Guided-Missile Submarine USS Michigan Pulls Into South Korea

June 16, 2023 4:56 PM
The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727) departs Guam, March 1, 2023. US Navy Photo

Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727) arrived in Busan, South Korea, Friday, the Navy announced.

This is Michigan‘s first port call to Busan in six years, according to the Friday release. While classified as a scheduled call, the submarine’s arrival comes after North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, The Japan Times reported.

“The port visit in Busan reflects the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, and compliments the many exercises, training, operations and other military cooperation activities conducted by U.S. submarine forces with our ROK allies,” the Navy said in the Friday release.

U.S. ships have made a number of port calls to Busan in recent years. USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) visited the port with USS Robert Smalls (CG-52) – formerly USS Chancellorsville – and USS Barry (DDG-52) in September 2022, the first time a carrier stopped in Busan in four years, USNI News previously reported.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group also made port visits in March.

Michigan last pulled into Busan in October 2017.

The Japan Times reported that Washington Declaration, signed in April by the presidents of the U.S. and South Korea, included an agreement that Michigan would visit Busan.

The submarine, one of the Navy’s four Ohio-class, is currently operating under the commander, submarine group 7 in U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility. It was recently in Guam in March.

There are four Ohio-class submarines that have been converted from their original role of carrying nuclear ballistic missiles to fielding Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles.

The 154 land-attack missiles aboard Michigan have a range of in excess of 1,000 nautical miles and be launched from under the sea with little warning. Images released by the Navy show the submarine operating near Guam equipped with a dry shelter for the use of special operations underwater vehicles.

Announcing the presence of an Ohio SSGN in a region is considered a signal of U.S. military power. In April, the Navy widely broadcasted the presence of USS Florida (SSGN-728) in U.S. Central Command.

The public release of Florida’s location followed attacks on U.S. troops in Syria and attacks by Iran’s sectarian Revolutionary Guard Corps on merchant ships with lethal drones.

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio

Heather Mongilio is a reporter with USNI News. She has a master’s degree in science journalism and has covered local courts, crime, health, military affairs and the Naval Academy.
Follow @hmongilio

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