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Well a historic day in Vietnam.
Leon Panetta becoming the very first US Defense Secretary since the end of the Vietnam War to visit -- run -- It's the site of a painful past for the United States serving as the entry point for our American forces during the Vietnam War.
Today it's the symbol of a brighter future for Vietnam and a larger American presence in Asia.
Fox News correspondent Jennifer Griffin is in Vietnam and got an exclusive interview with the secretary.
Paris the last Defense Secretary to visit -- -- Was Robert MacNamara.
And remember president Lyndon Johnson made the cover of life magazine in 1966.
When he went to visit US troops there.
Vietnam's camera on -- has long been a coveted port in Asia.
The US used it during the war as an entry point for its military.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrived a day after outlining the new US strategy in Asia which will position two thirds of the US navy in the Pacific.
As the US pivots away from the Middle East ships like the US NS Richard.
A navy supply ship now docked in -- -- for repairs.
The port is one of the largest natural deep water ports in Asia it is also one of the most protected.
This is where all US troops and supplies and warships injured Vietnam during the war.
It is the first time a US Defense Secretary has visited camera on -- since the end of the war.
It's been seventeen years since the US and Vietnam normalized relations.
Now the US is seeking to reach out and improve its military to military relations with Vietnam.
As the rise of China's military looms large across the region.
And the US seeks to ensure that the South China Sea with its vast untapped oil resources and shipping lanes remain open to everyone.
But this is historic trip to the fact that this ship is here in camera on -- And that it is being serviced.
Why contractors here.
At this location and the repair work is being done.
-- are Vietnamese.
That is a tremendous indication.
How far we have come.
I think -- -- all of the countries obviously.
Are concerned about their ability.
To be able to.
Have freedom of -- That's a very important part of this region have been.
-- you've seen from this trip we cover an awful lot of territory -- for a lot of water.
The reality is that the ability of ships -- navigate freely.
Very critical -- the livelihood of these nations.
And so that when it comes to the south trying to see when it comes to their ability.
Navigate freely on the shelf tremendously.
They want to they wanna ensure that that that does happen and that means that trying to.
-- play a role here.
Along with the other -- nations.
To ensure that there are some kind of code of conduct that everybody abides by the more the more I'm out here.
I view this region in terms of our national defense.
And the defense of the world and this is this is an area that is critical for the future security of prosperity.
-- -- our country.
And for that matter the world I think for that reason.
We we all right.
People can play the -- bigger -- The secretary was not met by any senior leaders when he arrived in camera on -- perhaps a sign that the Vietnamese are still skittish.
About openly embracing the US for fears of making China anxious.
Very -- -- Jennifer thank you.
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