In this file photo, USS Chief (MCM 4) arrives at South Korea's Jeju Island for a port visit in September. (ROK Navy photo)

BUSAN, Republic of Korea - Mine countermeasures ship USS Chief (MCM 14) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea, Oct. 10 for a routine port call as the ship makes final preparations for Multinational Mine Warfare Exercise (MN MIWEX).

MN MIWEX consists of ships, aircraft, and explosive ordnance units who will participate in a week of drills meant to detect and neutralize mines in order to create safe navigation routes off the Korean peninsula.

"We're looking forward to participating with our partners and building on our joint capabilities and enhancing interoperability," said Lt. Cmdr. William Russell, Chief's commanding officer. "We share the region and responsibility of maintaining freedom of navigation, so it's crucial that we continue to strengthen our bonds and ability to operate together."

While in Busan, Sailors will get the opportunity to enjoy the rich culture the city has to offer before getting underway again for the exercise.

Chief deployed from Sasebo, Japan, Sept. 25 to conduct mine hunting and sweeping drills in order to increase proficiency of its watchstanders.

The ship made a port visit to Jeju, Republic of Korea, Sept. 26 further enhancing relations with the Republic of Korea navy and local community during its brief stop.

"Our team has put in a tremendous amount of preparation and hard work to ensure we are ready to operate for this exercise and any potential contingencies," said Russell. "I am exceptionally proud of everything we have accomplished thus far and am confident we will continue to enhance our readiness and interoperability with our allies."