Lt. j.g. Courtney Keiser, right, works with Republic of Korea Navy Lt. Hyeoung Seok Noh in the combat information center aboard USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) during SHAREM. (U.S. Navy/MCSN Alonzo M. Archer)

WATERS TO THE EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA - Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) are participating in a bilateral exercise with ships from the Republic of Korea navy (ROKN) June 2-6.

The combined exercise, known as Surface Ship Anti-Submarine Warfare Readiness and Effectiveness Measure (SHAREM), is designed to strengthen interoperability and readiness for both the U.S. and ROK navies.

Prior to first day of the exercise, a pre-sail conference was held in Busan, Republic of Korea to discuss the procedures, goals, and safety measures of SHAREM.

"It's important for the ROK and U.S. navies to exercise routinely together at sea," said ROKN Cmdr. Kim Beom Woo. "When we improve interoperability and teamwork between our navies, we enhance readiness and strengthen the ROK and U.S. alliance."

Each U.S. and ROKN ship embarked liaison officers from their counterpart navy to maximize communication and understanding throughout the evolution.

Exercise planners from both the ROK and U.S. navies said the bilateral drill is helping to improve teamwork and operational proficiency.

"SHAREM has been an overall success," said Cmdr. Chase Sargeant, commanding officer of USS John S. McCain. "Much of that success is due to the detailed planning prior to the exercise by both countries, but also in the execution phase, which required flexibility and coordination in order to adjust to dynamic environments and circumstances. Our crew is happy to be part of this important exercise, and we look forward to future operations with the Republic of Korea navy."

John S. McCain and Wayne E. Meyer are on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting stability and security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.