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BUSAN, Republic of Korea - Chairman of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Choi, Yoon-hee visited the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) March 16 during the ship's inaugural port visit to Busan.
While on board Fort Worth, Choi toured the ship and gained a better understanding of how the U.S. Navy is expanding the operational potential of the littoral combat ship through its recent participation in the Foal Eagle bilateral naval exercises that ran from March 8-12.
"The presence of USS Fort Worth during exercise Foal Eagle demonstrates the U.S. Navy's commitment to the ROK and U.S. alliance," said Choi. "We thank the crew for their outstanding performance working alongside ROK forces."
During the visit, Choi toured multiple spaces including Fort Worth's bridge and mission control center as well as her airborne and waterborne mission zones. In these spaces, the ROK's senior uniformed military officer learned more about the littoral combat ship's unique capabilities, which include speed, shallow draft and modularity.
"It was a pleasure to host Adm. Choi and his staff on board to show them first-hand the capabilities that Fort Worth and other littoral combat ships offer and to discuss the positive contributions that these platforms bring to the ROK and U.S. alliance, highlighted by Fort Worth's participation in Foal Eagle," said Cmdr. Matt Kawas, Fort Worth Crew 103 commanding officer.
Fort Worth is currently on a 16-month rotational deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and is making her inaugural visit to Korea to participate in Foal Eagle alongside ROK Navy counterparts. Foal Eagle is the first of many exercises and exchanges Fort Worth will conduct with regional navies throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Exercise Foal Eagle in an umbrella of regularly-scheduled, annual exercises that are the culmination of many months of planning and based on realistic training scenarios. The naval portion of the Foal Eagle exercises take place in international waters around South Korea and features a full spectrum of maritime operations.
Fort Worth is the second LCS to deploy as part of an initiative for up to four rotational deployments of these ships simultaneously to U.S. 7th Fleet in the coming years. Fast, agile and mission-focused, littoral combat ships are designed to operate in near shore environments and employ modular mission packages that can be configured for surface warfare, mine countermeasures or anti-submarine warfare.
Fort Worth will employ the surface warfare mission package for her entire deployment, augmenting her 57mm gun and rolling airframe missile launcher with two 30mm guns, two 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats, two six-member maritime security boarding teams, a MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and a MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system.