USS Mississippi docks in Busan, South Korea

U.S. Navy’s Virginia-class fast attack submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782) arrived at Busan, South Korea for a visit as part of its maiden Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment, June 13.

“This port call to Busan is a great opportunity,” said Cmdr. Eric Rozek, Mississippi’s commanding officer. “The visit allows the crew to contact their loved ones back home following several weeks at sea. At the same time, my sailors will also get the unique opportunity to experience the heritage, culture and history of Korea and continue to strengthen our relationship with one of our Western Pacific partners.”

With a crew of approximately 141 Sailors, the 360-feet-long (109 meters) Mississippi is conducting a multitude of missions while maintaining proficiency of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

Mississippi’s visit is essential to the strengthening and broadening of the U.S. and Republic of Korea bilateral relationship, while expanding on the existing strong naval bond. While in port, Sailors will volunteer some of their off-duty hours in support of a joint military-to-military community relations engagement, which includes recreational activities with children from a local orphanage and facility maintenance.

For many of the crew members, this is their first time traveling outside of the U.S.

“I’m extremely excited to visit Busan,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Adam E. Esaw, native of Sarasota, Florida. “I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the South Korean culture and experiencing the indigenous food and local market life.”