Rear Adm. Brad Cooper presents a Flag Letter of Commendation to a Republic of Korea Navy sailor during the first Navy Alliance Awards ceremony. (U.S. Navy/PO3 Wesley J. Breedlove)

BUSAN, Republic of Korea - The commanders of the Republic of Korea Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Korea recognized U.S. and ROK Sailors during the first Navy Alliance Awards in Busan, Nov. 8.

Vice Adm. Jung, Jin-Sup and Rear Adm. Brad Cooper presented 20 Sailors from both navies with flag letters of commendation in the morning ceremony held outside CNFK headquarters.

“I am honored to join Vice Adm. Jung in the first of many combined alliance awards,” said Cooper. “Our strength is our people and I could not be prouder of the efforts and contributions of the Sailors we gathered to recognize today.”

The ceremony, held at the CNFK headquarters, honored personnel who made a lasting impact to the partnership of both navies.

“I am honored to be at the first alliance award ceremony,” said Capt. Ahn, San Min, commanding officer of the ROK ship Choi Young, who recently completed maritime security operations near the coast of Somalia. “I am proud to be a part of such a strong alliance, and I will continue to dedicate myself to the ROK and U.S. alliance and friendship.”

Following the award presentations, CNFK personnel offered guided headquarter tours and hosted a barbeque.

“Ending the day with an American style barbeque was a great way to share part of our culture to our friends who share their culture with us every day,” said U.S. Cmdr. Hank Kim, the CNFK chief of staff. “Today was a great day for both navies.”

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.