US Defense Department Celebrates Friendships in South Korea

Department of Defence

Royal Australian Navy guided missile destroyer HMAS Hobart has deepened ties with the Republic of Korea Navy, receiving a warm welcome in Busan, South Korea.

The port visit happened during Hobart's regional presence deployment aimed at demonstrating Australia's commitment and engagement with the region.

While alongside Busan Naval Base, Hobart's ship's company had a chance to create and strengthen relationships at formal and informal engagements with members of the Republic of Korean Navy and the public.

During the visit, Commanding Officer HMAS Hobart Commander Tina Brown hosted an official dinner on board.

Among the attendees from the Republic of Korea and the United States were the Vice Commander of the Republic of Korean Fleet, Rear Admiral Kim Young-Soo.

Commander Brown said she was delighted to strengthen Australia's ties with key partners in the Indo-Pacific.

"The ability to enhance regional partnerships in a dynamic security environment is an important part of building on our existing Navy-to-Navy relationships; it's great to be back in the region," Commander Brown said.

"It was also fantastic for the crew to proceed ashore and take part in local activities and ship visits during what has already been a high-tempo deployment."

The visit was not all work for members of the ship's company, with almost 70 personnel taking in a baseball game between the Lotte Giants and Kiwoon Heroes.

Assistant marine engineer officer Sub-Lieutenant Fraser Adams said the energetic atmosphere made for an exhilarating evening bonding with Busan locals over a shared love of sport.

"It's amazing how something as simple as sport can break language barriers," Sub-Lieutenant Adams said.

"Everyone we met was incredibly welcoming. It was a great chance to find shared experience with people in a culture differing to our own."

Hobart has now departed Busan to continue the ADF's second regional presence deployment of 2024.

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