Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Ships traveled to the Republic of Korea (ROK) to meet with Ministry of National Defense Acquisition Leaders and tour private shipyards.

The trip included meetings with ROK’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). DAPA is the sole government agency executing the procurement of defense equipment for the ROK across their armed forces. Anderson met with DAPA Minister Eom Donghwan and conducted an extensive exchange with members of the Naval Ship Program Department. The exchange focused on areas of mutual interest, including organizational constructs, supply chain management, ship acquisition & ship design processes, as well as ongoing US Navy – ROK Foreign Military Sales efforts.

“Our countries have long standing and strong bonds, it is right that we in the acquisition field collaborate and where possible pursue opportunities of mutual benefit,” said Anderson. “I am thankful to DAPA for hosting the visit and look forward to enduring communication on naval military acquisition.”

A centerpiece of the visit, and in line with Rear Adm. Anderson’s self-identified interest in high performing organizations, were visits to three ROK shipyards: Hyundai Heavy Industries, HanJin Shipbuilding & Construction Company and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company. The shipyards, amongst the largest and most capable in the world, build a mix of merchant ships, offshore platforms and naval ships, as well as special-purpose vessels for the Republic of Korea. Naval ships include Aegis destroyers, frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels, amphibious ships, air cushion vehicles, logistic support vessels, auxiliary and support vessels, and conventional submarines.

“As the US Navy’s surface ship acquisitions experts, we seek out world class shipbuilding performance. We came looking for world class shipbuilders and we found them! I appreciate the shipyards taking the time to educate us on their products and processes,” said Anderson. “I hope they found the visit mutually beneficial and I look forward to follow on engagements.”

Rear Adm. Anderson will be leading an International Shipbuilding panel at the upcoming Sea-Air-Space Navy League Maritime Exposition on April 3, 2023. Panelists include Director General Bang Geuk-chul from ROK DAPA, Dr. Kåre Groes Christiansen, chief executive officer of Odense Maritime Technology – Denmark, Mr. Damien Bloor, director, First Marine International Advisory Group – United Kingdom, and Mr. Ben Bordelon, chairman of the Shipbuilders Council of America and president and chief executive officer of Bollinger Shipyards – United States.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.