By Lt. Shanna Gainer, USS Michigan Public Affairs
BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrived at Busan for a visit as a part of its deployment to the Western Pacific, June 23.
With a crew of approximately 165, Michigan will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.
"I feel very fortunate, along with Michigan's prospective commanding officer, Capt. Joe Turk, to have this opportunity to bring our ship into Busan," said Capt. Erik Burian, Michigan's commanding officer. "Our ability to complete our important mission is directly supported by the combined efforts of our regional partners, and now we'll be able to extend that thanks in person."
USS Michigan is one of four Ohio-class guided-missile submarines. The Navy's guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with up to 154 tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, guided-missile submarines are capable of launching missile strikes and supporting Special Operation Forces (SOF) missions.
Measuring more than 560 feet long and weighing more than 18,000 tons when submerged, Michigan is one of the largest submarines in the world.
"After almost two years on deployment in the Western Pacific, shared by both the Blue and Gold Crews, Michigan is looking forward to a chance meet up with our ROKN [Republic of Korea Navy] partners and learn about the culture of Korea, for the first time for many of us, myself included," said Burian.
"Our crew worked tirelessly these last months and we are excited for the opportunity to enjoy some time off," said Michigan's Chief of the Boat, Master Chief Machinist's Mate Jason Puckett. "I'm positive that our Sailors will have a great time experiencing the culture in beautiful South Korea!"
For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Busan.
"I am very excited to visit my first far eastern port," said Lt. j.g. Katie Castro. "South Korea is a beautiful and fascinating country and I am looking forward to some hiking and visiting the local shrines in the Busan area. I hope to partake in some camaraderie with fellow submariners in the South Korean Navy, and am very excited to meet our host ship."
"For our younger Sailors, Busan provides a unique experience to visit another country and enjoy some time off from our steady training and operational routine at sea. We're quite grateful for the generosity of our hosts from the Busan Navy community, and especially onboard ROKS Jung-Ji, and are eager to have this port visit on our way back to homeport in Seattle," said Burian.
Michigan is homeported in Bremerton, Washington and is forward deployed from Guam.