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US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives in Da Nang

Monday, March 05, 2018, 12:08 GMT+7
US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrives in Da Nang
The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang around Monday noon, commencing a visit to Vietnam for the first time in more than four decades.

The huge warship, accompanied by guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and destroyer USS Wayne E.Meyer, will have a five-day stay in the central port city, marking the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since the war ended in 1975.

Upon arriving at Da Nang Bay, some 500m from the city’s Tien Sa Port, the aircraft carrier approached a 300-seat passenger boat, on which its crew members will be transited to the mainland.

The Phu Quoc Express 7, which takes the Carl Vinson crew members to the mainland, is pictured off Tien Sa Port in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Phu Quoc Express 7, which takes the Carl Vinson crew members to the mainland, is pictured off Tien Sa Port in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

An official from the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that there are 5,000 crew members on the Carl Vinson.

A number of activities are scheduled for the visit, including a welcome ceremony, a press conference, courtesy visits, technical exchanges, sports matches, and various community activities, the spokesperson of Vietnam’s foreign ministry said last week.

The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The port call aligns with an agreement announced by the two countries in a joint statement issued during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Vietnam in November 2017, she added.

The event will also serve as an opportunity to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, security, cooperation, and development in the region, according to the spokesperson.

An official welcome ceremony for the aircraft carrier, followed by a press meeting, is scheduled for the afternoon at Tien Sa Port, after which some 3,000 crew members will start setting foot on Da Nang ground and participating in a number of activities.

People wait on Thuan Phuoc Bridge to watch the arrival of the USS Carl Vinson in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
People wait on the Thuan Phuoc Bridge to watch the arrival of the USS Carl Vinson in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Busy schedule

During the five-day stay, representatives from the ships are scheduled to pay courtesy calls to Da Nang leaders and military officials, and visit local children with disabilities and Agent Orange victims.

The municipal tourism department will hold a culinary exchange between local chefs and those on board the Carl Vinson on Tuesday.

The event, taking place at Madame Lan Restaurant, will showcase typical dishes of Vietnam and Da Nang, including cha gio (fried spring roll), mi Quang (Quang noodles) and banh xeo (crispy fried pancake) to the U.S. guests.

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean. Photo: U.S. Navy
The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) transits the Pacific Ocean. Photo: U.S. Navy

Madame Lan and Furama Resort chefs will also join their U.S. peers for a culinary show.

Many local youths have been searching for locations to watch the warships and their crew since Sunday morning.

A range of mountains on the nearby Son Tra Peninsula, which overlooks Tien Sa Port, emerge as a prime location for the ‘ship lovers.'

The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The USS Carl Vinson is seen in foggy weather off Da Nang City, central Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is the United States Navy's third Nimitz-class supercarrier and named for Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the U.S. Navy.

It is equipped with two Westinghouse A4W nuclear reactors, capable of traveling at 56kph.

There are four takeoff lanes at the ship head, and one landing lane at its rear.

The USS Carl Vinson carries some 3,000 crewmembers, nearly a third of which are female personnel, and 75 planes, including 65 F-35 or F-18 Hornet fighter jets.

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Son Luong / TUOI TRE NEWS

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