U.S. naval ships arrive in Vietnam

By Nguyen Tu, Thanh Nien News

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Two ships from the United States Navy docked at Tien Sa Port in the central city of Da Nang Monday for a six-day visit.

After the reception ceremony, soldiers and officers aboard the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and the rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard paid visits to the city's leaders and military units.

The U.S. Navy and Vietnam People's Navy are cooperating as part of the annual Naval Engagement Activity (NEA), which focuses on non-combatant professional exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, diving, salvage and shipboard damage control.
The Orient Express, the U.S. 7th Fleet Band, will perform and take part in sporting events at Da Nang University of Technology and Bien Dong Park.
In the welcoming ceremony, Captain Paul Schlise, commodore, Destroyer Squadron Seven, who arrived on tje McCain, emphasized that NEA Vietnam and the many port visits by U.S. Navy ships over the past decade are key examples of growing navy-to-navy cooperation.

“Each year, NEA Vietnam builds mutual trust and understanding, provides a key venue to address shared maritime security priorities and concerns, and develops our ability to operate with confidence in the maritime domain,” said Schlise.

Approximately 400 U.S. Navy sailors and civilian mariners are participating in NEA Vietnam 2014. 
US units participating in the naval exchange activities include the two aforesaid ships, staff from Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific and Commander, Destroyer Squadron Seven; sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Five; and a Mobile Diving and Salvage Detachment.
2014 marks the fifth consecutive NEA between Vietnam and the U.S. and the 10th year that U.S. Navy ships have called upon the port of Da Nang.  The USS John S. McCain last visited Da Nang in August 2010 as part of the inaugural NEA Vietnam, which coincided with the 15th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam.
Last April, the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and the rescue and salvage ship USS Salvor also paid a five-day visit to Da Nang for naval exchange activities between the two countries.

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