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Vietnam Today

Australian Navy visits Vietnam

Released at: 17:33, 07/05/2019

Australian Navy visits Vietnam

Navy Captain Do Minh of Naval Zone 4 welcomed Air Commodore Richard Owen. Photo: Embassy of Australia

May 7-10 visit to strengthen bilateral relationship.

by Le Diem

Two Australian Navy vessels, the HMAS Canberra and the HMAS Newcastle, docked at Cam Ranh International Port in south-central Khanh Hoa province on May 7 for a goodwill visit until May 10. They were welcomed by representatives from Vietnam’s Navy Command, the Khanh Hoa Province Military Command, the Khanh Hoa Border Guard Command, the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of Defense, and the Khanh Hoa Province Foreign Relations Department.

The goodwill visit brings together the Vietnamese People’s Navy and the Royal Australian Navy and is also part of the Australian Defence Force’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE19).

This is the first time IPE, which commenced in 2017, has included Vietnam. IPE19 is also visiting other key regional partners, including Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia. It is a major regional engagement activity for the Australian Defence Force, which delivers on the promise of the 2016 Defence White Paper to strengthen Australia’s engagement and partnerships with regional security forces.

Air Commodore Richard Owen leads IPE19 as Commander Joint Task Force 661. The Canberra and Newcastle are joined by force elements from the Navy, Army and Air Force as well as representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In total, the visit involves over 800 Australian personnel.

IPE Commanders will pay courtesy calls on the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee and Naval Zone 4 Command. The visit will encompass a wide range of activities, including military-to-military engagement, professional experience sharing on ship and humanitarian disaster relief operations, and friendly sporting events.

The Australian Army Band will have the special opportunity to perform in public on the evening of May 7 at Tue Tinh Park on Tran Phu Street, Nha Trang. The ships’ companies will also take part in community engagement activities such as interactions with local school children.

“IPE19 provides an opportunity for Vietnam and Australia to deepen our bilateral relationship through building a shared understanding and trust,” said Ambassador of Australia to Vietnam, H.E. Craig Chittick. “This is also an excellent occasion that promotes people-to-people links. Australia welcomes opportunities to expand our defense cooperation with Vietnam and the IPE19 visit reaffirms Vietnam as a very important partner in the region.”

HMAS Canberra, one of the two Canberra-class amphibious assault ships and the largest-ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, has a dual role. It provides one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world, and gives the Australian Government the capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief within the Indo-Pacific region. It is 230 meters long and more than 30 meters tall. The 27,000 tonne warship can land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and stores as well as humanitarian aid as required. She can reach speeds of up to 20 knots (35 km/h) over a maximum range of approximately 6,000 km.

HMAS Newcastle is a Guided Missile Frigate, a long-range escort vessel capable of air defense, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.

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