SEOUL, Republic of Korea –
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK) hosted military representatives from the Republic of Korea and members of the United Nations Command (UNC) member states for a series of talks on maritime mine countermeasures Oct. 27-30.
The staff talks brought together a dynamic group of mine-warfare experts from nine UNC member state nations, along with experts from the U.S and Republic of Korea navies. The UNC member states are nations who have agreed to assist the Republic of Korea in the event of contingencies on the Korean peninsula.
"All of our nations share a proud history of service and sacrifice in protecting and defending the Republic of Korea," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea. "These staff talks provide us with a great venue to share expertise and offer ideas that will enable us to enhance cooperation in mine warfare with our UNC member state partners."
As the UNC naval component commander during Armistice, CNFK routinely promotes cooperation with the Republic of Korea navy along with the UNC member state nations on a broad range of naval capabilities, including mine countermeasures. Of the 18 UNC member states, 14 countries have navies with mine countermeasures capabilities. The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Turkey, Greece, Philippines, Thailand, France, and Australia, as well as the U.S. and Republic of Korea, all sent representatives to attend the talks.
"This conference was a great opportunity to share valuable expertise in mine warfare, and enhance relationships with our Korean partners and the UNC member states," said Lt. Jason Lancaster, the lead planner for the event from CNFK. "Discussions like these are important for increasing our readiness in mine warfare, which is essential to maintaining freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce of the seas during contingencies."
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.