US aircraft carrier to visit Vietnam for first time since war

Illustration: US Navy photo of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington

A US Navy aircraft carrier is likely to visit Vietnam in March, in what would be a first since the Vietnam war ended in 1975.

This was announced on Thursday by officials from both countries during a two-day visit of US defense secretary Jim Mattis to Vietnam, according to media reports.

No specific details were provided as to which of the ten nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carriers could be selected to visit Vietnam.

Vietnam’s defense ministry noted, however, that the visit would be taking place at the Danang port, Reuters reported.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the port call is “expected to be approved.”

Larger US Navy ships, including destroyers and amphibious transport dock ships, visited different Vietnam ports in the past but this would be the first visit of a US Navy aircraft carrier to the Southeast Asian country.

News of the plans come as US defense secretary Jim Mattis is on a defense cooperation trip to the Indo-Pacific region, visiting Indonesia and Vietnam.

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