Australian Vice Chief of the Defence Force Air Marshal Mark Binskin visited Vietnam last week to meet with his Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) counterpart Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan.
During the visit, Air Marshal Binskin called on naval and air force units and a language school. Air Marshal Binskin met the Chief of General Staff Senior Lieutenant General Do Ba Ty and Deputy Chief of Navy Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh.
Air Marshal Binskin said the Australia-Vietnamese defence relationship was on sound footing, and that it would continue to develop and grow.
“Australia looks forward to enhancing our cooperation with Vietnam, with a specific focus on maritime security, peacekeeping and special forces cooperation,” he said.
“One of the valuable aspects of our relationship is the training and education opportunities we provide.”
About 2000 training positions have been offered to Vietnamese officers either in Vietnam or in Australia since 2000. On average, around 200 VPA officers receive training under the Australian Defence Cooperation Program each year.
“I was particularly interested to visit the language school where Australia has taken a lead role in providing English language training to the Vietnam People’s Army. Unit 871 has had an additional 80 VPA officers undergoing English language training over the past two years.
“This will be important when working in joint environments such as with the United Nations where the common language is English,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
“The Australian Defence Force aims to assist the VPA to enable it to take a greater role in supporting regional security,” Australian Department of Defence explained in a release.
Press Release, November 18, 2013; Image: Australian DoD