The president made the announcement at a Hanoi press conference, which ended a half-century ban on U.S. arms sales to Vietnam, putting to rest one of the last foreign policy vestiges of one of the most divisive wars in American history.
"There may be occasions in which that means more U.S. vessels might visit but I want to emphasize that we will do so only at the invitation and with the full cooperation of the Vietnamese government, fully respecting their sovereignty and their sensitivities," he said.
U.S. Pacific Command head Adm. Harry Harris told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February that he was pushing for more port visits in the country and that Vietnam was receptive to greater cooperation.
"Cam Ranh Bay is a crucial port in the region that strategic planners have missed since the day we left," said Jerry Hendrix a retired Navy captain and expert at the Center for a New American Security.
Vietnam just opened an international port facility there and Pacific Fleet head Adm. Scott Swift told Navy Times in early May that he was looking to that facility as a way to increase U.S. engagement in Vietnam. Read more about that here.
3. Boots on the ground. With weapons sales to Vietnam on the docket, that also means the possibility of troops deploying to Vietnam as trainers to get the Vietnamese up to speed on their new gear.
The State Department is already working on an initiative that could bring ground troops to Vietnam. The Vietnam Peacekeeping Center is a joint effort with the Vietnam and the U.S. It's a training center designed to help boost Vietnam's ability to contribute to U.N. peacekeeping missions.
One thing the Vietnamese are interested in is the U.S. military's advanced field medicine capabilities that have saved thousands of lives during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Times change and we've got to adjust with the times," Natter said. "We have more in common with Vietnam today than separates us, at least on a strategic level."
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News.