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Seventh Fleet Holds Key Conference in Korea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090911-07
Release Date: 9/11/2009 12:06:00 PM

From Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

DEMILITARIZED ZONE, Korea (NNS) -- Navy task force commanders from around the Western Pacific concluded a series of meetings in the Demilitarized Zone Sept. 11 marking the first time a 7th Fleet conference of this type was held in the Republic of Korea.

In addition to discussing ongoing operations and theater security cooperation initiatives, 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. John Bird and his seven task force commanders met with counterparts from the Republic of Korea Navy, the 7th U.S. Air Force, and the Combined Forces Command to discuss how the U.S. Navy integrates with joint and combined forces to defend the Republic of Korea.

"Korea is the one thing that unites all of us," said Bird. "Each 7th Fleet task force commander has a role here, and it is one that is critical, and it is one that is evolving rapidly as we approach 2012."

In 2012, the U.S. will transfer operational control of wartime forces to the Republic of Korea, with the U.S. transitioning from a leading to a supporting role. Seventh Fleet's current position as Commander Naval Component Command will be assumed by the Commander, Republic of Korea Fleet as the head of the new Naval Operations Command.

Based in Yokosuka, Misawa, Okinawa, Seoul, Guam and Singapore, Bird's seven task force commanders oversee the Navy's battle force, submarine force, amphibious force, logistics force, maritime patrol force and special operations force in the Western Pacific, as well as the U.S. Navy's operations with the Republic of Korea Navy.

The seven flag officers and one Captain visited Busan, Chinhae, Osan, Seoul and the Demilitarized Zone over the course of the four-day gathering.

"This was an extremely valuable opportunity to align our strategy and our actions, especially as they apply to the Korean peninsula and our critical treaty obligations here," said Bird. "Korea is a model for cooperation and interoperability that has applicability everywhere the 7th Fleet operates."

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnfk/.



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