USS Carl Vinson pulls into Manilla

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) arrived in the Philippine Port of Manila together with guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) for a routine port visit on February 16.

More than 5,500 sailors from both vessels are visiting the Philippine capital during their Western Pacific deployment.

The strike group is operating in the Indo-Pacific region to work with partners and allies, promote freedom of the seas, and enhance regional security. Carl Vinson is based in San Diego and Michael Murphy operates from Hawaii.

Carl Vinson hosted top Philippine government and military officials Feb. 14 before arriving. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Secretary Martin Andanar and others flew aboard the carrier with US Ambassador Sung Kim.

The delegation ate lunch with strike group leadership, toured the hangar bay, and observed flight operations on the flight deck prior to boarding a C-2A Greyhound for the return to Manila.

“The crew is looking forward to USS Michael Murphy’s first ever port visit in the Philippines,” said Cmdr. Kevin Louis, the ship’s commanding officer. “We have a great schedule of tours and events for our sailors to explore the culture and history of Manila.”

This deployment marks the second time the Carl Vinson strike group is operating under US 3rd Fleet’s command and control. US 3rd Fleet’s control of ships and aircraft beyond the international dateline to India enables US 3rd and 7th Fleet to operate together across a broad spectrum of maritime missions.

The strike group includes Carl Vinson, Carrier Air Wing 2, USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and Michael Murphy of Destroyer Squadron 1, and guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).

One of USS Carl Vinson’s next port calls could be Vietnam, according to remarks made following the visit of  US defense secretary Jim Mattis to Vietnam in January this year.

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