Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Andrew Goledzinowski (wearing cap), Australian Defence Attaché to Vietnam Mick Jansen and Australian Consul General Sarah Hooper farewell Vietnamese peacekeepers at Tan Son Nhat airport on June 29. (Photo: Australian Embassy).

Sixty-three peacekeepers from the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) will depart Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City on June 30 on an ADF C-17A Globemaster bound for South Sudan, according the Australian Embassy in Hanoi.

This same aircraft will return to Hanoi, Vietnam, on July 03 with VPA peacekeepers who have been operating the Level 2 Field Hospital providing medical support to the UN Mission in South Sudan for over a year.

In addition to the peacekeepers, the ADF will also transport over 20 tonnes of stores, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to South Sudan to support the operation of the hospital.

A farewell ceremony for peacekeepers from the fifth rotation of the Level Two Field Hospital and the second rotation of the Engineering Company was held at Tan Son Nhat airport on 29 June.

The ceremony was hosted by President Vo Van Thuong who praised Vietnamese peacekeepers for making practical contributions to US missions, helping to raise Vietnam’s profile globally.

Australia and Vietnam share a growing and deepening defence relationship, working together through peacekeeping to make an active contribution to international security.

During a visit to Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations earlier this year, the Governor General of Australia, and Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General David Hurley, said: “Australia is very proud to be able to work hand-in-hand with Vietnam, helping you to deploy your equipment, your people, and to bring you back safely.”

The Governor General’s words were played to the Vietnamese peacekeepers at the farewell ceremony in Tan Son Nhat: “Thank you, Vietnam, for the quality of the men and the women that your armed forces produce to support peacekeeping efforts around the globe. It is truly commendable that in a very short time, the quality of your service, the quality of your results, and the dedication that you have exhibited has been able to be shown to the world”

In addition to providing strategic lift for the contingent, Australia delivers English language training for Vietnamese peacekeepers to enable them to operate their hospital effectively in the multinational UN mission.

Australia also provides bespoke training for Vietnamese peacekeepers in fields such as aeromedical evacuation, logistics and sustainment.

The bilateral defence relationship also includes senior visits and dialogues, professional military and post-graduate education, military medicine cooperation and military skills exchanges.

Source: VOV