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U.S. Navy Continues to Support ROK Salvage Operations

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100420-19

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

SEOUL, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), in the operational role as Commander, Task Force (CTF) 78, assumed the duties as the officer in tactical command of U.S. Navy forces assisting the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the salvage of ROKS Cheonan April 17.

The stern of the ROKS Cheonan was raised April 15 and then taken to Pyeongtaek.

With this change in focus and location, Rear Adm. Pete Gumataotao, CNFK/CTF 78, assumed the duties of on scene commander, relieving CTF 76 Rear Adm. Richard Landolt.

Gumataotao is in charge of USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) and the U.S. Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 and Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, Platoon 501 who are supporting Vice Adm. Kim Sung-Chan with the salvage of the remainder of the ROKS Cheonan, where it sank near Baengnyeong Island.

The ROK Navy has hired contractors to raise the bow of the ship as they did the stern. U.S. divers plan to continue to support ROK led diving efforts to search the debris field between the bow and stern as well as use side scan sonar to search any other areas of interest.

In support of U.S. and ROK divers, Salvor has a compression chamber aboard as well as a U.S. Navy doctor who specializes in medical diving issues.

CNFK is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in ROK and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

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