USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93)
Jul 1, 2011. The U.S. and Vietnam will hold joint naval activities in the city of Danang beginning on July 15, the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City said.
The planned events include a pier-side welcome ceremony for the USS Chung-Hoon at Tien Sa Port in Danang, as well as community relation projects, search and rescue, damage-control and dive salvage training between the navies from the two countries, the consulate said in a press release.
Military ties between the two countries have gradually increased since the USS Vandegrift in 2003 became the first American naval vessel to dock in the Southeast Asian nation since the end of the Vietnam War.
Preparations for the week-long operations began about a year ago, and there is no connection with recent events in the South China Sea, said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Morley, a Singapore-based public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy.
“It’s merely a coincidence of timing,” Morley said in a telephone interview. “We did this last year and we’ll probably do it again next year.”
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga.said that three US naval ships, namely USS Preble, USS Chung Hoon, and USNS Safeguard, will visit the Tien Sa port in Da Nang city from July 15-21.
“This is an annual periodical exchange that was previously agreed by the two sides to strengthen the relations between the two countries’ naval forces, implement humanitarian activities as well as exchange experience in naval operations and in search and rescue work,” she affirmed.
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VOV News, Jul 8, 2011.