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Sea Platforms

US showcases strength of naval relations in Southeast Asia as Carl Vinson arrives in Vietnam

05 March 2018
USS Carl Vinson arriving in Da Nang Bay on 5 March 2018. It is the first visit by a US Navy aircraft carrier to Vietnam in more than 40 years. Source: US Navy

Key Points

  • A US aircraft carrier has arrived in Vietnam for the first time in more than 40 years
  • Visit demonstrates the US Navy’s increasing ability to call on friendly ports as it pursues security objectives in Southeast Asia, and the wider Asia-Pacific region

In a sign of increasingly cordial naval ties between Washington and Hanoi, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) sailed into Da Nang Bay on 5 March, marking the first time that a US Navy (USN) aircraft carrier has visited Vietnam in more than 40 years.

According to a notice to mariners (NTM) and accompanying berthing co-ordinates posted by Vietnam Maritime Safety – North, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is currently anchored about 3 km away from the Port of Tien Sa in Da Nang Bay.

The carrier is accompanied by two other warships from its strike group, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E Meyer (DDG 108).

“Our nations’ relationship has reached new heights in the past few years, and USS Carl Vinson ’s port visit to Vietnam is a reflection of that,” said Admiral Scott Swift, Commander US Pacific Fleet, in a statement released by the USN. “I am confident that engagements like this will further expand the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam,” he added.

The Carl Vinson Strike Group departed San Diego in early January 2018 for a scheduled deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to its arrival in Vietnam, the carrier was in Manila for a five-day port visit from mid-February 2018.

Personnel from the carrier and its strike group ships are expected to partake in professional exchanges, sports competitions, and community service projects during the stop in Vietnam, which is expected to conclude on or around 8 March.

Besides Lake Champlain and Wayne E Meyer , other elements in Carl Vinson ’s strike group includes more than 70 embarked aircraft from USN’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 78), the F/A-18 Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, VFA-34, VFA-137, and VFA-192, and the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113.

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