In November, Trump visited Vietnam as part of his inaugural Asia trip aimed at reassuring allies that the US was still committed to the region, and in January, the US Defense Secretary James Mattis also visited, laying the groundwork for this week's visit by the USS Carl Vinson.
"It's a pretty big and historic step since a carrier has not been here for 40 years", said Rear Adm. John V. Fuller, the commander of the Carl Vinson strike group, whose father served in Vietnam. The nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson is home to 5,300 sailors, pilots and crew and 72 aircraft and will be in Danang - once a key U.S. airbase - until its departure on Friday.
The visit comes against the backdrop of long-running territorial disputes between China and its neighbors, including Vietnam, in the South China Sea, where they have overlapping sovereignty claims.
The USS Carl Vinson is anchored at Tien Sa Port in Danang Vietnam Monday
During their stay in Da Nang, U.S. Navy officers will meet their Vietnamese counterparts and local authorities, who will be invited on a tour of the carrier.
The Nimitz-class supercarrier, accompanied by another carrier and a destroyer, anchored off the coast of Da Nang, the city where 3,500 Marines landed in March 1965 as the war's first American ground troops.
The nuclear-powered Vinson carries 5,500 crew and up to 90 aircraft.
"The United States is here to maintain rules, laws and norms, and we'll do that in South China Sea".
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The BBC's Jonathan Head, who is in Danang, says that while co-operation between the U.S. and Vietnam's military has grown it is still limited, and Vietnam has to manage the messaging of this visit carefully.
Servicemembers will participate in cultural and professional exchanges during community service projects, sports competitions and receptions, a Navy statement said. In response, the administration of former President Barack Obama launched a policy of using U.S. Navy vessels and aircraft to patrol the South China Sea and assert freedom of navigation rights.
China's claims to the South China Sea stretch roughly 1,000 miles from its southern shores, pitting it against Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
Separately from this week's mission, US officials have said American warships would continue sailing without prior notice close to the China-occupied islands and atolls, an aggressive way of signaling to Beijing that it does not recognize its sovereignty over those areas.
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It marked the largest American military presence on Vietnamese shores since 1975, signaling the emergence of an unlikely alliance between Washington and the Southeast Asian communist regime.
China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, where more than $5 trillion of goods are shipped each year through some of the world's busiest waterways.
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