BUSAN, Republic of Korea - Guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92) arrived in Busan for a mission planning conference, May 17.
The conference will finalize details for a bilateral exercise with the ROK Navy to be held May 19-24 in the waters around the Korean peninsula.
The exercise is a defense-oriented, naval training evolution designed to conduct maritime maneuvers, strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance, and improve regional security.
Decatur and Momsen are part of a Pacific Surface Action Group, operating under Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31.
According to Capt. Charles Johnson, commodore of CDS 31, the purpose of the exercise is to ensure the presence of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to demonstrate the strength of the alliance and partnership between the U.S. and ROK, while maintaining the highest level of readiness.
The port visit will also provide an opportunity for the crews to promote friendship and goodwill with the people of the Republic of Korea.
"The primary focus of our port visit will be to plan our upcoming exercise at sea," said Johnson. "However, I also want our Sailors to get a chance to foster strong relationships with our allies, not just in our planning meetings, but while exploring the local culture."
The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the Indo Asia-Pacific region to help preserve peace and security and to further partnerships with friends and allies. Its forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, furthers operational training, and enables an exchange of culture, skills and tactical knowledge.
Guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and embarked "Devil Fish" and "Warbirds" detachments of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 are also part of the PAC SAG. Spruance is underway conducting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative operations. OMSI is a Department of Defense initiative, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, to provide enforcement against illegal fishing and poaching in economic exclusive zones.
Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG is scheduled to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.