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Vietnam People's Navy, U.S. Navy Build Confidence Together

Published on 10 April 2014

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by News Desk


Da Nang, Vietnam

The Vietnam People’s Navy and the U.S. Navy began the annual Naval Engagement Activity Vietnam exercise on April 7 with a welcoming ceremony for the USS John S. McCain and the USNS Safeguard at the port of Da Nang.

NEA Vietnam is not a traditional military exercise. Instead, it focuses on noncombatant professional exchanges in military medicine, search and rescue, diving and salvage, and shipboard damage control, the U.S. Navy said in an April 8 press release.

Vietnamese officials from the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Relations Department, Naval Zone 3, Military Region 5, Da Nang Defense Command, External Relations Office and Border Guard welcomed the crews of the two ships.

2014 marks the fifth consecutive NEA Vietnam and the 10th year that U.S. Navy ships have called upon the port of Da Nang. The John S. McCain last visited Da Nang in August 2010 as part of the first NEA Vietnam, which coincided with the 15th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam.

Speaking to reporters on the pier, Captain Paul Schlise, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7, who is embarked on the McCain, emphasized that NEA Vietnam and the many visits to Vietnamese ports by U.S. Navy ships over the past decade are key examples of growing navy-to-navy cooperation.

“Each year, NEA Vietnam builds mutual trust and understanding, provides a key venue to address shared maritime-security priorities and concerns, and develops our ability to operate with confidence in the maritime domain,” Schlise said.

It is an opportunity to develop personal relationships through ship tours, sporting events and community-service projects, the Navy said.

About 400 U.S. Navy sailors and civilian mariners are participating in NEA Vietnam this year.



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Posted 2014-04-10 08:14:00