USS Stethem first US Navy ship to visit Korea’s new military base on Jeju-do island

U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) is set to become the first U.S. Navy ship to visit the new ROK Joint Civil-Military Complex which opened on Jeju-do island February 26, 2016.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, March 25.

Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, will greet the ship along with Rear Adm. Kim, Jeongsu, the commander of Maritime Task Force Flotilla 7, as more than 100 ROK sailors, will welcome Stethem to the southern island.

“This may be the first time we [U.S. Navy] will visit Jeju, but we have a long history of visiting the Republic of Korea at ports in Chinhae, Pyeongtaek, Donghae, Mokpo, and Busan,” said Cooper. “So, while the location may be new, our commitment to being good guests, respectful partners, and strong allies is as firm as ever.”

The ship is going to Jeju as part of a routine port visit following the ship’s participation in Foal Eagle 17, a joint exercise between the Republic of Korea Navy and U.S. Navy.

While in Jeju, Stethem Sailors will have the opportunity to participate in various morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) activities, sporting events, and participate in community relations projects to give back to the local Jeju community.

“We are honored to be here and develop new friendship and strengthen existing relationships through team building exercise, combined sporting events, and by giving back to the island through a community relations event,” said Cmdr. Jeff W. Benson, Stethem’s executive officer.

Stethem is on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.