The Korea Herald


S. Korea, Japan to stage biennial joint naval drill

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 7, 2011 - 16:28

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South Korea and Japan will hold a biennial joint naval exercise this weekend to promote military exchanges and friendship, the Navy here said Monday.

The Navy and Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force will hold their seventh annual Search and Rescue Exercise, or SAREX, this Saturday and Sunday. The exercise will be held off the east coast of Busan, some 450 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The first SAREX was held in 1999.

“The exercise is designed to develop the joint response between the Navy and the Self-Maritime Defense Force to maritime incidents,” the Navy said in a statement. “This exercise also helps bolster bilateral cooperation and is held in a peaceful and humanitarian manner.”

The Navy will dispatch a 4,200-ton destroyer named Wang Geon, honoring the founder of the ancient kingdom of Goryeo, a Lynx maritime operation helicopter and a Lockheed P-3 maritime patrol aircraft. Japan will send destroyers named Hamayuki and Matsuyuki, plus two SH-60J Seahawk choppers and a P-3.

They will conduct drills on rescuing vessels in distress and helicopter takeoff and deck-landing.

The Navy said troops from both sides will gather in Busan Thursday to hold a preparatory meeting and later visit a local welfare center for community service.

After the exercise, South Korean Navy troops will visit Maizuru Port in Kyoto for after action review, and tour a Japanese naval unit as part of their friendly exchange, the Navy added. 

(Yonhap News)