USS Mustin (DDG 89)
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USS Mustin trains with Republic of Korea during CSOFEX 09-3

USS MUSTIN, At Sea – USS Mustin (DDG 89) began training with the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the Counter Special Operations Forces Exercise (CSOFEX) 09-3 May 4.

Lt. Justin Santos, USS Mustin’s Assistant Operations Officer, said the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the ROK Navy and the ROK Air Force all have forces involved with the exercise.

“We’re out here working with the ROK to help the interoperability of our Navies,” said Santos. “We’ve got U.S. P-3’s (P-3C Orion aircraft), we have a U.S. Army aircraft as well as the ROK Navy and ROK Air Force that are all working together basically to help improve the defense of the Republic of Korea.”

Ships participating in CSOFEX 09-3 include USS Mustin, USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and 16 ROK Navy ships.

“We’re doing 11 different events out here over a five-day period,” said Santos. “Our helicopters are doing air control events with their helicopters, we’re doing a lot of anti-submarine warfare training, a lot of anti-surface training and we’re practicing simulated missile engagements overland and at sea.”

The "Warlords" of embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 are also heavily involved with the exercise.

“Our helicopters are involved in surface surveillance of the operations area”, said Santos. “They’re hunting simulated enemy submarines, simulated forces, surface ships and basically identifying the battle space so to speak.”

USS Mustin also embarked a ROK Navy Liaison Officer, Lt. In-dan Kang, to help with communications between the ship and ROK forces.

Kang said she has enjoyed her time on the ship and that all the Sailors on board have been very helpful in answering any questions she’s had.

“The first day I was on board one crewmember gave me a tour of the whole ship,” said Kang. “The crewmembers on the Mustin are very kind. If I ever ask a question they always explain everything very well and very detailed.”

Kang said although there have been some challenges, she thinks the exercise has gone very well overall.

Cmdr. James T. Jones, commanding officer of Mustin, said the crew appreciates the chance to work with their ROK counterparts.

“The exercise provides us an opportunity to sharpen our skill and improve our interoperability with our Republic of Korea allies,” said Jones

USS Mustin is one of seven Arleigh Burke-class destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan.
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