MOKPO, Republic of Korea (March 8, 2013) A Republic of Korea Navy sailor looks on as USS Lake Erie (CG 70) arrives in Mokpo. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Joshua Bryce Bruns)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - U.S. Navy ships arrived in ports across the Republic of Korea (ROK) March 8 in preparation for the upcoming Foal Eagle exercises with the ROK navy.

Members of the ROK navy welcomed the guided-missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Lassen (DDG 82) to Pyeongtaek, while the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) visited the city of Mokpo. In addition, the guided-missile destroyer USS Howard (DDG 83) arrived in the city of Donghae. The port visits provided members of both the U.S. and ROK navies the opportunity to engage in community outreach activities and rehearse training scenarios ahead of the Foal Eagle exercises, which are scheduled to run from March to April this year.

"We welcome the crews of these ships to the Republic of Korea," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "These port visits and the follow-on exercises provide our Sailors with an outstanding opportunity to build teamwork and conduct valuable training with our partners in the Republic of Korea navy."

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 feature a full spectrum of maritime operations. The training incorporates scenarios such as gunnery exercises, communication drills, dynamic ship maneuvers, logistical rehearsals, and liaison officer exchanges with the ROK navy.

"As navies, we achieve readiness and enhance teamwork by spending time at sea together," said Franchetti. "That is why we are active year around in conducting routine exercises together like Foal Eagle with our Republic of Korea navy counterparts."