Republic of Korean Navy sailors welcome USS Michigan (SSGN 727) to Busan, Oct. 13. (U.S. Navy/MCSN William Carlisle)

BUSAN, Republic of Korea - The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived in Busan, Oct. 13, for a routine visit during a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific.

During the visit Sailors will experience the culture and history of the Republic of Korea (ROK), as well as foster outstanding relations between the U.S. Navy, ROK military and the local Busan community.

“The U.S. and ROK navies have always enjoyed a strong relationship. Today, our relationship is stronger than it has ever been and our ironclad partnership is further reinforced by this visit from Michigan." said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. “Michigan Sailors were warmly welcomed by the ROK Navy today and I know they’ll receive the same wonderful welcome from the local community during their visit to Busan."

USS Michigan is one of four Ohio-class guided-missile submarines. The Navy’s guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, guided-missile submarines are capable of launching missile strikes and supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions.

“Throughout this deployment, the crew has been extremely professional and dedicated,” said Capt. Gustavo Gutierrez, Michigan’s commanding officer. “Everyone on board is mission ready, and I’m proud of being their commanding officer.”

Measuring more than 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,000 tons when submerged, Michigan is one of the largest submarines in the world.

“We are looking forward to working with our [Republic of Korea Navy] partners and experiencing the Korean culture, which is a first for many of us,” said Gutierrez.

Michigan is the second submarine of the Ohio-class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and guided missile submarines (SSGNs), and the third U.S. Navy Michigan to bear the name. Michigan is homeported in Bremerton, Washington and is forward deployed from Guam.

USS Michigan (SSGN 727) approaches the pier at Busan Naval Base, Oct. 13. (U.S. Navy/MCSN William Carlisle)