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SAN DIEGO - Republic of Korea's top naval officer met with senior military leaders in San Diego Aug. 2 to discuss maritime security issues and strengthen the relationship between both navies.
During his first stop of a weeklong trip to the U.S., the Chief of Naval Operations for the Republic of Korea, Adm. Jung Ho-Sub, visited with Vice Adm. Tom Rowden, commander, Naval Surface Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CNSP).
Rowden greeted Jung at CNSP headquarters on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado to share ideas and information about training, manning, maintaining, and deploying surface forces. Rowden, whose first flag officer assignment was Commander, Naval Forces Korea, understands the importance of the partnership and its long history.
"I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together over the past 60 years," said Rowden. "I am also confident the alliance, and our cooperation with our partners across the region, will remain the foundation for enduring stability. Our discussions reaffirmed our strong commitment to the long-standing alliance between our countries and militaries."
Jung also met with Capt. Warren Buller, commodore, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron 1 aboard USS Freedom (LCS 1). Cmdr. Michael Wohnhaas, the ship's commanding officer, welcomed Jung and Buller aboard, where they were able to tour the ship and meet Sailors, and enjoy lunch.
"Not often enough do we have the chance to host a valued partner's service chief, so it was a distinct honor to have Admiral Jung on board," said Buller. "It was an outstanding opportunity for USS Freedom to display its unique design, capabilities, and her hard-working Sailors while strengthening global maritime partnerships."
Jung concluded his visit at Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) Headquarters to meet with Rear Adm. Jim Kilby and his staff.
"It was great to meet with Admiral Jung as we lead up to our annual combined exercise, UFG [Ulchi Freedom Guardian] 16, which involves SMWDC working with the Republic of Korea Navy later this month" said Kilby. "Trust and cooperation are the foundations upon which successful international maritime partnerships are built. And our continued bilateral and multilateral exercises only strengthen our alliance as our two Navies move forward toward stability and security in the Indo-Asia Pacific region."
U.S. Navy and the Republic of Korea Navy were two of 26 nations participating side-by-side in this year's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC is the world's largest international maritime exercise and provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. Prior to RIMPAC, both countries worked alongside the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force during Pacific Dragon, a trilateral ballistic missile defense tracking event.
"Admiral Jung and I have been friends and colleagues since I was the commander of Naval Forces Korea," said Rowden. "Honest conversations between friends are important to any good relationship, and I am honored to bring Admiral Jung to our waterfront to meet with our great Sailors. These navy-to-navy interactions strengthen our partnership."