BUSAN, Republic of Korea - Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet visited the Republic of Korea, March 24-26, to meet with Korean military leadership as part of a scheduled trip to promote preparedness and partnership in the region.
Vice Adm. William Merz, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, completed visits with Republic of Korea Gen. Won In-choul, Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs Chairman; Republic of Korea Adm. Boo Suk-jong, Republic of Korea Chief of Naval Operations; and Vice Adm. Lee Jong-ho, Republic of Korea Fleet, commander.
“This trip offered a valuable opportunity to meet with South Korea’s military leadership to discuss a range of topics important to both U.S. 7th Fleet and the Republic of Korea’s navy,” said Merz. “Despite COVID, our naval alliance is as strong as it has ever been, and this trip demonstrated our combined dedication to ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region. It was good to be back.”
Merz presented a Legion of Merit award at an award ceremony for former Republic of Korea Chief of Naval Operations Adm. (ret) Sim Seung-seob in Yongsan.
“Having an opportunity to be a part of recognizing former CNO Sim was a distinct honor,” said Merz. His leadership during his tenure as CNO contributed towards our alliance and interoperability of our naval forces in measurable and enduring ways.”
As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet employs 50-70 ships and submarines across the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. U.S. 7th Fleet routinely operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific.