HMS Daring has arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam, following a successful visit to Shanghai, China.
She is the first British ship to visit Vietnam in seven years; the last visit was by HMS Echo in 2006 to Ho Chi Minh City.
It is the first ever visit by a British warship to Da Nang, and comes as the UK and Vietnam mark 40 years of diplomatic relations.
Greeted by a traditional welcome ceremony, Daring now begins a busy programme of exchanges with the Vietnamese Navy, a Private Company Visit (PCV) supporting UK business in Vietnam, as well as an outreach programme for the wider community of Da Nang.
Commanding Officer of HMS Daring, Commander Angus Essenhigh said,
“As Daring enters her inaugural visit to Vietnam, I am excited by the opportunity to welcome the Vietnamese Navy onboard in order to further strengthen the bond between our two Navies whose common role in protecting sea lanes and ensuring the freedom of maritime trade is so vital to both of our nations interests.”
In the development of the bilateral relationship between the UK and Vietnam a Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed in 2010; one of the first in Vietnam.
This has since been followed by a Defence Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in November 2011.
There are also plans to host a British Council graduation ceremony on board, celebrating the importance of education and increased access to academic and employment opportunities.
HMS Daring is a Portsmouth-based warship and is on a nine-month deployment around the world. She has already clocked up more than 30,000 miles carrying out regional visits and engagements as well as military exercises and security in the Atlantic, the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, the Pacific, Australasia, the South China Sea and more recently humanitarian support in the Philippines.
Press Release, December 20, 2013; Image: Royal Navy