On 5 March, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived in Da Nang for a five-day friendship port call, marking the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has visited Viet Nam since the end of the Viet Nam War over four decades ago. The aircraft carrier arrived with two escort ships, the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
Destroyer USS Wayne E.Meyer and aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson at Da Nang Bay. (Source: VNA)
Under the authorisation of the city’s leaders, the Director of the Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lam Quang Minh, chaired the welcome ceremony with the attendance of representatives from the High Commands of the Military Zone No 5 and Naval Forces Zone No 3, the Military Command of Da Nang, the Department of Foreign Relations under the Ministry of Defence, the city’s Border Guard Command and Foreign Affairs Department, along with the US Embassy, and the US Defence Attache Office, and some US organisations in Viet Nam.
These ships together carried a total of approximately 6,500 naval officers and crew members.
The welcome ceremony was followed by a press conference on the US navy vessels’ visit, jointly chaired by Director Lam Quang Minh, and Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer.
The welcome ceremony for US officers and sailors in Da Nang. (Source: VNA)
During the five-day stay in Da Nang, the ships’ leaders are scheduled to pay courtery visits to the Da Nang People’s Committee, as well as the High Commands of the Viet Nam People’s Navy and the Naval Forces Zone No 3. Their officers and crew members will visit several social welfare centres for the mentally ill, Agent Orange victims, orphans and disadvantaged children. They will also share their technical expertise in water and electricity supply, first aid provision, response to disasters, firefighting, health care and personnel training on aircraft in several local venues; and join in cultural exchanges activities as well as friendly sporting events with their Vietnamese colleagues. Additionally, Navy musicians from the U.S. 7th Fleet Band will perform free public concerts.
The visit continues to promote bilateral relations within the framework of the two countries’ comprehensive partnership and contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region.
The visit is expected to improve Viet Nam’s role and stature in the region and the world, contributing to popularising the country and people.