ATSUGI, Japan (NNS) - Eight Republic of Korea (ROK) navy sailors, including Rear Adm. Sang-Suk Kim and U.S. Navy Sailors, held the 29th Maritime Patrol Aircraft Committee Meeting (MPACM) aboard Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi Oct. 20.
The MPACM is a meeting held twice a year, and the location is rotated between U.S. and South Korean bases. These meetings have been going on for the past 15 years.
"The purpose of these meetings are to ensure success on station for real world operations and the common defense of this area," said Rear Adm. Sean Buck, Fleet Air Forward and Patrol and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. 5th Fleet/U.S. 7th Fleet. "We're allies, and we both have the same purpose to ensure the security and the stability of the Asia Pacific region. We work together in that regard, so when we come here we do set up future exercises and all sorts of opportunities to practice with one another."
The meetings help the two navies build confidence in one another and help maintain the friendship between them.
"The whole idea is to have a significant level of trust and that's done by face to face meetings," said Buck. "We work together, we dine together, we play together, so that way when we go out on station we have a great trust with one another and have a comfort with working with our partners."
"I think these meetings are the only way to keep the friendship between the two navies," said Lt. Cmdr. Killyong Park, ROK navy. "And they improve the capabilities of each country."
"It [meeting] gives us an opportunity to better establish the coordination between the two, particularly with the long view of South Korean assumption of operational control," said Capt. Gregory Cozad, CTF-72 deputy commander. "It allows us to create opportunities for continued MPACM meetings as well as operational opportunities together, so we can continue to enhance the cooperation provided within the Korean theater of operations."