By Lt. Cmdr. Denver Applehans, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet Public Affairs
OKINAWA, Japan (August 31, 2009) – Several members of the Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet staff, including Amphibious Force Commander, Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, embarked Republic of Korea Ship Dokdo (LPH 6111) as part of exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) last week.
During the week of the pier-side embark, American personnel experienced day-to-day life working aboard a Republic of Korea naval vessel.
Amphibious staffs from both nations worked together to develop plans and execute operations in a computer simulation driven exercise aimed at supporting a turnover of operational control (OPCON) of the defense of ROK in 2012.
“Moving toward Korean OPCON in 2012, an embark such as this enables us to work and train side-by-side with our Korean counterparts in their command and control environment,” said Landolt, “the ROK military is outstanding at all levels and it was a pleasure to see them in action on Dokdo.”
The vessel, commissioned into the ROK Navy in April 2007, has a state of the art operations center that proved extremely capable for coordination, communication and command and control.
"Living and working aboard Dokdo gave us a unique opportunity to train and learn from our Korean counterparts as they prepare to assume operational control of the defense of the ROK in 2012," said Lt. Col. Evan Holt, embarked US personnel and Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet Plans Officer.
UFG 09 is part of a series of annual U.S.-Korean bi-lateral defensive exercises designed to evaluate and improve combined and joint coordination, procedures, plans and systems for conducting contingency operations between ROK and U.S. forces.