YONGSAN GARRISON, SEOUL, Republic of Korea - The USS George Washington carrier strike group will join Republic of Korea naval forces in the waters west of the Korean peninsula from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to conduct the next exercise in the series announced at the 2+2 meetings in July.

This exercise is defensive in nature. While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates the strength of the ROK-U.S. Alliance and our commitment to regional stability through deterrence. It is also designed to improve our military interoperability.

U.S. Navy ships scheduled to participate include the USS George Washington (CVN 73) with an embarked carrier air wing (CVW 5), USS Cowpens (CG 62), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Stethem (DDG 63), and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62).

U.S. and allied operations are built on an already strong foundation of cooperation and this exercise is intended to further enhance interoperability. The U.S. and ROK forces will conduct air defense and surface warfare readiness training.

The U.S. Navy routinely operates in the waters off the Korean peninsula and has conducted numerous operations and exercises in this area. In October 2009 the George Washington strike group conducted similar operations in the international waters west of the Korean peninsula. U.S. aircraft carriers frequently visit the Korean peninsula and conduct port visits in Busan; such as USS George Washington in 2010, USS John C. Stennis in March 2009, USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz, and USS George Washington in 2008.

For a list of participating ROK forces, please contact ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs.

See the original USFK news release.