On 9 March, USS Ford (FFG 54) hosted a visit by three members of the National Unification Advisory Council Republic of Korea. Mr Lee Ki Taek, the Executive Vice Chairperson led the delegation. They were accompanied by Patrick McClain and Lanie Jean McMullin from the Mayor of Everett’s office, two local Korean media reporters of KOAM TV and four members from the Seattle chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council. The Unification Advisory Council represented a significant group in South Korea who has been working to reunite North and South Korea over the last ten years.
The visit to USS Ford included a tour and lunch. Ford’s Commanding Officer, CDR Cord Luby guided the visitors through the ship and told the story of Ford’s namesake, GM2 Patrick O. Ford. GM2 Ford exemplified bravery by his act of saving the lives of his shipmates under fire and was killed in action in Vietnam. CDR Luby presented the ship, the group visited the helo hangers, bridge, medical treatment facilities and the engineering control station. A light lunch was presented by Ford’s Culinary Specialists in the wardroom. The visit concluded with an exchange of gifts. Mr. Taek commented on the visit by saying, "We were very honored to spend time with your officers and Commander Luby, and appreciate all of the thoughtful programs provided by all personnel. We very much appreciate the thoughtful times on the USS Ford."
CDR Luby summarized the visit by saying, “Ford was honored and privileged to be host to members of the National Unification Advisory Council Republic of Korea. It was a pleasure to meet people from around the world interested in our city Everett, Washington.”