SANTA RITA, Guam --- Commander, Submarine Group 7 conducted bilateral talks with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy submarine force June 18-20 at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam.
The 49th Submarine Warfare Committee Meeting (SWCM), hosted by Commander, Submarine Squadron (CSS) 15, brought together representatives from the U.S. and ROK navies.
Rear Adm. Jimmy Pitts, commander, Submarine Group 7, met with Rear Adm. Jung II Shik, commander, Republic of Korea Submarine Force (CSF) to discuss interoperability, the planning of combined training opportunities, and continued development of integrated anti-submarine warfare plans.
The underlying theme of the talks was to leverage the strong relationship between the U.S. and ROK to advance the capabilities of both submarine forces.
"It is always a pleasure to meet with our allies and friends in the ROK Navy submarine force," said Pitts. “These visits provide us the opportunity to collaborate on key issues, develop more robust bilateral training and strengthen our combined capabilities.”
At the conclusion of the conference, a formal agreement was signed between COMSUBGRU 7 and CSF. The agreement reaffirms the longstanding relationship and pledges continued support between the two submarine forces.
"The Korean peninsula is the hub of Northeast Asia,” said Jung. “We welcome this opportunity to finesse our relationship with the U.S. submarine force as we pursue peace and prosperity not only for Koreans but for people throughout the region. Our visit to Guam afforded us some major training opportunities and operational milestones. We continue to be impressed by the professionalism, hospitality of the submarine squadron and her boats."
Established in 1994 during the birth of the ROKN submarine fleet, SWCM has evolved into a discussion between USN and ROKN submarine forces and focuses on tactics, force integration and future submarine development.
The ROKN visit to Guam centered on the 49th SWCM, but also included office calls to the command leadership of Joint Region Marianas, Naval Base Guam, and CSS-15. COMSUBGRU 7 and CSF also toured the Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific Detachment Guam and the War in the Pacific Museum.
“Having the opportunity to host the ROK Navy Submarine Force during their visit to Guam was an honor,” said Capt. Timothy Poe, commander, Submarine Squadron 15. "Each time we conduct this meeting we learn more about each forces capabilities and how we can work together to create better training opportunities in the future."
CSS-15 is located at Polaris Point, Naval Base Guam in Santa Rita, Guam, and includes four Los Angeles-class attack submarines.
The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support to these commands. Also based out of Naval Base Guam are submarine tenders USS Frank Cable and USS Emory S. Land.
The submarines and tenders are maintained as part of the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed submarine force and are capable of meeting global operational requirements.