Home » Aviation » Vinson Strike Group Makes Historic Port Call in Vietnam Amid Growing Navy Ties, South China Sea Tensions

Vinson Strike Group Makes Historic Port Call in Vietnam Amid Growing Navy Ties, South China Sea Tensions

The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrives in Da Nang, Vietnam, for a scheduled port visit on March 5, 2018. US Navy photo.

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)’s historic port visit in Da Nang, Vietnam, this week is meant to continue building trust and goodwill that could deepen the navy-to-navy relationship between the two former enemies.

The carrier, along with cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108), arrived in the central Vietnam port city on March 5 with an itinerary that included sailor-to-sailor engagements, community service projects, sports and music activities and more. Though U.S. Navy ships have made port calls in Vietnam since 2004, this is the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has come to Vietnam since the end of the war more than 40 years ago.

Rear Adm. John Fuller, the Vinson Carrier Strike Group commander, told reporters in a media teleconference late Monday night (Tuesday morning local time) that Vietnamese sailors were also welcomed aboard Vinson to learn how the crew approaches firefighting, flight operations and other aspects of carrier operations.

“They’ve gone around and had a chance to engage with our sailors and just get a feel for the personality of our sailors,” Fuller added.
“I think one of the most heartwarming comments was, they were impressed by how hard our sailors work and how such young people are able to do such sophisticated things.”

President Donald Trump said during a May 2017 visit to Vietnam that he wanted to further the military relationship between the two countries and proposed the idea of an American aircraft carrier visit. Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of U.S. 7th Fleet, said in the same teleconference that the completion of that promise helps “continue to normalize relationships here with the Vietnamese navy.”

“We committed (to scheduling a carrier port visit), and we made that commitment, and that in itself is important because it helps foster the trust that we want to foster within our partnership,” he added.

Senior leadership from Vietnam greet leaders from U.S. 7th Fleet, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, and the Carl Vinson Strike Group — including 7th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, center — during a welcome ceremony in Da Nang, Vietnam, on March 5, 2018. US Navy photo.

Sawyer also noted that the person-to-person relationship-building allowed by a visit like this is important. For example, he said, the head of the Da Nang People’s Committee sent a condolence letter after last year’s USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) fatal collision, and Sawyer said this week he’s been able to thank the committee in person for their letter.

The Navy and U.S. State Department have billed this visit as symbolic of the deepening ties between the two countries and as a builder of goodwill that could open future opportunities – though Sawyer was coy about what the future of U.S.-Vietnamese naval activities could look like.

“I will work closely with my Vietnamese partners, and we will develop ideas and options for what makes sense for both of us,” he said in response to a question.
“We continue building on the robust partnership that we actually already have. … When we talk about what’s in the future, recognize that we have done quite a bit already: we have a continuing engagement with the people here, it’s called Pacific Partnership, that we’ll do again this year. So I look forward to talking with my Vietnamese counterparts to discuss what else we can do going into the future.”

Asked again later in the conversation about the future of the relationship, Sawyer said “I’ve been in discussions with Naval Zone 3 and I’ll have other discussions with the Vietnamese Navy about what we do going forward to continue to build the partnership that we have been building and that continues to be very robust. There have been a lot of things in my mind that I will discuss with the Vietnamese Navy leadership, but it really is kind of a two-way street; I want to make sure I understand what would be beneficial for the Vietnamese Navy and what we can do, and then we will come up with a plan going forward.”

He did, though, say that as a career submariner, “I would greatly look forward to bringing one of the U.S. submarines into a port in Vietnam, so that’s one of the things I will offer.”

Fuller added during the call that “we’ll find areas to continue to build our maritime cooperation, and we will do the basic skill sets that mariners have – with this port visit in particular we are doing culinary exchanges, firefighting exchanges, we’re having people come and tour the Carl Vinson to see the type of things we do on a Navy ship.”

Senior leadership from Vietnam and from U.S. 7th Fleet, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, pose for a photo during a March 5 welcome ceremony in Da Nang, Vietnam, for the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as part of its port call. US Navy photo.

Looming in the background of the visit is China. Within about 200 miles of Da Nang sit both China’s Hainan island and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea that are claimed by Vietnam but controlled by China.

Sawyer made clear that “it’s about Vietnam” and not China when it comes to the message the visit sends – that the event “continues a path we’ve been on that continues to build a robust partnership” between the two navies.

Still, regarding China’s activities in the South China Sea, Sawyer said that “land reclamation and militarization cause angst within the region, and the angst that it causes is really because of lack of transparency; it’s not clear what’s going to happen down there. And I think that angst and that lack of transparency are potentially disruptive to the security and stability of the region. And that causes concern.”

More directly, he said the ability to freely move commerce through the region is paramount and that “anything that would appear to contradict that is a concern for all the region.”

“Conflict is not inevitable, but security doesn’t happen by itself either. And that’s why we, the United States Navy and the 7th Fleet in particular have been out here for 75 years … and we are going to be out here for the future,” Sawyer concluded.

  • Duane

    This is a very good development. Getting cooperative with Vietnam – ancient adversaries of China and possessing strategically vital naval and land facilities in the heart of the South China Sea is a dagger at the heart of China’s aggressive claims of hegemony in the SCS.

    Coupled with our growing relationship with India, our strategic patience with a wobbly Duterte-led Philippines government, and our strong alliances with Japan, ROK, Singapore, and Australia, China is isolated in the region.

    We can thank Sec Mattis, not the clueless and erratic Trump, for strengthening our SE Asian alliances at a time when China is directly challenging the international rule of law.

    • publius_maximus_III

      Even the great Kublai Kahn learned the lesson the hard way… three times. Those “Tiger” folks are better kept as allies, or just left alone, than as enemies. Here’s an excerpt from Wiki about their ancient naval tactics:

      “Borrowing a tactic used by general Ngô Quyền in 938 to defeat an invading Chinese fleet, the Đại Việt forces drove iron-tipped stakes into the bed of the Bạch Đằng River, and then, with a small flotilla, lured the Mongol fleet into the river just as the tide was starting to ebb, while their route to the sea had been blockaded by large warships. Unable to return or escape to the sea, the entire Mongol fleet of 400 craft was caught in a bloody boarding and missile battle, sunk, captured, or burned by fire arrows. This would later become known as the Battle of Bạch Đằng (1288). The Yuan admiral Omar was captured and executed. Unable to be properly supplied, Toghan’s still-intact army retreated to China.”

      Even so, the U.S. had the Vietnamese war won until the negotiators gave away the store in Paris and the Dems quit supporting the South Vietnamese as they had been promised. Water under the bridge now.

      p.s. Ngô Quyền is pronounced “No win” — get the message?

  • Duane

    This is a very good development. Getting cooperative with Vietnam – ancient adversaries of China and possessing strategically vital naval and land facilities in the heart of the South China Sea – is a dagger at the heart of China’s aggressive claims of hegemony in the SCS.

    Coupled with our growing relationship with India, our strategic patience with a wobbly
    Duterte-led Philippines government, and our strong alliances with Japan, ROK, Singapore, and Australia, China is left isolated in the region.

    We can thank Sec Mattis, not the clueless and erratic Trump, for strengthening our SE Asian alliances at a time when China is directly challenging the international rule of law.

    • muzzleloader

      Cmon Duane. We know you are a Hilary guy, but just who do you think instegated this? Do you really think that Hilary would have even sent our warships into the SCS, let alone a port visit of a CVN? Your hatred of the President is well known all over this website, but give credit where it is due.

      • Duane

        Trump routinely chastizes, disrespects, and as of this week is launching trade wars against our allies while refusing to implement sanctions passed overwhelmingly by Congress against Russia last year, in violation of the law. Meanwhile numerous senior members of Trump’s campaign team have already been indicted by Mueller or have copped pleas with Mueller in the investigation of criminal conspiracy to interfere with the 2016 election, Russian money laundering, and quite likely obstruction of justice. Trump’s own son in law has been denied a security clearance, largely because of his repeated failure to disclose his contacts with Russian bankers under US sanctions, and it is undisputed that Trump’s own son solicited “dirt” on HRC offered by Russian operatives in Trump tower, which is illegal.

        It does not require one to be a HRC voter to see that Trump is a bought and paid for dupe of Putin. It only takes someone who does care … cares that the President cares not about making America great, only himself.

    • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

      Sure, because Mattis has complete autonomy right? Good grief.

      • Duane

        If Trump orders Mattis to do something illegal or that endangers the nation, Mattis will refuse the order and resign.

        It may well come to that … just as it did with Trump’s senior economic advisor, Gary Cohn, when Trump overruled him this week and launched a trade war that mostly targets our allies.

        • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

          Allies like China?

        • muzzleloader

          You love the hyperbole don’t you? Trump overruled Cohn? Trump is the President. Cohn is an advisor. The President takes advisement and makes his decision. In case you don’t know, Cohn was instrumental in the tax bill, in which Trump praised him. In fact Cohn was in the Friday Cabinet meeting,where Trump thanked him publicly, and Cohn in turn said that it was honor to work for the President.
          Trump launched a trade war? In case you don’t know, he is already in talks with Canada and Mexico to modify NAFTA, plus he is exempting Australia. There is a $570 billion trade deficit that Trump is working to correct. He is not targeting “allies”, unless you consider China as such.
          If you want to talk about a President blowing off advisors, talk about Obama who blew off his military advisors about everything.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Leftist ideologues like Duane can’t spew anything other than the talking points they receive from those they have ceded all their thinking too. If he underwent the proverbial ‘snip job’, I have no doubt he’d change his name to Hillary!

          • muzzleloader

            Who is to say that he hasn’t already? Lol

          • Chesapeakeguy


          • Duane

            Only in the turned upside down, inside out world of illogical, lie infested swamp of Trump worship – the guy who sold America out to the Russians and Chinese, and spent most of his life as a democrat, and avoided military service with the rich kids disability of “bone spurs” would someone like me ever be described as a leftist. You Trumpistas are the ultimate twisted pieces of work.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            You finally hit on one thing here Duane: Trump spent much of his life as one of you Democrats. You all about fell over yourselves trying to get his endorsements, his photo with you, and his checks. You HATE it that he has made more progress with your beloved North Korea in a few months than your Democrat heroes like Obama and Hillary and Ho Chi Kerry did in 8 years. He’s not kicking that can down the road, he’s dealing with it. And you and yours hate it, because he continues to expose you all for how vapid and malignant you truly are.

          • Duane

            It’s not rhetoric, it’s fact. Cohn was put in charge of econonomic policy, he was not just some guy spreading political BS on the couch on the set of Fox and Friends.

            Cohn clearly opposed the clearly knuckleheaded and destructive policy of launching a trade war against our allies that leaves Russia and China unscathed. Trump overruled his chief economic policy manager, so he resigned.

            You Trumpian snowflakes simply cannot withstand straight talk and facts. It wilts you and turns you into puddles of water.


    • Jack D Ripper

      Butch up De wayne

    • Chesapeakeguy

      Umm, Hillary, er, Duane, you DO know Mattis works for Trump and takes his direction from him, don’tcha? Or did you not get the memo?

      • Duane

        Uhhh you did not read my comment, apparently.

        Do YOU realize that Sec Mattis gave his oath to the Constitution, and not to Trump. He certainly understands that.

        • Chesapeakeguy

          I did read your comment, in all its inanity, and thus my reply to it. Do tell Duane: did any of those in the Obama admin ‘give their oath to the Constitution, and not to Obama’? Hmmm? Did they NOT still work FOR Obama, and advance HIS goals and agendas? Geezz man, your commitment to being completely obtuse knows no bounds, does it now?

          • Mk-Ultra

            You know someones irrationally arguing out of emotion and not fact when they feel the need to randomly start crying about Obama.

            “Bbbbbbut what about Obama! :'(“

          • Chesapeakeguy

            But the hypocrites will always whine when their own antics are thrown back at them. And those same hypocrites have no problem blaming everything on the side they oppose, in this case Trump, but always cry about how ‘unfair it all is’ when they are confronted by the undeniable truth on what their OWN guy did, or said. Obviously YOU can’t offer anything except more of said whining.But on venues like this, that is a common occurrence..

            Run along now..

          • Mk-Ultra

            Agreed. That’s why it’s hilarious seeing the right throwing these tantrums since everything they cried about for 8 years is being thrown back at them. Hypocrites.

            Now that it’s their OWN guy doing what they cried about, they always cry about how “unfair it all is”

            Obviously YOU can’t offer anything except more of said whining.

            Run along now…

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Our OWN guy is actually getting things done. Your lover Duane spews all sorts of manure about Trump, then has to acknowledge all the good things Trump is doing in SE Asia, and all he and his fellow clowns lie yourself can do is credit Mattis as if Mattis is doing it all behind Trumps back. That’s beyond hypocrisy, it’s flat out stupidity. Which your lack of any originality proves in spades.

            Don’t let the door hot you in your backside as you ska-diddle on out of here. Tell Duane I said “Hey” when you pick him up for your night pout together.

          • Mk-Ultra

            Your OWN guy proves the stupidity of the right wing quite nicely. All he has to say is “I’m getting things done believe me” and that’s all it takes to convince you gullible hypocrites. You literally just regurgitate whatever trump/fox news tells you.

            Remember how you all cried “Obama the war mongerer” when he expanded the military and increased funding? Now you’re all crying “Obama didn’t do enough” just because trump/fox news told you so.

            Your lack of originality and original thinking proves in spades. Try not to get triggered some more either, your crying and lashing out proves in spades.

            Don’t let the door hot you in your backside as you ska-diddle on out of here.

          • muzzleloader

            We regurgitate Fox news? If you libtards did not have CNN and MSNBC, you would not know what to say. All you can do is spew talking points, because liberals like you are incapable of critical thinking or having an original thought. That is why people like you ad Duanne sound alike.
            Tell me, do YOU take ownership of Nancy Pelosi?, Maxine Waters? Louis Farrakhan?, or any other of the genuine lunatics on your side? Lol, you got it.
            And Obama expanded the military? We are digging out of the whole that Obama put our military in, and I know because I work for DOD and i am putting in 60 hour work weeks in getting us back where we need to be.
            BTW, we are not ska- diddling any where.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I think it s possible that Mk here and Duane are one and the same. It’s not unprecedented on sites like this.

          • Duane

            You know an unintelligent right wing radical by his use of the ever intelligent and mature term “libtard”.

            Actually referencing facts is just too darn hard for the snowflakes who inevitably retreat to their safe space of fourth grade taunts.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            WHO ‘cried’ ‘Obama the warmonger’? WHEN? All your lord and icon Obama did was ‘lead from behind’, which is a nice way of saying how he bent over for any and all of those who have any animus towards this country. ‘Reset button’ anyone? ‘Line in the sand’? How did all THAT that work out? And now you are completely dependent on me to provide you talking points. I am obviously living inside your head rent free. PS..it sure is empty in here! LOL..

            And are you being rude and keeping Duane waiting? Shame on you.

          • Mk-Ultra

            Well now you’re clearly upset.

            The right spent 8 years crying about anything Obama did. Wore a tan suit? Outraged. Put mustard on his hotdog? Outraged. Any sort of military action? Very outraged. Very funny how much short term memory the right has.

            Then the last part of your text is you lashing out because the truth is triggering you. Then your obsession.

            You need a safe space that’s for sure.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Any time any criticism was leveled at your incompetent icon Obama, all anyone got in return is that te are ‘racist’. Period. Now you clowns have replaced ‘racists’ with ‘Russian bots’. You Democrats are in a tizzy that Trump is actually accomplishing things. You hate the prospect of real problems being fixed, and not merely talked about, as your side is all about. All talk. Nothing else.

            Now certainly it is time for you to join Duane in his bath tub and play “Battleship” yet again, ain’t it? LOL.

          • Mk-Ultra

            The echo chamber built with Fox news propaganda makes you gullible righties hallucinate an entirely different reality that only exists in the right wing world. Period.

            Even when there’s indictments that literally proves Russian bots are real, gave you their identities, their propaganda accounts, and proved righties took Russian money to spread right wing propaganda rhat the right are inept enough to believe in. Period.

            Can you explain what has trump accomplished, in your own words? Don’t whine about it either.

            Not sure why you’re still obsessing with that guy over and over again. No one else is talking about him. And you keep imagining circumstances where he’s naked. that’s a little weird, don’t you think?

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Are you talking about your pal (wink, wink) Duane? I bring him up because the only time you show up is to defend him. You two seem like such an adorable twosome. Trump has the economy roaring after removing the punishing regulations your Lord and icon Obama, who didn’t have an iota of business experience, saddled on it. ISIS, which Obama for all intents and purposes created by way of his incompetence, is barely in existence now, they have been devastated. He has withdrawn this country from the world’s largest money laundering and funneling scheme aka the Paris climate garbage, he has just succeeded in passing major tax reform, his travel ban is finally in effect, his judicial appointments will help protect against the ravishes of you extreme leftists, the list goes on and on.

            I’m still waiting for anything, ANYTHING, original from you. But it will no doubt be a long wait. Tell Duane I said “Hi”. When you two are playing ion the tub, si one of you the ‘Blue’ force, and is the other one ‘Red’? “Up periscope” takes on a whole new meaning, eh?

          • Mk-Ultra

            It’s hilarious seeing middle aged hillbillies try so hard to insult people on forums. I think you melted your wrinkly old brains.

            You start off again, obsessing over another male on a forum. He’s got you all worked up to where you think about him all day and night. That’s why you bring him up. No one else has. But you.

            You’re a pretty stupid old man The majority is you literally regurgitating Fox news talking points and headlines. That’s why they pander to middle aged rural Americans. Not smart enough to think about the articles they’re pushing, so you people just read the headlines and believe whatever it says.

            “Punishing regulations”. Can you explain which ones and why they’re “punishing”? No whining. No crying. No obsession. Explain in your own words instead of copying/pasting Fox news.

            And then you had to obsess again over another man. And yet again imagined him naked in a tub. Lol. You wouldn’t be the first Christian conservative who fantasizes over men though.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Of course it’s hilarious to those of you who have the intellectual capacity of a 6 year old. Young punks are like that. What you and Duane do is your business. If it’s your mission in life to defend him, then have at it. Links cannot be posted on here. Those who do have IQs above single digits know that. That you don’t, well, yet AGAIN, it’s those single digits that plague you. It is a hoot to be lectured by someone who can’t even spew an original thought. Who is it Duane, er, ‘Ultra’, that you have ceded any and all of your thinking functions to? Is it the Daily Kos? The HuffPo? MSNBC, or CNN? LOL.I think you’d benefit from some exposure to sources that aren’t connected directly to the DNC. I know you snowflakes cower from such things, but you will be the better for it.

            You’re welcome.

          • Mk-Ultra

            It’s always funny logging into this website weeks later and seeing the triggered wall texts from middle aged dudes.

            Sad life. I’m sorry old man. I’m sure eventually you’ll accomplish something

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It’s also amusing to see the rantings and ramblings of punks who prove with their every utterance that they are not yet ready to engage with the adults.

            Stand by as a certain punk n here just starts repeating verbatim what others write. From his safe space of course. Yawn..

          • Mk-Ultra

            Thanks for proving my point dork

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And the usual punks continue with their usual drive by antics. What guy’s bath tub are you sharing now? LOL..

          • Duane

            Yes, as a matter of fact, just like every other presidential administration since George Washington’s.

            I know that must be shocking to you, that we have a Constitution, and a democratic republic, a nation of laws and not men, and that we don’t elect Dictators for Life … which by the way, Trump actually stated last week that he wished we did do that, just as the Chinese just did for Xi.

            American constitutional democratic notions of government seem to be a real anoyance and frustration for you Trumpistas. Too bad for Trump and his sycophants.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yes Duane, we have a Constitution. It’s the very same document your Democrat heroes Obama and Hillary routinely trashed. Trump did NOT say what you allege. He took yet another opportunity to take a shot at the truly unhinged like yourself. Just like how he delivered that hilarious line to your hero Hillary during their one debate where he said he might as the Russians if they know where the thousands of emails she got rid of are. He plays you clowns, and you all fall right into lockstep. But keep reaching Duane. You and yours really have nothing else. facts and truth are truly foreign entities to you.


          • Mk-Ultra

            LOL. Jeez you people are down right insane.

            “your Democrat heroes Obama and Hillary routinely trashed”

            Examples? No crying. No deflecting. Post examples of both. That’s all. Can you handle that?

            Trump said. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday.”

            We both know if you replaced Trump with Obama/Hillary your head would have exploded. Considering the right spent 8 years crying that Obama wanted to be a dictator and impose martial law to become a dictator for life. Haha.

            But keep reaching Guy. You and yours really have nothing else. facts and truth are truly foreign entities to you.


          • Chesapeakeguy

            Geezz, you validate everything I say here. You can’t even come up with anything on your own. I will continue to own you going forward forever.

            If Obama had ever ONCE looked out for this country, he would have more respect from those of us who are not your Dems lemming-like puppets. He ran away from virtually every foreign situation. Obama’s shredding of the Constitution is now well known to everybody with an IQ above single digits. That you don’t know that, well, like I said, ‘single digits’. The Iran ‘deal’ alone is testament to Obama’s treachery. But not to the Lewinski’s like yourself. Like I say again, ‘single digits’ and all that.

          • Mk-Ultra

            Geezz, you validate hard I’ve been mocking you on here. You can’t even fathom how cringy you sound when you’re trying this hard to make an insult stick. I will continue to own you going forward forever.

            “Forever”. On a forum. Have at it little buddy

            Lol @ you acting as if Fox News and right wing propaganda didn’t literally control your brain regarding the Obama administration. Why do you think you people were mocked for blaming Obama for pretty much anything regardless of how ridiculous it was? You people are still blaming Obama even today.

            “Shredding of the Constitution” Who thinks like that? Small brained righties, notably hicks, who eat up exaggerated headlines to complain about Obama. It’s knows to everybody with an IQ above single digits. .

            How many indictments and guilty pleas happened during the federal investigation into obamas presidency and how many happened during Trump’s first year? Lmao

          • Chesapeakeguy

            I don’t speak or read Gibberish, so some of your comments here can’t be deciphered. But as to the few I can understand, yes, FOREVER. You can’t avoid it. It’s in your every post now. I know it, and even you know it. Obama was indeed mocked. He deserved it. He was, and remains, a buffoon. I know that hurts you low information voters, but truth it is. Shredding of the Constitution is just the tip of the iceberg. I thought using law enforcement and intel and tax collection agencies to spy on and impede domestic political opposition went away with Nixon, but how wrong I was! Obama took all that to a new level, of which we are now just starting to unravel. Keep an eye on those indictments. Let’s see who is saying what in the near future/ I don’t think you or yours will be able to handle that, but I put it out there anyways.

            And as always, give Duane my best. You two deserve each other..

          • Mk-Ultra

            “But as to the few I can understand, yes, FOREVER. You can’t avoid it. It’s in your every post now. I know it, and even you know it.”

            Lmao. “FOREVER!!!”

            Sad old man is that emotionally invested in this forum. It thinks typing “FOREVER!!!” Is accomplishing something. I’m starting to feel sorry for you. Alone. Dumb. And pathetic. I know it, and even you know it.

            Trumps and his fans are indeed mocked. Just like you’re being mocked now for being inept. Sorry old man.

            And again, how many indictments did Obama have and how many does trump have in his first year?

            Answer that question instead of typing gibberish and continuing your weird obsession with another male

            PS. I gave the FBI your username. Just in case. That level of obsession isn’t normal.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Uh-huh! That would be something a punk with the IQ of a dead plant would say. and you continue to be entirely dependent on ME to provide for you on here.

            Oh, and tell the FBI I said “Hi”. Maybe you can get James Comey’s autograph? I’m sure if you camp out under his desk you will be accommodated! LOL.

            And as always, take care of Duane! Be gentle with each other..

    • Kenneth Millstein

      Duane, Thank you for the clarification. I am happy and proud that the Navy selected a force to make the port call with a very impressive strike group. BTW, I am wondering if having a strike group such as the Vinson strike group back in the day would have altered the outcome of the Vietnam War. Thanks again. Ken

  • Kenneth Millstein

    When I was honorably discharged from my naval service in 1972 I would have bet almost anything that what just happened would be unthinkable. How wrong I was. I am really happy for this type of exchange between former enemies to be taking place.

    • Duane

      Interesting that you say that, given that the USA and western European nations immediately allied ourselves with Germany after WW2 ended in 1945, staring the Red Threat on the other side of the German border. It took a whole lot longer to get over the VN War … decades.

      • Kenneth Millstein

        I thank you for your reply. I read it a couple of times and I can’t quite understand exactly how to reply to you. I know that it took a long time to get over the VN War but how does that relate to the friendship that has existed between the USA and our former enemies during WW2. I am sure you were trying to make a specific point but I can’t quite figure out what it was.

        If you have a moment I would love an explanation. Thank you Duane.

  • Zorcon, Fidei Defensor

    Well at least we replaced the last ambassador and “his husband”. The previous administrations agenda was hardly strategic.

  • Leroy

    For Navy Vets of that era, especially carrier pilots, other sailors, this must seem surreal.

    • Kim Chul Soo

      I’m a Marine vet that served two tours in and around DaNang. I call BS on this. I guess they do know this is a communist government?

  • Donald Carey

    A hundred years ago the British navy sent large ships such as the HMS Hood on port calls to impress the locals with their sheer size. With today’s container ships being so much larger than the cargo vessels of yesteryear, much of that effect has been lost, but a CVN is still impressive.

  • Nam Guy


  • Centaurus

    Signs of an invasion.

  • Nam Guy

    The US don’t ever expect Vietnam as an ally. Cause now Vietnam is a China’s back-door already. Don’t forget that Vee Cee could not win in VN war without the China politics and military supports, now they must pay back. And the China wants only Vietnam land and sea. Anyway, the truth is China and Vietnam both wear the same color flags, same communist politics system, almost same culture, and the border between them always in widely open. Danm, they are all f*cking good players.

    • Duane

      Uhhh, you’ve got your history wrong. The Soviets were the allies and funders of North Vietnam, not the PRC. Vietnamese and Chinese are ancient enemies, and the PRC invaded Vietnam as recently as the 1970s. After the South fell the Vietnamese and Chinese were on opposite sides of the Cambodian civil war, the Chinese being on the side of the Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot regime, which eventually lost out to the Vietnamese supported rebels.

      Vietnam and the PRC are not enemies today, but they are adversaries in the dispute over control over the South China Sea. It is very helpful to have the Vietnamese on our team, and their massive ports on the SCS coast are vital to maintaining freedom of the seas in the SCS.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Ummm, you’ve got much of your history wrong (as always). The ChiComs absolutely supported and supplied the North Vietnamese. It was admitted by them almost 30 years ago that they sent over 300 THOUSAND troops into North Vietnam, and that over 4,000 of them died. They said they gave the North Vietnamese over $20 billion in aid! Check out the Washington Post issue of May 17, 1989 some time. It’s all there, among many other sources! From their article..

        “HONG KONG, MAY 16 — China admitted today that it sent 320,000 combat
        troops to Vietnam to fight against U.S. forces and their South
        Vietnamese allies. In a report monitored in Hong Kong, the semi-official
        China News Service said China sent the soldiers to Vietnam during the
        1960s and spent over $20 billion to support Hanoi’s regular North
        Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong guerrilla units. The disclosure was made a
        month after military officials in the Soviet Union admitted that a
        contingent of Soviet advisers in Vietnam took part in combat against
        U.S. forces and helped shoot down American planes. Moscow had previously
        denied its troops played a combat role in the war. The agency report
        cited “The History of the People’s Republic of China,” published by the
        official State Archives Publishing House, as saying more than 4,000
        Chinese soldiers were killed during the war. Fighting finally ended when
        victorious North Vietnamese tanks battered their way into the grounds
        of Doc Lap Palace in Saigon on April 30, 1975. During the war, U.S.
        intelligence reports said U.S. combat units had found soldiers dressed
        in Chinese combat gear and wearing Chinese insignia, but Beijing at the
        time repeatedly denied U.S. allegations that its soldiers were operating
        in Vietnam. During the 10 years of direct U.S. involvement, American
        troop levels reached over 500,000. Estimates of North Vietnamese Army
        units varied, but Hanoi maintained throughout the war that its soldiers
        went only as volunteers to help the southern Viet Cong guerrilla

        • Duane

          You’re wrong again as usual. Please name any US military or historical source referencing any significant participation of PRC combat troops in South Vietnam (I see you goofed and referenced sending PRC combat troops to North VN .. the ground war was conducted entirely in SV and a low order engagement in border areas of Laos and Cambodia (to disrupt the flow of troops and arms into SVN from the north).

          Not only were NVN and Russia devout allies during the VN war, the Russians and Chinese went to war with each other in 1969, a border war that nearly went nuclear.

          The Russians supplied nearly all the arms used by the north in the VN war, from AK47s, MiG fighters, to tank, SAMs and radars. The Chinese did almost nothing in the VN War, given that they and the Vietnamese people are and were ancient enemies, going back many hundreds of years. And they went to war with each other right after the Americans abandoned the South in 1975.

          Just because you read something on the internet, even if published by a major media outlet … especially something sourced solely by the PRC, and which in any case makes no logical or historic sense … certainly does not make it true.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yeah, I know Duane. You believe every word put out by the New York Times when they attack those you and your Democrat Party oppose, like our current President, but when they publish historic accounts that are at odds with your skewed world view, they’re lying. That’s soooo you. ‘Combat troops’ can perform lots of functions. they can operate anti-air craft guns and missiles, as well as the apparatus that maintains them. They can do tasks that allows for OTHER troops to deploy. These are the official ChiCom archives that are the source of this information. Other credible sources that you can get off your dead rear end and investigate are The Cambridge University Press and The Wilson Center (their articles about this appeared in January 2001.

            And Duane, per your OWN admonitions here, just because YOU say something on here does not make it true. I say again, you take as Gospel a ‘dossier’ paid for by Hillary Clinton to libel our current POTUS, yet you then dismiss the actual archival sources of a country that participated in the Vietnam War and you dismiss them because they don’t say what you want. Geezz Duane, how have you come this far in this life? LOL..

  • Jack D Ripper

    Will the young sailormen get some time downtown for a few Navy-babysan engagements? Sin Loi GI

  • Chesapeakeguy

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. That’s the way of the world. We embraced both Japan and Germany after WWII because of the Soviet threat. Nixon engaged both Red China and the USSR to gain leverage against each of them, and to try to get them to quit supporting North Vietnam.

    The only thing the ChiComs and the Vietnamese have in common are communist governments. Historically, they hate each other for all intents and purposes. They have had some intense conflicts with each other, including the invasion of Vietnam by the ChiComs after the Vietnam War. The ChiComs are now elbowing and bullying everyone out of their way in the South China Sea. Vietnam is on their flank. That’s a great option to have and possibly exploit. Maybe the Trump admin should inquire of them if they would like to have some B-52s visit them? Can’t hurt to ask..