Tuesday,  Sep 25, 2018,07:51 (GMT+7) 0 0
U.S. aircraft carrier in historic Vietnam visit
The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Mar 6, 2018,23:10 (GMT+7)

U.S. aircraft carrier in historic Vietnam visit

The Saigon Times Daily

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is seen in Danang Bay in central Vietnam on March 5  - Photo: VNA

HCMC – The United States aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on March 5 began a historic visit to Vietnam, the first by an American ship of this size since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, according to media reports.

Accompanied by the guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer, the nuclear-powered carrier is scheduled to be at anchor around one kilometer off the shore of the central coastal city of Danang from March 5 to 9. The visit marks a fresh step in promoting closer cooperation between the two nations, said Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins at a news briefing on February 24.

He stressed the historic port call is strictly “routine” in its objectives, and an opportunity for both nations to “learn from one another.”

Unique to this port call would be “professional engagements” to build “people to people connections,” he added.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang also said at a press conference in Hanoi on March 1 that the visit realizes the agreement reached by the two countries’ high-ranking leaders in the joint statement issued by Vietnam and the U.S. during President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam in November 2017.

She added the event would further forge the two nations’ ties to match their comprehensive partnership, contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability, security, cooperation, and development in the region.

A total of 300 Vietnamese experts in engineering, firefighting, culinary, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, medical and academia will board the aircraft carrier for two hours to meet with sailors, receive a tour and have a conversation.

“It’s not of military focus, it’s a cultural exchange,” said Hawkins.

The carrier’s crew will also take part in five community service projects across Danang, including visits to a social protection center, a mental illness treatment center and Red Cross orphanage, he noted. As many as 16,000 guests are expected aboard the carrier over the next few days.

There will also be official meetings between the carrier strike group leadership, Vietnamese Navy Zone 3 and the municipal government of Danang.

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