USS Mobile Bay
MOKPO, Republic of Korea (March 14, 2016) Fire Controlman 2nd Class Michael Puga, from Simi Valley, Calif., explains the close-in weapons system to members of the 31st Brigade, Republic of Korea Army during a ship tour aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, Mobile Bay is operating as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group and Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan J. Batchelder/Released)
Mobile Bay Building Relations in ROK

MOKPO, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Sailors from the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) took part in a cultural tour to Myeongnyang Battle Park and Museum and Daehung Temple, March 15.

The tour finished with a welcome performance at Republic of Korea (ROK) 3rd Fleet.

Many Sailors were on their first visit to the Republic of Korea. They discovered the benefits of inter-cultural exchange and were eager for a chance to get out and explore a new port.

"As ambassadors, we've shown that we're open to a lot of different things when it comes to learning, participating and being gracious," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) 3rd Class Shelton Williamson, from Detroit. "This is my first time in Korea and the sharing of culture is great because we learn about [others], the same way that they learn about us."

Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class James Thompson, from Muskegon, Michigan, said he first visited the Republic of Korea in 1995, before joining the Navy.

"My expectations were to experience a bit of the Korean culture and gain insight through interactions with the host nation," Thompson said.

Throughout the tour, Sailors were immersed in Korean history and traditions, some of which dated back to the sixth century.

"The Daehung Temple was at the top of my list because there is such a wealth of heritage there," said Thompson. "All of the architecture was very beautiful and intricate. It's great to be somewhere that isn't a normal tourist destination and is relatively unspoiled by the outside world."

While in Mokpo, the crew conducted humanitarian work, public ship tours, and bilateral military exchanges and training to improve military and public relations.

"It is important for everyone - the community, the ROK Navy and us as well - to work on our relationship," said Williamson. "I've enjoyed my time here. This experience will be a lasting one."

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