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S. Korea, U.S. begin 11-day naval drill along southern coast

All Headlines 10:12 April 11, 2016

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States kicked off an 11-day joint naval exercise along the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula on Monday to enhance their combined readiness to conduct search and rescue operations and other underwater missions, the Navy said.

South Korea's Navy mobilized the 3,500-ton rescue vessel, Tongyeong, along with 12 specialized ship salvage unit personnel for the joint drill, which is part of the ongoing annual Foal Eagle field exercise.

The U.S. side brought in the 3,300-ton rescue ship USNS Safeguard, along with 15 naval diving and salvage rescue swimmers, according to the Navy.

In the exercise, which will run through April 21, the forces will carry out deep-sea diving and underwater demolition aimed at obstacle elimination in order to beef up their combined capability to perform rescue missions both in peacetime and during times of war.

Separately, the Navy will dispatch a 15-man team of deep-sea divers, medical workers and vessels to the Indonesia-led multilateral rescue exercise, Komodo, which will kick off on Tuesday for a five-day run.

A total of 32 countries, mostly from the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN, will mobilize a combined total of 48 vessels, 17 aircraft and 5,000 personnel for the biennial rescue drill. The United States and Japan will also take part in the exercise, the Navy added.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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