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EAST CHINA SEA - Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-jin visited the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) March 31.
Kim’s visit took place during exercise Ssang Yong 2014, an annual combined exercise conducted by Navy and Marine forces with the Republic of Korea in order to strengthen interoperability across the range of military operations.
During his tour, Kim was given a tour of the ship where he was shown the amphibious command and control capabilities aboard Bonhomme Richard.
“I am tremendously impressed by the coordination of our four staffs, and the effort that has gone into the planning and execution of complex amphibious operations involving more than 20 ships and more than 14,000 sailors and Marines,” said Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, Commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet. “This exercise is a tribute to the maturity of the ROK-U.S. relationship.”
Capt. Joey Tynch, Bonhomme Richard’s commanding officer, led the tour for Kim and other ROK distinguished guests.
“The Bonhomme Richard Navy and Marine team was honored to host the Republic of Korea’s Minister of Defense aboard our ship today,” said Tynch. “Mature military relationships between the U.S. and our partner nations remain crucial across the globe and this visit is a clear demonstration of the continued strong relationship between the U.S. and ROK armed forces.”
Bonhomme Richard is assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group Seven and is participating in Exercise Ssang Yong, an annual combined exercise conducted by Navy and Marine forces with the Republic of Korea in order to strengthen interoperability across the range of military operations.
“Ssang Yong 2014 is refining the interoperability and combined capabilities of ROK and U.S. Sailors and Marines with every mission planned and executed,” said Tynch. “BHR will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our Korean ally and, at the end of this exercise, each nation's Navy and Marine Corps will be better prepared to execute military operations across the spectrum, ranging from disaster relief to complex, expeditionary operations, when called to do so.”
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team possesses a unique ability to come together with partner nations, conduct expeditionary planning and execute amphibious operations.