US, Republic of Korea Submarine Leaders maintaining strong alliance
CHINHAE, Republic of Korea – Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, Commander, Submarine Group 7, visited Chinhae, Republic of Korea (ROK) Dec. 12-14 for the biannual Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting (SWCM) with the ROK Navy Submarine Force. SWCM routinely brings together submarine force representatives from the U.S. Navy and ROK Navy to discuss various topics of mutual interest in support of the alliance between the two countries.
Pitts met with Rear Admiral Jung Il Shik, who recently assumed command of the ROK Navy Submarine Force, to further advance the close relationship between the two commands, one which has spanned for several decades. The underlying theme of their discussion focused on leveraging the solid relationship between the U.S. and ROK Navy to advance the capabilities of both submarine forces.
“This visit provides an excellent opportunity to continue our strong relationship with the ROK Navy Submarine Force,” Pitts said. “It is a pleasure to visit our gracious ROK Navy hosts. Maintaining a strong relationship is critical to our mission, and directly supports our strong alliance and National Defense Strategy.”
“The U.S. Navy is working closely with our allies to continually improve our planning and coordination in support of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
At the conclusion of the conference, the leaders signed a formal agreement that affirms the longstanding relationship and pledges continued support between the two submarine forces.
Established in 1994 during the birth of the ROK Navy Submarine Force, SWCM has evolved into a discussion about submarine tactics, force integration and future submarine development.
“The unwavering support from the U.S. Navy, and especially its submarine force, has enabled us to be ready partners today,” said Rear Admiral Jung. “We will continue to closely coordinate our efforts with our regional ally.”
Pitts’ visit centered on the 48th SWCM, but also included a wreath laying ceremony at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, and tours of the ROK Naval Academy, a ROK Navy KSS-I (Type 209) Class Submarine, a KSS-II (Type 214) Class Submarine and a Geobukseon (turtle ship).