US naval ships arrive in Vietnam for exchange activities

By Nguyen Tu, Thanh Nien News

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The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald docks at Tien Sa Port in Da Nang. Photo: Nguyen Tu

Two US Navy ships have arrived and docked at a port in the central city of Da Nang Monday for annual exchange activities between the two countries’ navies.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth came for the sixth Naval Engagement Activity (NEA).
Rena Bitter, the US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, said at the welcome ceremony at Tien Sa Port that this year’s NEA is of great significance as the two countries will celebrate the 20th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations.
During the five-day event, the two navies will focus on non-combatant professional exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, diving and salvage and shipboard damage control.
Ships from both navies will practice the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), a series of non-binding rules-of-the-road to prevent an escalation of tensions between different militaries at sea.
Colonel Le Ba Hung, a Vietnamese-American Navy captain, took command of the two US naval ships. In November 2009, he took command of the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen during a visit to Da Nang.

Vietnamese representatives welcome Colonel Le Ba Hung, the Vietnamese-American Navy captain who took command of the two US naval ships, at Tien Sa Port on April 6.

Representatives of the two countries' navies at the welcome ceremony

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth 

The USS Fitzgerald 

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