First-ever rescue drill of Laos-Việt Nam-Cambodia troops

September 11, 2022 - 14:54
Governments and armed forces of the three countries have prioritised the tasks of preventing and responding to natural disasters.
Helicopters of the Vietnamese army participate in the rescue on water in a hypothetical situation at the exercise. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên

VIENTIANE — The first-ever joint rescue drill organised by the Ministries of National Defense of Laos, Việt Nam and Cambodia began on Saturday in Naxaythong District, Vientiane City in Laos.

The drill is held under an agreement of the ministers at the Cambodia-Laos-Việt Nam Defence Ministers Conference in 2019 in Hà Nội.

Speaking at the opening of the exercise, Lieutenant General Chanthong Soneta-at, Deputy Minister of National Defence of Laos, said natural disasters and issues related to climate change, such as floods, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, drought and pandemics were not only major threats to people's lives, property and livelihoods but could also cause great damage to the economy and the environment.

Governments and armed forces of the three countries have prioritised the tasks of preventing and responding to natural disasters.

He emphasised that the exercise was an important and very meaningful event, not only to enhance the capacity to respond to disasters in all situations but also to create opportunities for participants to exchange experiences and cultures, strengthening solidarity and trust between the armed forces of the three countries.

Chanthong Soneta-at called on officers and soldiers participating in the exercise to strictly observe, have a high sense of responsibility, discipline, and orders as well as ensure solidarity and safety throughout the exercise.

Nearly 500 soldiers from the three countries joined the exercise.

During the drill, which last until Thursday this week, the rescue forces will focus on search and rescue in flooded areas, landslide-prone areas, collapsed construction sites and leaks of toxic chemicals into the environment.

Colonel Phatthana Bouthichack, chief of the Office of the General Staff under the Lao Ministry of National Defence told Vietnam News Agency that during the exercise, every day the three countries would exchange experiences and turn what they learn into practical applications when natural disasters occurred.

He hoped that this exercise would create a good foundation for the three countries to continue to organise similar drills in the future.

Colonel Phạm Hải Châu, deputy director of the Rescue Department under the Việt Nam’s Ministry of National Defence, said Việt Nam participated in almost every performance.

He believed the event would help the armies not only gain useful lessons on coordination and force organisation when situations arise, but also help improve understanding, solidarity and friendship. — VNS