WATERS OFF THE KOREAN PENINSULA - The John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG) departed ports in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to participate in exercise Foal Eagle with the ROK Armed Forces, March 18.
Foal Eagle is a regularly scheduled, annual exercise based on realistic training scenarios intended to improve U.S. and ROK forces’ interoperability. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines will participate in the exercise, with the naval portion of Foal Eagle taking place in international waters around South Korea, featuring a full spectrum of maritime operations.
The training incorporates scenarios such as gunnery exercises, communication drills, dynamic ship maneuvers, logistical rehearsals, salvage training and liaison officer exchanges with the ROK Navy. JCSSG is slated to participate in Maritime Counter Special Operations Forces (MCSOF) simulating joint defense operations.
Sailors and locals had the opportunity to interact during JCSSG’s port visit in Republic ofKorea. Nearly 1,500 South Koreans toured USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) flight deck and hangar bay. Sailors participated in multiple community service events at schools, senior centers and a foundation for disabled children and adults; and participated in cultural tours of historical sites such as the Dragon Temple, Beomosa Temple and the Demilitarized Zone.
“It was interesting to see … worshippers practicing their traditions,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Ian Garconnette, from Miami, who toured the Dragon Temple. “It was a fascinating clash of ancient and modern.”
The strike group is comprised of John C. Stennis with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 21 embarked, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Stockdale (DDG 106), USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).
CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 112, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 151, 97, 41, 14.
Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, JCSSG is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.