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NEWS | Sept. 26, 2022

Republic of Korea and U.S. Navies Conduct Joint Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise

By Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Keiley

WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA, Republic of Korea (NNS) – The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) began a series of exercises with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, Sept. 26-29 to strengthen maritime interoperability and tactics, techniques and procedures.

The U.S. routinely conducts CSG operations in the waters around the Republic of Korea to exercise maritime maneuvers, strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance, and improve regional security. U.S. Navy units participating in this Maritime Counter-Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) are the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) Five, USS Chancellorsville (CG 62), USS Barry (DDG 52), USS Benfold (DDG 65) and staff from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Five.

"Our combined ROK-U.S. naval force is demonstrating its strength and resolve by conducting this exercise together to build our combat readiness," said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander, Task Force (CTF) 70/CSG 5. "The Republic of Korea and U.S. share one of the strongest alliances in the world and we grow stronger as an alliance because of our routine exercises here in South Korea and the close relationship and ties that we forge from operating at sea together."

The exercises are defensive in nature and consist of routine bilateral training, subject matter expert exchanges, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare drills, communication drills, air defense exercises, boarding drills, and combined live fires, as well as formation sailing. Additional U.S. Navy commands participating included Commander, Task Force (CTF) 72 and Commander, Task Force (CTF) 74. From the U.S. Army, the 2nd Combat Air Brigade and U.S. Air Force’s 7th Air Force, joined with units from U.S. Special Operations Command Korea for the exercises.

“This exercise will improve ROK-U.S. combined operational capabilities and bolstered interoperability,” said Rear Adm. Kwak, Kwang Sub, Commander, ROK Navy Maritime Battle Group (MBG) 1. “Two navies will continue to maintaining combined naval defense posture based on iron-clad ROK-U.S. alliance”

The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the Indo-Pacific region to help preserve peace and security and further our partnerships with friends and allies.

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.

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