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Vietnam Today

Australia transports Vietnam's first UN mission to South Sudan

Released at: 14:35, 02/10/2018

Australia transports Vietnam's first UN mission to South Sudan

HE Mr Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam and Vietnamese soldiers at the farewell ceremony at Tan Son Nhat Airport. Photo: Embassy of Australia

Australia providing C-17A Globemaster III military transport aircraft to carry Vietnam's peacekeepers and equipment to South Sudan.

by Le Diem

Australia has supported the deployment of Vietnam’s first contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission by providing Australia’s largest military transport aircraft, the C-17A Globemaster III, to carry Vietnam’s peacekeepers and equipment to South Sudan.

The C-17 aircraft left Ho Chi Minh City early on October 2 and the second airlift, which will transport remaining military personnel and equipment, is expected to take place in two weeks. In total, the two airlifts will fly the 63 personnel and 64 tonnes of cargo needed to support the first military level 2 hospital’s deployment in South Sudan.

Photo: Australian Embassy

The contingent was bid farewell on October 1 at a ceremony at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, attended by Deputy Minister of Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Australia’s Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Command, Major General Gregory Bilton, and Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick.

“Vietnam’s first deployment of a contingent to a UN Mission is an important milestone,” said Major General Bilton. “This airlift and other Australian Defence Force assistance to help Vietnam prepare for the deployment demonstrates our shared commitment to the UN and global security, and the strength of our bilateral relationship.”

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, Director-General of the Peacekeeping Department, said that Australia has provided several English language courses at different levels for officers serving at the military field hospital, a power generator, two ambulances, and, especially, two C-17 aircraft to carry Vietnam’s peacekeepers and equipment to South Sudan. “We would like to thank external agencies and international friends for their assistance and support over the last five years, so that today 63 officers working at the military field hospital are determined and ready for their deployment to the UN mission in South Sudan,” he said.

The strategic airlift is the first time the Vietnam People’s Army has partnered with another nation to transport its forces overseas. “The airlift shows the high-level cooperation and trust between the Australian Defence Force and the Vietnam People’s Army,” said Ambassador Chittick. “This is a great way to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam and the 20th anniversary of defense cooperation between the two countries.”

Australia has a long history of contributing to UN peacekeeping efforts. An Australian Defence Force contingent of up to 25 personnel are currently deployed to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), known as Operation ASLAN.

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