USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- USS George Washington (CVN 73) completed its role in the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) combined alliance military exercise "Invincible Spirit" July 28.
The four-day exercise, which began July 25, involving the two longtime allies combining their military forces for operations in the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea and throughout the Korean peninsula, furthering their communication and readiness in surface, air and sea operations.
"What has unfolded here over the last few days in the sea, shore and the skies of ROK is a very strong and powerful signal to those who threaten the security and stability of our special alliance and this region," said Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd, commander, Task Force 70. "On behalf of my staff, I would like to thank everyone for their overall participation in making this exercise a complete success. The U.S.-ROK alliance is strong; this exercise is a testament to that bond."
George Washington Commanding Officer Capt. David A. Lausman praised his crew for their ambassadorship and hard work during the military exercise.
"You all played a vital role in representing our country's strong alliance with the ROK," said Lausman. "You all showed resolve to the entire world why the United States and ROK possess a very strong alliance and together our capabilities are solid and forms a truly seamless team."
George Washington operated in the Sea of Japan for the duration of the exercise, conducting air and maritime operations with ROK forces. One of the key factors of George Washington's success was constant and accurate communication throughout operation "Invincible Shield" with the ROK.
"During the entire exercise, we were on the same page with our ROK allies," said George Washington Combat Direction Center (CDC) Officer Cmdr. Peter Walczack. "Communication is critical in any successful military exercise; in the CDC, we were able to use identical tactical communication procedures with the ROK forces which made operations smoothly and further improve our readiness."
Since the exercise began, George Washington has embarked members of the U.S. and international media and provided guided tours of the ship daily. This unique opportunity for the media gave them the chance to see firsthand the working environment of George Washington Sailors.
The ship's crew also hosted official visits on board during the exercise, including distinguished ROK military and political officials such as the ROK minister of national defense to the ROK chief of naval operations.
"It has been an honor and privilege to have each and every one of our guests visit GW during this exercise," Cloyd said. "Having had our guest experience GW provided them a view of what the maritime forces of U.S. and ROK were doing during the exercise. We were happy to have had the opportunity to expose them all to carrier operations that our Sailors execute proudly every day."
ROK Sailors worked alongside their GW counterparts during "Invincible Spirit." ROK Sailors said the exercise and the experience was very beneficial to them, and they are looking forward to future training exercises with the U.S. Navy.
"Operating with the U.S. Sailors has been a great experience," said Lt. Cdr. Kim Jin-Woo, a ROK Navy officer. "I am very impressed with the work our countries have done together during this exercise. I believe that the U.S. and ROK alliance is strong and by doing exercises such as this one will help us operate even more efficiently in the future."
Following its role in the operation "Invincible Spirit," George Washington will continue its summer 2010 patrol in the western Pacific Ocean.