USA — George Washington Returns to Busan, Republic of Korea

BUSAN, Repub­lic of Korea (NNS) — USS George Wash­ing­ton (CVN 73) arrived in Busan, Repub­lic of Korea (ROK) June 27, for a port vis­it to fos­ter rela­tions with a long­stand­ing ally of the Unit­ed States.

Capt. David Laus­man, com­mand­ing offi­cer of the Japan-based, Nimitz-class air­craft car­ri­er USS George Wash­ing­ton (CVN 73), presents coins to chil­dren dressed in tra­di­tion­al Kore­an cos­tume at a wel­come cer­e­mo­ny. George Wash­ing­ton and its embarked air wing, Car­ri­er Air Wing 5, arrived in Busan, Korea for a port vis­it. (U.S. Navy pho­to by Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist 1st Class Jen­nifer A. Villalovos/Released)
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Wel­comed on the pier by ROK mil­i­tary mem­bers and the ROK Navy Band, George Wash­ing­ton made its first port call of its 2012 patrol and its fourth vis­it to Busan in five years.

“This week is more than just a port vis­it. We’re here to demon­strate our com­mit­ment to a long­stand­ing ally in the west­ern Pacif­ic,” said Capt. David A. Laus­man, George Washington’s com­mand­ing offi­cer. “The U.S. Navy is com­mit­ted to help­ing enhance the secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty of the Asia-Pacif­ic region, and our for­ward pres­ence activ­i­ties and engage­ments in this region strength­en our alliances and part­ner­ships.”

After intro­duc­tions, Rear Adm. J.R. Haley, Com­man­der, Task Force 70; accom­pa­nied by Rear Adm. William McQuilkin, Com­man­der, U.S. Naval Forces Korea; and Laus­man pro­vid­ed brief remarks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence with more than 30 local, region­al, and inter­na­tion­al jour­nal­ists.

“We always receive a very strong and warm wel­come in Busan, and that is indica­tive of the strong and endur­ing rela­tion­ship between our two nations, the Repub­lic of Korea and the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca,” said McQuilken.

The press con­fer­ence was fol­lowed by a media tour of the ship to include stops in the hangar bay, Nav­i­ga­tion Bridge and an ele­va­tor ride to the flight deck to view the air­craft of George Washington’s embarked air wing, Car­ri­er Air Wing (CVW) 5.

Dur­ing the three-day port vis­it, George Wash­ing­ton will open its hangar bay doors to over 800 guests for tours as well as a recep­tion for dis­tin­guished vis­i­tors. While ROK guests tour the ship, George Wash­ing­ton Sailors will get a chance to take in the sites of Busan and see just what the city has to offer through nine dif­fer­ent tours coor­di­nat­ed by the air­craft carrier’s Morale, Wel­fare, and Recre­ation team.

“The tours offer the crew time to unwind and at the same time, it gives them an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see the true cul­ture of our for­eign friends,” said Avi­a­tion Ord­nance­man Chief Mat­tie Hack­ney.

Sight­see­ing isn’t the only option for Sailors in Busan. George Washington’s Com­mand Reli­gious Min­istries Depart­ment is also offer­ing the crew a chance to par­tic­i­pate in nine com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice projects, an oppor­tu­ni­ty that will allow them to inte­grate with local nation­als and expe­ri­ence cus­toms and tra­di­tions from the sur­round­ing area.

“We are very excit­ed this year because we will have two projects where George Wash­ing­ton Sailors will get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to vol­un­teer along­side ROK Sailors,” said Cmdr. Bri­an Haley, George Washington’s com­mand chap­lain. “This gives the Sailors a chance to get to know one anoth­er and pro­vides team­work between the nations, as well as a sense of part­ner­ship between the two coun­tries.”

George Wash­ing­ton depart­ed Fleet Activ­i­ties Yoko­su­ka on May 26 to begin its 2012 patrol. Sched­uled port vis­its in the Asia-Pacif­ic region allow George Wash­ing­ton and CVW 5 to build con­fi­dence and trust among part­ner nations through col­lec­tive efforts that focus on mutu­al inter­ests.

Press release
U.S. Navy