June 26, 2023
HANOI – This marks the third time a US aircraft carrier has visited the country since 2018.
“We are honoured to receive the USS Ronald Reagan and CSG 5 in cooperation with our Vietnamese partners. This visit marks a special occasion as our countries celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the US-Việt Nam Comprehensive Partnership, showcasing our shared commitment to a prosperous and secure future,” US Ambassador to Việt Nam Marc Knapper said in a statement released via the US Embassy.
This routine port call highlights the shared commitment to strong Việt Nam-US relations.
“We’re excited to come to Việt Nam and appreciate the welcome our strike group has received,” said Rear Admiral Patrick Hannifin, commander, Task Force (CTF) 70/Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5. “Visits like this reinforce our partnership and commitment to confronting shared challenges in the maritime domain.”
This marks the USS Ronald Reagan’s first visit to the country since diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and the US were normalised in 1995.
The USS Ronald Reagan arrived with two escort ships, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Robert Smalls (CG 62).
“The entire crew and I are grateful for this opportunity as well as the hospitality of the Vietnamese.”
In the five-day visit, in addition to cultural and professional exchanges, community service projects, sports competitions, and receptions, Navy musicians from the US 7th Fleet Band will perform free concerts for the youth, according to the US Embassy.
Earlier on Thursday, spokesperson for the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Phạm Thu Hằng remarked that the visit is an “ordinary exchange,” that is “meant to contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.”
The Ronald Reagan CSG is deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The United States’ 7th Fleet is the US Navy’s largest numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with US allies and partners. — VNS