US aircraft carrier docks in Vietnam on start of landmark visit

By Nguyen Dong   March 4, 2018 | 07:48 pm PT
US aircraft carrier docks in Vietnam on start of landmark visit
The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson seen from Tien Sa Port, Da Nang, on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
The five-day visit has been billed as an important milestone in the diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S.

U.S. aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson made history on Monday morning when it arrived at Vietnam's central city of Da Nang for a five-day visit, marking the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since the Vietnam War ended in 1975.

The USS Carl Vinson docked in Vietnam with destroyer the USS Wanye E. Mayer and cruiser the USS Lake Champlain, carrying a total of 6,500 crew members.

The historic event drew curious locals who took pictures of the carrier as it docked in Da Nang.

During their stay in Da Nang, U.S. Navy officers will meet their Vietnamese counterparts and local authorities, who will be invited on a tour of the carrier.

They will also visit social sponsor centers and Agent Orange victims, and take part in friendly sporting events and a music show.

Vietnam has been preparing for the visit for months, and considers the event an important milestone in the development of its diplomatic relationship with the U.S.

The Vinson arrives amid repeated signals from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump that it is keen to further develop security ties with Vietnam as part of a range of political and military relationships to check the rise of China, Reuters said on Sunday.

The USS Carl Vinson was launched in 1980 and undertook her maiden voyage in 1983.

It has a displacement of 103,000 tons and measures 333 meters in length and 77 meters in width, with a capacity of carrying up to 90 aircraft.

The carrier currently operates in the West Pacific.

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