PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyers USS Decatur (DDG 73) and USS Momsen (DDG 92) conducted bilateral exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy in the waters around the Korean Peninsula, May 20-22 and 25.
The exercises were focused on defense-oriented, naval training evolutions designed to conduct maritime maneuvers and strengthen the U.S.-ROK alliance, while also improving regional security.
Decatur and Momsen, along with Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31, are part of a Pacific Surface Action Group, operating under operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet.
"Conducting the exercises with the Republic of Korea Navy has been great for the PAC SAG Sailors and for the alliance between the two navies," said Capt. Charles Johnson, commander, Destroyer Squadron 31. "The ability to utilize various communication channels during the exercises has increased the ROK Navy's readiness to participate in future exercises with the U.S. and other partner nations."
Over the course of several days, the two countries performed various evolutions, such as anti-submarine warfare, maneuvering drills, and gunnery exercises. One of the events held consisted of an ROK visit, board, search, and seizure team coming aboard Momsen and conducting a training drill with the ship's team.
"It was exciting to work with them and form bonds," said Ens. Nicholas Compton, a Momsen VBSS officer. "It was inspirational seeing boarding team members trading patches with one another and using similar tactics as us. They were just as pumped to handle the equipment as our guys."
The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the Indo Asia-Pacific region to help preserve peace and security and to further partnerships with friends and allies. The forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, as well as furthers operational training and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) and embarked "Devil Fish" and "Warbirds" detachments of Helicopter Strike Squadron (HSM) 49 are also part of the PAC SAG. Spruance is underway conducting Oceania Maritime Security Initiative operations. OMSI is a Department of Defense initiative, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, to provide enforcement against illegal fishing and poaching in economic exclusive zones.
Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG is scheduled to conduct routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.
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