Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy sailors assigned to ROK 1st Fleet welcome USS Mustin (DDG 89) as the ship arrives in Donghae, Jan. 11. (Photo courtesy of Republic of Korea Navy)

DONGHAE, Republic of Korea - The guided-missile destroyers USS Mustin (DDG 89) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) are participating in a bilateral training exercise from Jan. 13-15 with their counterparts in the Republic of Korea navy.

The bilateral training began with a port visit Jan. 11 in Donghae for USS Mustin where crew members from both navies conducted exchanges and finalized exercise plans.

"USS Mustin’s visit to Donghae and collaboration with our Republic of Korea Navy counterparts at sea is a great opportunity to reinforce the teamwork and interoperability that make our two navies such effective partners," said Cmdr. Joe Torres, commanding officer of USS Mustin. "Our visit and our exercise are building on the already strong bonds shared with our Korean navy shipmates!"

The routine bilateral exercise is taking place in international waters east of the Korean peninsula and features a full spectrum of maritime operations to include antisubmarine warfare training, communication drills, dynamic ship maneuvers, and liaison officer exchanges with the ROK navy.

“We are honored to host the U.S. Navy in Donghae and we believe we will accomplish some very valuable bilateral training with both USS Mustin and USS John S. McCain,” said Captain Park, Dong-sun, commander of ROK Navy Destroyer Squadron 11. “Training together at sea and engagements between our ships’ crews are extremely important for the readiness of both of our navies.”

For U.S. Navy crews, the bilateral training provides valuable opportunities for Sailors to sharpen their tactical skills early in the year.

"Every exercise is an opportunity to conduct valuable training at sea. It’s also a chance to rehearse more advance group level tactics,” said Lt.j.g. Joseph Travers, a tactical action officer on USS John S. McCain. "The same is true for our ROK Navy counterparts. By training together, we become more capable and more proficient integrating our ships, aircraft, and crews allowing us to be more ready to operate together.”