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Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Navy Wants to 'Give Back' to Jeju - In That Case Just Leave!


US Navy Visits Republic of Korea Island for First Time 
 By U.S. Navy News Release

JEJU-do, Republic of Korea – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is scheduled to arrive in Jeju-do, Republic of Korea (ROK) on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

This is the first visit by any U.S. Navy ship since the ROK Joint Civil-Military Complex opened February 26, 2016.

Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, will greet the ship along with Rear Adm. Kim, Jeongsu, the commander of Maritime Task Force Flotilla 7, as more than 100 ROK sailors, will welcome Stethem to the southern island.

“This may the first time we [U.S. Navy] will visit Jeju, but we have a long history of visiting the Republic of Korea at ports in Chinhae, Pyeongtaek, Donghae, Mokpo, and Busan,” said Cooper. “So, while the location may be new, our commitment to being good guests, respectful partners, and strong allies is as firm as ever.”

The ship is going to Jeju as part of a routine port visit following the ship’s participation in Foal Eagle 17, a joint exercise between the Republic of Korea Navy and U.S. Navy.

“We enjoy anytime we get to train with our ROK partners,” said Cmdr. Douglas Pegher, Stethem’s commanding officer, “because with each engagement we improve our cooperation and through that we enhance our combined defensive capabilities. We have trained with them at-sea and look forward to strengthening our relationship here in Jeju.”

While in Jeju, Stethem Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in various Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) activities, sporting events, and participate in community relations projects to give back to the local Jeju community.

"We are honored to be here and develop new friendship and strengthen existing relationships through team building exercise, combined sporting events, and by giving back to the island through a community relations event," said Cmdr. Jeff W. Benson, Stethem’s executive officer.

Stethem is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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