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USS George Washington to Visit Republic of Korea

Special to American Forces Press Service

BUSAN, South Korea, July 19, 2010 – USS George Washington, the U.S. Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier will visit the South Korean port of Busan July 21 to 25, U.S. Forces Korea officials announced today.

In addition to USS George Washington, three destroyers from its strike group will also visit

Korean ports. The USS McCampbell and the USS John S. McCain will visit Busan, and the USS Lassen will visit Chinhae.

"The U.S. Navy maintains a robust forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region and the people of the Republic of Korea are our good friends and allies," said George Washington commanding officer Capt. David Lausman. "Our presence here is a testament to the strength of our alliance and our constant readiness to defend the Republic of Korea."

While in Busan, the George Washington will host a reception for distinguished members of the community, and will conduct a number of guided tours of the 97,000-ton aircraft carrier.

"For more than 60 years, we have maintained a strong alliance with the Republic of Korea," Lausman said. "My crew is thrilled with the opportunity to interact with the Korean people and show them their incredible level of pride and professionalism."

While in port, about 300 George Washington sailors will volunteer their time to landscape a home for the elderly, visit an orphanage and help make repairs at a local school.           

"These deeds are a small token of goodwill on our part towards Korea and lets them know we care," said George Washington Chaplain Cmdr. Brian Haley. "This is also character building for our sailors, so I think this is really a win-win opportunity for them and us."

The George Washington departed its forward operating base of Yokosuka, Japan, on July 9. The ship last visited Busan in October 2008.  

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