U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Makes First Visit to Vietnam in Over 40 Years

USS Carl Vinson in Da Nang, Vietnam / U.S. Navy

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is making the first visit by an American aircraft carrier to Vietnam in more than 40 years.

The carrier, along with two other ships from its strike group deployed to the region, initiated a port call in Da Nang on Monday, according to the U.S. Navy. The ships were greeted by senior officials from both countries.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink and Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift spoke about the importance of the Carl Vinson's visit to the foe-turned-partner.

"The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam," Kritenbrink said. "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."

"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," Swift said. "I am confident that engagements like this will further expand the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam."

Defense Secretary James Mattis alluded to the planned port call while thanking Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

"We appreciate the leadership on [planning the visit]–leading by example and stepping up," Mattis said during a January visit to Vietnam.

While in Vietnam, sailors from the Carl Vinson will participate in sports competitions, community service projects, and receptions. The U.S. 7th Fleet Band will also perform for the public.