After Japan, US Navy attack submarine visits South Korea

Almost exactly a month after visiting Japan, U.S. Navy’s Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773) arrived in Busan, Republic of Korea (ROK) for a port visit on June 6.

Both port calls are part of the submarine’s regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific but come at a time of heightened tensions in the region, caused by North Korea’s repeated missile tests.

Prior to USS Cheyenne, Busan also welcomed the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) for a port visit in April this year.

In addition to several submarines operating in the region, the U.S. Navy currently has two aircraft carrier groups operating near the Korean Peninsula. Recent reports further suggested that USS Nimitz could join USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson as the third aircraft carrier in the region.

While U.S. Navy officials said this was unlikely to occur, they noted that the U.S. Navy is flexible enough to have three carriers in the Korean Peninsula should the need arise.

“We are honored to host the crew of USS Cheyenne for a much deserved port visit,” said Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea. “We [U.S. and ROK navies] routinely work shoulder to shoulder with one another and this port visit is an opportunity for Cheyenne Sailors to enjoy Busan and explore the Korean culture.”

Homeported in Pearl Harbor, USS Cheyenne is named after the city of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and was the last of the 62 Los Angeles-class submarines to enter service in the U.S. Navy. Commissioned Sept. 13, 1996. Cheyenne measures more than 360-feet long and weighs more than 6,000 tons when submerged.