March 7, 2018

US carrier Carl Vinson's Vietnam Visit - Maybe a US Submarine will Visit Next

US Stars and Stripes photo of Admiral Phillip Sawyer shaking hands who in the Vietnamese media are mysteriously described as "leaders of Danang" .

US nuclear supercarrier USS Carl Vinson has docked near Vietnam's 3rd Regional Command Danang (or Da Nang) naval base for the very first time. This is the first US carrier visit to Vietnam since the US retreat in 1975.

Da Nang was the site of a major US air base during the Vietnam War.

This week Commander of the US 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer is enthusiastic about organising a followup visit by an, as yet unnamed, nuclear submarine. On his way to becomming an  Admiral Sawyer commanded attack Submarine Squadron 15 (Apra navy base, Guam). The US The Navy has four Los Angeles class fast-attack submarines — USS Key West, USS Oklahoma City, USS Asheville and USS Topeka — forward deployed to Guam.

The Vietnamese media has a useful description of what the visit means to Vietnam.

Admiral Sawyer arrived in US Navy Carrier Strike Group 1 (Carrier Strike Group 1) aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Escorted by cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG-57) and destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) which entered Da Nang Bay, beginning a four-day visit to Vietnam.


Anonymous said...

March has something to do with it.
1. US Marines landed in Danang March 1965
2. US marines pulled out of Danang march 1973, following Nixon visit to China in 1972 which resulted in the Paris treaty in January 1973 and decades later a lopsided trade imbalance and the resurgence of China.
3. US consulate evacuated Danang March 1975.
4. Now USS Carl Vinson returned March 2017 (because of China build up).

Josh said...


My bet is one of the Ohio SSGNs. These often get the most 'show the flag' duty in foreign ports, I assume because they are more long ranged offensive platforms. Several years ago three of them managed to make port calls around the Pacific on July 4th to emphasize to a certain Asian country that the USN keeps hundreds of cruise missiles beneath the waves at any given time.

twitter: @squid_jigger

Peter Coates said...


Yes I agree Vietnam is strategically balancing China and the US without being an ally of either.



Peter Coates said...

Hi Josh

An Ohio SSGN that is main based at Bangor and temporarily based at Yokosuka or Guam might well be first choice for a Vietnam visit.

A prime nominee might be the SSGN USS Michigan that docked at Busan Naval Base, South Korea, in April 2017. And significantly "She later joined the USS Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group in the Sea of Japan for exercises."