The U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) led Carrier Strike Group 5 to the Republic of Korea (ROK) for a port visit Oct. 12.
The Nimitz-class Ronald Reagan was joined by the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Robert Smalls (CG 62) in Busan, while the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Shoup (DDG 86) pulled in to Chinhae.
The visit takes place following a flag-level trilateral engagement at-sea aboard USS Ronald Reagan involving Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, ROK Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Adm. Kim Myung-soo, and Commander, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Self Defense Fleet Vice Adm. SAITO Akira.
“The U.S. Navy and our carrier strike groups have a long and productive history with our Korean allies, and our port visit here is the latest opportunity to strengthen the relationships between our people and navies,” said Rear Adm. Pat Hannifin, Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5. “Since the establishment of our Mutual Defense Treaty in October of 1953, the alliance between the U.S. and Republic of Korea has become the linchpin of peace and security in the region. The professional and personal exchanges that take place during port visits like this one build bonds across our navies, nations and cultures that benefit the entire region. We are honored to share this time with such gracious hosts.”
Following the flag-level engagement at sea, the carrier strike group joined the Republic of Korea Navy’s Sejong the Great-class destroyer ROKS Yulgok Yi I (DDG 992) and the first-in-class fast-combat support ship ROKS Cheonji (AOE 57), as well as Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), for a trilateral training event.
The event included anti-piracy training and cooperative maneuvering.
“Ronald Reagan recently sailed together with the Republic of Korea Navy, and during our port visit to Busan, Reagan Sailors will get the opportunity to further enhance our relationships with the South Korean people ashore,” said Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding officer, USS Ronald Reagan. “In addition to liberty, we plan to celebrate the U.S. Navy’s 248th birthday together and participate in several community relations projects. We truly do go together, or as it is said in Korean, ‘Katchi Kapshida.’”
This port visit also coincides with the 70th anniversary of the United States-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty, codified Oct. 1, 1953. Forged during the Korean War, the US-ROK Alliance has evolved into a global comprehensive strategic partnership in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.