U.S. 7TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (NNS) -- Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) teamed up with the Republic of Korea navy and various assets of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 to complete a photographic exercise (PHOTOEX), March 22.
The event brought together four U.S. Navy surface vessels, four Republic of Korea navy surface vessels, two MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters and one submarine from each nation.
Carl Vinson Navigation Department Leading Chief Petty Officer, Senior Chief Quartermaster Sara Page, said events like this allow the strike group to use international signals with a partner nation and practice steaming as a group.
According to Page, international call signs were used to visually identify each ship during the PHOTOEX.
"Before the exercise, Carl Vinson hauled up our international call sign," said Page. "Our call sign, in flags, reads 'November-Charlie-Victor-Victor.' All other ships in the formation did likewise with their call signs. It's important to practice quickly recognizing these call signs, especially with a partner force like the Republic of Korea navy."
Page said Carl Vinson also broke her battle ensign from the port yardarm, which allowed the ship to display the national colors on a much larger scale than normal.
"Using the battle ensign for the PHOTOEX really makes the colors stand out," said Page. "It shows we're proud to be operating with our partners from the Republic of Korea navy."
U.S. Navy assets which participated in the exercise were Carl Vinson, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and USS Stethem (DDG 63), and Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757). Republic of Korea navy assets participating were Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer ROKS Gwanggaeto the Great (DDH 971), Chungmugong Yi Sun-shin-class destroyer ROKS Wanggun (DDH 978), Incheon-class frigate ROKS Gangwon (FFG 815), Pohang-class corvette ROKS Won Ju (PCC 769) and Chang Bogo-class submarine ROKS Lee Jong Mu (SSK 066).
For more than 70 years, the U.S. Navy has maintained a persistent naval presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The U.S. Navy is committed to continuing this forward presence, which is focused on stability, regional cooperation and economic prosperity for all nations.
Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the western Pacific in 1983 one year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.
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