|Vietnamese peacekeepers prepare to leave for South Sudan for a UN peacekeeping mission. Photo courtesy of the Australian Embassy |Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Việt Nam’s first contingent to participate in a UN peacekeeping mission left HCM City for South Sudan on Tuesday morning on Australia’s largest military transport aircraft.
The Vietnamese peacekeepers are being transported on a C-17A Globemaster III aircraft.
A second airlift on October 16 will transport the remaining military personnel and equipment.
In total, the two airlifts will fly 63 personnel and 64 tonnes of cargo needed to support a military level 2 hospital in South Sudan.
At a ceremony at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, the contingent was honoured by Vice Minister of Defence and Sr Lieut General Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, Australia’s Deputy Chief of Joint Operations Command and Major General Gregory Bilton and Australian Ambassador to Việt Nam Craig Chittick.
Major General Bilton said: “Việt Nam’s first deployment of a contingent to a UN Mission is an important milestone. This airlift and other Australian Defence Force assistance to help Việt Nam prepare for the deployment demonstrates our shared commitment to the UN and global security, as well as the strength of our bilateral relationship.”
Senior Lieut Col Hoàng Kim Phụng, director general of the Peacekeeping Department, said: “Australia has provided several English-language courses at different levels for officers serving at the military field hospital, as well as a power generator, two ambulances, and two C-17 aircraft to carry Việt Nam’s peacekeepers and equipment to South Sudan.”
The airlift is the first time the Việt Nam People’s Army has partnered with another country to transport its forces overseas. — VNS