Two warships from Vietnam People’s Navy arrived in Manila on Monday 24th November for a goodwill visit.
Dinh Tien Hoang (HQ-011) and Ly Thai To (HQ-012), carrying more than 200 officers and crew led by Rear Adm. Nguyen Van Kiem, Deputy Chief of Staff of the VPN were warmly welcomed by the Philippine Navy receiving party headed by Commodore Elmer C Carrillo, commander of Naval Engineering Construction Brigade.
In connection with the visit, Rear Adm Van Kiem together with the commanding officers of the two ships visited the Headquarters Philippine Navy and rendered an office call to the Navy Vice Commander, Rear Adm. Caesar C Taccad.
The visit will also include activities such as goodwill games, ship tour and receptions to promote camaraderie and friendship between the PN and VPN.
This first port call is a positive and good sign of the improving and deepening relations between the PN and VPN.
This March 2014, the PN hosted the first staff-to-staff talk with VPN in a move to further strengthen the relation and increase the degree of cooperation and interoperability of both navies.
The talks revolved on the proposals of both navies on mutual cooperation as covered by the PN-VPN MOU.
Under the proposals, both parties discussed ways on cooperating through reciprocal visit and exchanges, personnel education and training exchanges, naval technology exchanges and intelligence and information exchanges.
Three months after the staff to staff talks, VPN hosted the first PN-VPN Personnel Interaction at Southwest Cay Island.
The interaction focused on the discussion of interoperability and best practices in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations and included cultural presentations and sports activities to better understand the different cultures and to foster camaraderie and friendly relations between the two nations.
Philippines and Vietnam has an existing Memorandum of Agreement on Defense Cooperation which was signed last October 2010.
The bilateral agreement sought to enhance and develop the friendly relations and cooperation between the defense establishments of the two countries and strengthen mutual understanding and trust between their armed forces.
The MOA set out three areas of cooperation namely; Defense and Military Cooperation; Equipment and Technology Cooperation; and Cooperation in Defense Industry.
Defense and military cooperation is undertaken through exchange in defense and military delegation at all levels; exchange of information; and exchange on defense and military education.
On the other hand, defense equipment cooperation encompasses repair services and procurement of defense equipment.
Lastly, cooperation in the defense industry entails facilitation of the development of technological, commercial and economic cooperation as well as exchange of experiences in defense industry organization and management.
To implement the MOA on Defense Cooperation, the PN and VPN adopted a Memorandum of Understanding for the enhancement of mutual cooperation and information sharing.
Press Release; Image: Philippine Navy