Mar 05, 2020 / 12:19

Envoy says Vietnam-US relationship “strongest ever” as aircraft carrier visits Danang

The Hanoitimes - The port visit "serves as evidence of the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

The visit of the USS Theodore Roosevelt strike group takes place when the US and Vietnam commemorate 25 years of normalization of diplomatic relations, prompting US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink to affirm that the “relationship is the strongest it has ever been.”

 USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Photo: US embassy in Hanoi

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) arrived in Danang, central Vietnam on March 5 for a port visit. This is the second visit by a US aircraft carrier after the historic visit of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in 2018, more than four decades after the deadly Vietnam War ended.

“This visit demonstrates the strength of our bilateral relations and highlights our continued cooperation with partner countries and our strong support for the region, including institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Vietnam is this year’s chair,” said Rear Adm. Stu Baker, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 9. “It also serves as evidence of the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific where strong, independent nations respect one another's sovereignty, and uphold the rule of law.”

Sailors will participate in cultural and professional exchanges, community service projects, sports competitions, and receptions during the port visit.

 USS Bunker Hill (CG 52). Photo: US embassy in Hanoi

“This visit will not only serve to strengthen our bilateral defense relationship, but also help further advance our cultural and professional ties,” said Capt. Brett Crozier, Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer. “We are honored to take part in this important port visit and to receive such a warm welcome.”

Theodore Roosevelt is America’s fourth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier with a crew of 5,000 sailors who support and conduct air operations at sea. The strike group is comprised of a total of 6,500 sailors, an aircraft carrier, an air wing, a cruiser, and six destroyers.

US 7th Fleet, the US Navy’s largest numbered fleet, conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of US national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. The fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.