YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) - Representatives from the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to Japan, visited USS George Washington (CVN 73) in Yokosuka, Japan, March 8.

The representatives, including Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Vietnam to Japan Tuan Ho Minh, toured the forward-deployed naval vessel to become more familiar with the role it plays in sea power projection and regional stability.

"In recent years, the relationship between Vietnam and the United States has developed very well, and this has led to our two military forces working together to keep peace and stability in the region," Minh said.

The distinguished visitors were led through the passageways of the ship by Capt. Kenneth Reynard, USS George Washington executive officer. The tour made a stop on the flight deck, allowing them to see first-hand the specialized equipment needed to maintain flight operations at sea.

"It is crucial to walk on the flight deck to get a full understanding of what being on an aircraft carrier is all about," said Reynard. "They got to see the massive elevators, arresting gear and catapults that all play a role in successfully launching our planes."

Upon arrival to the ship's bridge, the group was introduced to the operational side of the carrier, including navigation and flight deck observation.

George Washington Sailors of Vietnamese descent were presented with a unique opportunity to accompany the guests throughout the tour.

"After I was asked to help guide visitors from the Vietnamese Embassy, I felt honored and privileged to represent the ship and the Navy," said Operations Specialist Seaman Long Duc Ho.

"It was challenging to translate into the various regional dialects, but I got through to them; I was able to tell them what our ship can do and what I've experienced since coming on board almost two years ago," said Ho.

This visit highlighted the partnership between Vietnam and the United States and provided the two countries another opportunity to strengthen the alliance.

GW is the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, ensuring security and stability across the western Pacific Ocean.

For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.