SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The USS Blue Ridge will stop in Da Nang on Monday for the third annual Naval Exchange Activity Vietnam, a weeklong skills and cultural exchange with the U.S. Navy’s counterparts from Vietnam, officials said Thursday.
The 7th Fleet’s flagship will be joined by the guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee and the salvage ship USNS Safeguard, said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Morley, spokesman for Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific. Roughly 1,200 U.S. sailors will participate in activities including diving skills exchanges, sporting events and social events. The 7th Fleet’s rock group Orient Express also is scheduled to perform.
“The fact we’re holding the 3rd Naval Exchange Activity is evidence of our increasingly closer ties, and the event helps build understanding and mutual trust between the U.S. and the people of Vietnam,” Morley wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes.
The previous two exchanges happened in Da Nang as well, Morley said. The USS John S. McCain participated in 2010, and the destroyers USS Chung-Hoon and USS Howard took part last year.