operate worldwide, ready for any mission.