U.S., Vietnam Explore Enhanced Defense Cooperation

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18, 2010 — A week after USS John S. McCain made its first port vis­it to Viet­nam to com­mem­o­rate the 15th anniver­sary of nor­mal­ized diplo­mat­ic rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and Viet­nam, senior defense offi­cials from the two coun­tries met yes­ter­day to explore ways to fur­ther enhance their defense coop­er­a­tion.

USS John S. McCain
Sailors aboard the guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er USS John S. McCain man the rails as the ship tran­sits into the port of Da Nang, Viet­nam, Aug. 10, 2010, to com­mem­o­rate the 15th anniver­sary nor­mal­ized rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and Viet­nam and to con­duct the first train­ing exchange between the U.S. and Viet­namese navies.
U.S. Navy pho­to by Pet­ty Offi­cer 1st Class Brock A. Tay­lor
Click to enlarge

Robert Sch­er, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for South and South­east Asia, met in Hanoi with Vietnam’s deputy defense min­is­ter, Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh. Speak­ing dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence, Sch­er called the dis­cus­sions “the next sig­nif­i­cant his­toric step” in advanc­ing a grow­ing defense rela­tion­ship based on “mutu­al trust, under­stand­ing and respect for inde­pen­dence and sovereignty.” 

The talks focused on ways to strength­en mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion in areas such as search-and-res­cue, human­i­tar­i­an and dis­as­ter-relief oper­a­tions as well as lan­guage train­ing, Sch­er reported. 

Sch­er said he also shared U.S. con­cerns about China’s mil­i­tary build-up. Yesterday’s talks built on issues dis­cussed in Decem­ber when Viet­namese Defense Min­is­ter Gen. Phung Quang Thanh trav­eled to the U.S. Pacif­ic Com­mand head­quar­ters in Hawaii to meet with Navy Adm. Robert F. Willard, Pacom’s commander. 

The Viet­namese defense min­is­ter, who also vis­it­ed mil­i­tary bases dur­ing his three-day vis­it, “indi­cat­ed a desire for activ­i­ties that fos­ter greater under­stand­ing and coop­er­a­tion in var­i­ous areas such as dis­as­ter man­age­ment, con­flict res­o­lu­tion, traf­fick­ing in per­sons, and improv­ing rela­tions with its neigh­bors,” Willard report­ed dur­ing con­gres­sion­al tes­ti­mo­ny in March. 

“Our mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship with Viet­nam con­tin­ues to improve,” Willard told the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Committee. 

Ear­li­er this month, for exam­ple, the U.S. 7th Fleet kicked off a week­long series of naval engage­ment activ­i­ties with the Viet­namese navy com­mem­o­rat­ing the 15th anniver­sary of nor­mal­ized rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and Viet­nam. The activ­i­ties, which began Aug. 8, cen­tered on dam­age con­trol, search and res­cue, main­te­nance and cook­ing events and oth­er non­com­bat­ant train­ing, Navy offi­cials report­ed. Med­ical and den­tal civic action projects, an under­way air­craft car­ri­er embarka­tion, ship vis­its and sport­ing events high­light­ed the visit. 

Dur­ing the exchange, the guid­ed-mis­sile destroy­er USS John S. McCain made a sched­uled port vis­it to Vietnam. 

The ship, for­ward deployed to Yoko­su­ka, Japan, arrived in Da Nang on Aug. 10 for its first vis­it to Viet­nam. The crew inter­act­ed with their Viet­namese coun­ter­parts dur­ing ship­board dam­age con­trol and search-and-res­cue demon­stra­tions as well as soc­cer and vol­ley­ball match­es, Navy offi­cials report­ed. They also con­duct­ed com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice projects at a local school and orphanage. 

Navy Rear Adm. Ron Hor­ton, com­man­der of Task Force 73 and Logis­tics Group West­ern Pacif­ic, called the activ­i­ties “indica­tive of the increas­ing­ly clos­er ties between the U.S. and Vietnam.” 

“Exchanges like this are vital for our navies to gain a greater under­stand­ing of one anoth­er, and build impor­tant rela­tion­ships for the future,” he said. 

In addi­tion, the hos­pi­tal ship USNS Mer­cy vis­it­ed Viet­nam in June, spend­ing 13 days deliv­er­ing human­i­tar­i­an and civic assis­tance ashore as part of Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2010. Dur­ing the vis­it — the Pacif­ic Partnership’s third to Viet­nam — more than 1,000 med­ical, den­tal, vet­eri­nary and engi­neer­ing pro­fes­sion­als from the U.S. mil­i­tary ser­vices, non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions and part­ner nations pro­vid­ed sup­port to res­i­dents of Binh Dinh province on Vietnam’s cen­tral coast. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefence.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →