US warship set to revisit Vietnam this month

By Nguyen Dong   September 26, 2016 | 06:12 pm PT
US warship set to revisit Vietnam this month
Guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain of the US Navy made its first visit to Vietnam in April 2014. Photo by VnExpress/ Nguyen Dong
The USS John S. McCain is coming back after its 2014 visit for naval exchange activities, seeking to reinforce military ties.

The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain of the US Navy will have a four-day visit to Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang for naval exchange activities, starting September 28.

The city said this would be the second visit of the warship. It arrived in Vietnam in April 2014 for the fifth Naval Engagement Activity (NEA), an annual event aimed to boost ties between Vietnam and the U.S.

This year, the ship with 280 crew members led by Lieutenant Colonel Alfredo J. Sanchez will also participate in joint activities and have discussion with the leaders and rank-and-file personnel of the Vietnamese Navy's 3rd Regional Command.

The two countries are scheduled to talk about the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea, preparatory work before sailing, damage control and medical issues.

The U.S. Navy will also hold seminars on the Law of the Sea treaty at the base of the Regional Command and Da Nang University.

In addition, the USS John S. McCain sailors will perform and take part in a number of sporting and music events before leaving on October 1.

Bilateral ties between Vietnam and the U.S. have grown stronger in recent years, amid concerns over China's military expansion in the region.

Besides the annual reception of U.S. naval vessels, Vietnam has also welcomed visits of warships from other countries, including Japan, India, Australia and France.

In April, two Japanese guided-missile destroyers for the first time made a port call at Cam Ranh Bay Port, Vietnam’s newly opened international port. In July, the coast guard ship Kojima arrived in Da Nang for a five-day visit.

Prior to the trip of President Francois Hollande earlier this month, France also sent its amphibious assault ship Tonnerre to Cam Ranh Bay in a friendly visit.

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