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NEWS | July 21, 2014

George Washington Conducts Distinguished Embark with Republic of Korea Guests

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew Riggs

The U.S. Navy's forward deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) hosted distinguished visitors from the Republic of Korea (ROK) July 19.

Visitors were taken around the ship to witness flight operations, learn about the ship to further their understanding of aircraft carrier operations, and strengthen the interoperability between U.S. and ROK naval forces.

"It's important for us to work together during times of peace," said Brid. Gen. Jong Dek Lim, executive officer, commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Tours like this allow us to know each other's capabilities and be more able to maintain mission readiness."

Other visitors included Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander, U.S. Combined Forces Command, Adm. Yoon Hee Choi, Republic of Korea commander, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, commander, U.S. 7th Air Force, and Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea.

Distinguished visitors toured the ship's combat direction center, flight deck control center, and flight deck to see the ship and its crew during normal operations.

"It was quite impressive to see how quickly Sailors can send off and receive aircraft," said Lim. "It was even better to see that the ship is able to do both at the simultaneously."

"I hope our visit communicates the importance of our relationship with the U.S," said Choi. "It helps build confidence in our alliance, and we sincerely wish to maintain it as long as we can."

At the end of the visit both parties exchanged gifts and gave parting remarks.

"It has been a pleasure to have everyone aboard today," said Capt. Greg Fenton, commanding officer of George Washington. "I hope this visit gives credence to our mission in the area. On behalf of the 5,500 Sailors stationed aboard this ship, thank you."

Distinguished visitor embarks are aimed at improving the relations with other nations, and to showcase the ship and its capabilities.

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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