BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) and ships from the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN) conducted separate one-day multilateral naval exercises with France and Turkey in the waters south of the Korean peninsula May 23 and 25.
The exercises, conducted with French frigate FS Aconit (F-713) May 23 and Turkish frigate TCG Gediz (F-495) May 25, were designed to increase maritime interoperability and strengthen long-standing partnerships with these participating United Nations Sending States.
France and Turkey are two of the 17 nations that have reaffirmed their national commitment as Sending States to the United Nations Command with a promise to return to Korea should the armistice agreement fail.
"It is an incredible experience to conduct high-speed tactical drills with the French, Turkish and ROK navies," said Lt. j.g. Gerie Palanca, the signals warfare officer aboard Lassen. "During both exercises, it was obvious that their ship handling skills were flawless and the communication was very professional. We always look forward to interacting with our partners."
The exercises took place in international waters around the Korean peninsula and consisted of tactical maneuvering drills, non-maneuvering voice drills and signal communication training.
"Through multilateral training, the participating navies can improve operational proficiency and integration," said Cmdr. Lee, Jong-Sik, of the Republic of Korea Fleet Headquarters in Busan. "By working with our allied partners, we help ensure the continued peace and stability throughout the region."
Lassen, one of seven destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15, is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.