Sailors aboard USS Frank Cable (AS 40) man the rails while pulling into Cam Ranh Bay, Oct. 2. (U.S. Navy/PO3 Allen Michael McNair)

CAM RANH BAY, Vietnam - Submarine tender USS Frank Cable (AS 40) arrived in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, Oct. 2 for a scheduled port visit.

Frank Cable is visiting as part of Naval Engagement Activity (NEA) Vietnam, as both nations recently celebrated the 21st anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations in 2016.

NEA Vietnam has evolved from annual port visits to Da Nang by U.S. Navy ships, which began more than a decade ago, to a multi-day bilateral naval engagement ashore and at sea. Each year the engagement becomes more complex, and last year marked the first time a littoral combat ship, USS Fort Worth (LCS 3), participated.

"The crew is excited to visit Vietnam and is looking forward to this unique opportunity to experience the culture and begin to get to know the people of Vietnam," said Capt. Drew St. John, Frank Cable's commanding officer. "U.S. Sailors are the best ambassadors of good will, and are an outstanding example of the United States' commitment to developing better understandings between nations."

During the visit, Sailors and Military Sealift Command civilian mariners will have a chance to explore, learn and share with the people of Vietnam.

"When I heard, I was excited to go back!" said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nhat Q. Vu, a native of Dong Nai, Vietnam. "To go back to my home and share my culture with my shipmates, my friends, is amazing. My family will come meet me. I am the youngest, so I am excited to share what I do in the Navy every day, and the positive impact we can have wherever we go."

Joining Frank Cable in is Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). John S. McCain was recently pierside in Da Nang for the welcome ceremony and three days of professional exchanges and community service events ashore in support of NEA. At sea, she participated in a search and rescue scenario and a communications exercise featuring the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) prior to transiting to Cam Ranh Bay.

July marked the 21st anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Vietnam, and these activities are designed to foster mutual understanding, build confidence in the maritime domain, and develop relationships between the people and navies of both nations.

More than 500 Sailors and civilian mariners make up Frank Cable's crew, currently deployed to provide vital flexibility to the fleet commanders, extending the range and impact of U.S. naval forces.

Frank Cable is one of two forward-deployed submarine tenders and is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to conduct maintenance and support of deployed U.S. naval force submarines and surface vessels in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Sailors man the rails aboard USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) as the ship arrives in Cam Ranh Bay. (U.S. Navy/Seaman Josh Coté)