The United States Navy is currently engaged in naval exchange activities with the Vietnamese navy, in continuation of a series of naval activities between the two countries that last occurred in July of last year.
The activities kicked off on Monday, April 23. It will consist of a five-day collaboration that will focus on non-combatant events and skill exchanges in such areas as diving medicine, navigation, and firefighting. There will also be ship visits, band concerts, community service events, and U.S.-Vietnamese navy sporting events.
Rear Adm. Tom Carney, commander, Task Force 73, shared: “This exchange enhances collective cooperation, and promotes understanding between our navies.”
The following units of the United States Navy are participating in the naval exchange activities with Vietnam: the 7th Fleet’s flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19); guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90); the rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50); Sailors from Task Force 73; and a Mobile Diving and Salvage Detachment.
Several port visits have been made by the U.S. Navy to Vietnam in recent years. These include the first underway embark of visitors from Vietnam aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in 2009, as well as a visit by the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and the destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82), commanded by Vietnamese-American Commander H.B. Le, in November of the same year.
Other visits include the USS George Washington and USS John S. McCain, which visited Da Nang as part of naval exchange activities, and USNS Mercy as part of a large-scale humanitarian assistance mission in 2010; and destroyers USS Howard and USS Chung-Hoon, which visited Da Nang as part of the 2011 naval exchange activities, and USNS Bowditch, which supported Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command missions with survey support, in 2011.