U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson welcomed Philippine officials for an at-sea tour of the aircraft carrier in the South China Sea.
Among the guests who landed on the deck on March 4 were the Philippines secretary of national defense retired Brig. Gen. Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, secretary of finance Carlos Garcia Dominguez III, Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II and the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines Sung Kim.
“I am grateful to the USS Carl Vinson for hosting us and for giving us the opportunity to bring some of our friends from the Philippines to see what we do out here,” said Kim. “To see how it strengthens our alliance as well as how it reinforces our interest and engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.”
During the visit, Kim and his guests met with Rear Adm. James W. Kilby, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1.
“It is a privilege to have you come aboard to see us,” said Kilby. “We are conducting routine operations here to reassure our regional allies, and I can’t think of a better way to showcase our abilities, than to bring our partners out to see for themselves how we operate.”
While the visitors were only aboard for a short visit, they were able to experience the ship firsthand and observe launch and recovery flight operations on the flight deck before boarding a C-2A Greyhound and flying back to Manila.
Carl Vinson has deployed to the region several times, starting with a deployment to the Western Pacific in 1983 a year after commissioning. Most recently in 2015, Carl Vinson conducted port visits and exercises with regional navies in the South China Sea.