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South Korean Navy Spreads a Positive Image to the World

When the Navy's newest 4900-ton Ilchulbong landing ship, which left the Jeju Civilian-Military Complex Port with government and naval personnel, including the Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo, local residents, and naval representatives from 46 countries on board, reached the sea of Seogwipo of Jeju-do island at 2 PM on October 11th, a helicopter that was bringing in President Moon Jae-in for a maritime inspection was trying to land on the ship in rough winds. President Moon was welcomed by about 2000 visitors onboard the amphibious landing ship Dokdo and the landing ship Cheon Ja Bong following the principal ship carrying President Moon, the Ilchulbong. On this fine day, as the main event of the 2018 International Fleet Review, maritime inspections were held in waters off the southern island of Jeju.


46 flares to represent 46 countries attending the event present a magnificent sight

When Korea's ancient naval flag was hoisted on the Ilchulbong landing ship to mark the kickoff of a maritime inspection, a fleet of ships from far started sailing toward the presidential ship, forcefully cutting through the water.

As well, five P-3 anti-submarine patrol aircraft streaked through the blue sky above the Dokdo ship, firing 46 flares to represent the 46 countries attending the event. Watching the blue sky of Jeju embroidered with flashing flares, the public inspection group and visitors onboard the Dokdo ship uttered exclamations of pleasure and started taking photos with their smartphones.  

After that, three AW-159 Wildcat maritime operations helicopters, three Lynx helicopters, three UH-60 maritime maneuver helicopters and two coast guard helicopters passed through the sky above the landing ships, Ilchulbong and Dokdo, scattering colorful smoke.

Aegis destroyer Yulgok Yi I leads the fleet

On the sea, the 7,600-ton Aegis destroyer Yulgok Yi I led the fleet of ships. The destroyer Yulgok Yi I was followed by 17 ships including naval vessels (4,500-ton destroyer Dae Jo Yeong, 3,900-ton destroyer Gwanggaeto the Great, Daegu-class frigate, Soyang-class ship, Cheon Wang Bong-class landing ship, Nampo-class support ship, Gwangyang rescue chip, and Chung Haejin-class submarine rescue ship), a coast guard ship, an ocean university training ship, and a public ship. The spectacle of the maritime inspection reached its peak with the magnificent sight of the ships maneuvering in a row, in order of size by vessel type. 

South Korean naval soldiers stood at attention to be inspected and saluted the Ilchulbong ship with a loud chant of 'Victory.' Their steady posture while saluting showed the Navy's iron spirit and will to protect the ocean. Visitors who were moved by the heart-warming sight responded to the soldiers by waving their hands. South Korea's newest submarines, Hong Beom Do and Icheon, received a particularly big hand for their spectacular dive, with about half showing up on the surface of the water.

Navy's UDT/SEAL demonstrates high altitude low opening (HALO) and tactics jumps

After the inspection of domestic vessels and aircrafts, which showed off South Korea's sturdy naval vessels to the world, South Korean Navy's UDT/SEAL personnel demonstrated high altitude low opening (HALO) and tactics jumps. The HALO jumps were performed by seven special forces agents from the Army's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at 6000ft(1.8km), and the tactics jumps were performed by 21 special forces agents from the Army's CH-47 Chinook helicopter at 1250ft(381m). 

The sky above Jeju island, an 'island of peace,' was decorated with flags, including the Taegukki, the naval flag, and the international fleet review flag, and smoke bombs held by the agents while parachuting down.

Lavish welcome given to foreign vessels visiting Jeju

During the review of foreign vessels, the 4400-ton destroyer Choe Yeong, the hero in Operation

Dawn of Gulf of Aden, led the foreign vessels. Australia's vessel appeared first, followed in sequence by vessels from Brunei, Canada, India, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. The public inspection group waved and gave a full-throated welcome to the foreign naval forces from around the world who visited Jeju, South Korea. The maritime inspection, which ran for about one and half hours, ended with a congratulatory air show by the South Korean Air Force's F-15K and KF-16 fighters.

39 domestic and foreign vessels and 24 aircraft attend the fleet review

This maritime inspection, the largest naval event of its kind, was attended by naval representatives from 46 countries and ended on a high note, receiving rave reviews from domestic and overseas visitors for showing off the South Korean Navy to the world. The event featured 39 vessels, including 15 foreign vessels from 10 countries and 24 South Korean vessels, and 24 aircraft. In 1998, the fleet review was joined by 49 vessels, including 21 foreign vessels from 11 countries, and 15 aircraft, while in 2008, the fleet review was joined by 57 vessels, including 22 foreign vessels from 11 countries, and 27 aircraft and naval representatives from 26 countries.

A festival joined by the people

The maritime inspection event on Thursday was a festival that could be joined by the people. Prior to the event, the Navy recruited a public inspection group consisting of about 800 people. Another feature of the event was that the Navy selected two landing ships as ships for the people, Dokdo and Cheon Ja Bong, which can carry the largest number of people. This outreach effort by the Navy gave many people the change to see South Korea's maritime power for themselves. “As a resident of Jeju island, I feel very proud to have the international fleet review as an international event. Even though I reside in Jeju, I didn't know about our naval forces. When I saw our huge naval vessels for myself during the maritime inspection as a member of the public inspection group, I was speechless, and felt confident in our Navy,” said Lee Su-kyung (age 31), a resident of Seogwipo who participated in the maritime inspection event.




By Seung-Hoi, Ahn < >

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South Korean Navy Spreads a Positive Image to the World
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