The USS Ronald Reagan is scheduled to visit Vietnam in late July, the first US carrier to dock at the port in more than a year, two local sources said. The last visit to the USS Theodore Roosevelt was in March 2020 when all 5,000 crew had to be tested for COVID-19 after visiting Danang.
The supercarrier was training at sea in the Philippines over the weekend after leaving Guam in late June. Vietnam is now completely open to foreign visitors as the government has adopted a “live with COVID” policy.
The RFA contacted the US Indo-Pacific Command for information but has not yet received a reply. If confirmed, it would be only the third U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to visit the country since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
The first carrier to make a port call in Vietnam in March 2018 was the USS Carl Vinson. The USS Abraham Lincoln’s planned visit in May was discussed but did not materialize. Abraham Lincoln is now taking part in a biennial RIM of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise near Hawaii.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), named after 40Th Nimitz-range, a nuclear-powered supercarrier, is homeported to Yokosuka, Japan, by the US president.
It also had an outbreak of covid in March 2020 in the Western Pacific, causing A.D. Lockdown Yokosuka naval base, home of US7Th Fleet.
At the end of March 2020, the U.S. Navy reported that a total of 134 personnel had been infected with covid without naming their specific ships.
‘Free and open Indo-Pacific’
Shipping and maritime sources close to the Vietnamese navy said the USS Ronald Reagan would make a five-day visit to Danang in central Vietnam, carrying 90 aircraft with several F / A-18E super hornets and state-of-the-art missile systems. The next two weeks. “
All visits to foreign warships are carefully controlled by the Vietnamese military who do not want to be seen as a side of any world power. In recent years, however, former enemies Hanoi and Washington have made great strides toward a strategic partnership between China and China in the South China Sea, on which Vietnam and five other nations make rival regional claims.
Since the U.S. lifted its arms embargo on Vietnam in 2016, during the Obama administration, Vietnam has begun to acquire U.S. military hardware, including ships, for its growing Coast Guard force.
The United States has accused China of militarizing the seas and regularly sends naval vessels to conduct so-called navigation operations (FONOPs) in protest of Beijing.
In June 2016, Ronald Reagan was deployed to the region in a mission mainly to support the lawsuit, before the Philippine International Court of Justice requested a landmark ruling against China’s unrelenting and illegal claims in the South China Sea.
In the latest developments, the world’s largest US-led naval exercise, RIM of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022, is set to begin on August 4 to demonstrate the maritime strength of the US and allied nations.
The five countries bordering the South China Sea – Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore – are among the 26 participating nations with 25,000 employees.
The official English-language mouthpiece of China, China Daily, quoted A. Terrible editorial Calling a “demonstration of naval influence” a “threat show.”
The goal of this political coup is to ensure an ‘Indo-Pacific’ that is truly ‘independent and free’ and not subject to US orders, “it said.
The paper warns that “with the rise of its national strength, China has developed the ability to defend its core interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.”
On June 17, China launched the third aircraft carrier, which was developed and built throughout the country. The Liaoning is an 80,000-ton ship equipped with high-tech equipment such as electromagnetic catapults to launch aircraft. It is the first aircraft carrier to be fully designed and built in China. The first carrier, Lioning, was purchased and rebuilt from Ukraine. The second, Shandong, was based on Liaoning’s design.
China now has three carriers, compared to 11 in the United States. China’s Defense Ministry says the country will develop more aircraft carriers, taking into account “national security needs.”
Credit: US Navy