U.S. submarine visits South Korea during Indo-Pacific patrol

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) departed Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) following a scheduled port visit as part of its routine operations in the Indo-Pacific, March 1.

During their time in port, Springfield hosted multiple ship tours for members of the U.S. and ROK navies, and participated in a day of cultural outreach at local Korean Buddhist temples.

“Pulling into Busan in the milestone year of the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. Alliance is a privilege for this hardworking crew,” said Cmdr. Andy Domina, Springfield’s commanding officer. “Springfield is America’s submarine—a group of Sailors dedicated to the mission and proud ambassadors of our country!”

Springfield hosted multiple tours for distinguished visitors during their port visit.

ROK Navy Vice Adm. Kim Myung-soo, commander, Republic of Korea Fleet, toured with members of his staff, learning about the Los Angeles-class platform and capabilities.

Additionally, Rear Adm. Mark Schafer, commander, Naval Forces Korea and his wife toured the submarine, meeting with Sailors and learning more about their work, training and experiences.

ROK Navy sailors from the Type 209-class diesel-electric attack submarine ROKS Lee Jong Moo (SS-066) toured, as well. Based in Chinhae, Lee Jong Moo was the designated host ship for Springfield’s visit. The two crews combined on outings, meetings, and events which furthered interoperability and understanding between the two countries submarine forces.

Springfield coordinated with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea to plan a day of cultural learning, which included trips to two of Busan’s most notable Buddhist Temples– Temple Tongdosa and Temple Hongbeobsa– where 20 Springfield Sailors learned about Korean culture and history; and ate traditional Korean foods.

For many aboard the submarine, this is their first time visiting Busan.

“I was pretty excited when I heard we would have the opportunity to visit Korea,” said Sonar Technician 3rd Class Nicholas Young. “I joined the Navy to see the world, and port visits like this one make all the work while underway worth it!”

Springfield is one of four submarines forward deployed to the island of Guam and has a crew of approximately 140 officers and enlisted. Los Angeles-class submarines make up the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s submarine force. Sixty-two submarines of this class have been completed, 41 are still in active service.

Alliances and partnerships are vital to regional stability. Since its establishment in 1953, the U.S./ROK Alliance has proven strong and durable in the face of new global conditions and is among the most interoperable, capable, and dynamic bilateral alliances in the world.

Springfield is the fourth ship in U.S. Navy history to bear the name.

Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,900 tons when submerged, Springfield is one of the stealthiest, most technologically advanced submarines in the world. Los Angeles-class submarines support a multitude of missions to include anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, and strike warfare.

Text credit: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Reinheimer

Photo credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam Craft. Tugboats assist the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) as it pulls into port in Busan, Feb. 23. 

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