DA NANG, Vietnam - The USS Carl Vinson arrived in Vietnam Monday for a port call, marking the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has visited the country in more than 40 years.
The Vinson arrived with the USS Lake Champlain and USS Wayne E. Meyer during a regularly scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asian-Pacific region.
"The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam," said U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink. "Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners."
Top leaders from both the United States and Vietnam discussed the possibility of an aircraft carrier visit last year in an effort to further relations.
"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 Swift. "I am confident that engagements like this will further expand the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam."
"This is a historic day and we are honored to receive such a warm welcome here," said Rear Adm. John Fuller, the strike group commander. "Also, we'd like to thank Vietnam for the excellent logistical support that makes this visit possible. The United States and Vietnam are cooperating more closely than ever before."
Sailors are expected to participate in cultural and professional exchanges during community service projects and receptions.
Navy musicians from the U.S. 7th Fleet Band will perform free concerts for the public as well.