Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to visit Singapore on Tuesday

The USS Carl Vinson will be in Singapore following two weeks of operations in the Asia Pacific region.
The USS Carl Vinson will be in Singapore following two weeks of operations in the Asia Pacific region. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson will arrive in Singapore on Tuesday (April 4), following two weeks of operations in the Asia Pacific region, including exercises with the Japanese and Korean navies.

The carrier will make a scheduled stopover with two other warships under the US Navy's Carrier Strike Group One - the USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Lake Champlain.

The group's commander, Rear Admiral Jim Kilby, said in a statement ahead of the visit: "This port visit reaffirms our commitment to the US-Singapore defence relationship and our shared belief that lawful use of the sea and airspace are essential to prosperity, stability and security for all nations in the Pacific."

During the visit, sailors from the Carrier Strike Group One will volunteer at various charitable organisations, such as the Willing Hearts soup kitchen, and the Child at Street 11, a childcare centre for those from low-income families.

After leaving Singapore, Carrier Strike Group One will continue on its scheduled Western Pacific deployment.

The USS Carl Vinson strike group is operating in the region as part of the US Third Fleet forward initiative, to provide increased US naval presence alongside the US Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.

The initiative, announced in 2015 by US Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Scott Swift, gives more flexibility to the US Pacific Command by applying the command and control of both fleets to be based on specific missions, rather than geographic areas.

In a Reuters report in September that year (2015), Admiral Swift said he wanted the Third Fleet to expand its presence in the Western Pacific, from its headquarters in San Diego, to work with the Seventh Fleet together to focus on areas with the "greatest instability".

Responding to the carrier strike group's patrols in the South China Sea, a Chinese defence ministry spokesman said in February that it hoped the US "earnestly respects the sovereignty and security concerns of countries in the region".

China claims the largest part of the disputed waterway, while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have overlapping claims.