The visit aims to promote ties between the Vietnamese People’s Navy and the Royal Australian Navy and is also part of the Australian Defense Force’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE19).

This is the first time IPE starting from 2017 has included Vietnam as one of its stops in its itinerary. IPE 19 is also visiting other key regional partners including Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.

Navy Captain Do Minh of Naval Zone 4 welcomed Air Commodore Richard Owen-Commander Joint Task Force 661-Indo Pacific Endeavour 19 to Vietnam with HMAS Canberra and HMAS Newcastle.

Air Commodore Richard Owen leads IPE-19 as Commander Joint Task Force 661. HMA Ships Canberra and Newcastle are joined by force elements from the Navy, Army and Air Force as well as representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In total, the visiting delegation consists of over 800 Australian personnel.

Representatives of Vietnam’s Navy Command, Khanh Hoa Province Military Command, Khanh Hoa Border Guard Command, Foreign Relations Department of Ministry of Defense and Khanh Hoa Province Foreign Relations Department were present at the ships’ welcome ceremony.

On the schedule, IPE Commanders will have courtesy calls to the Khanh Hoa People’s Committee and Naval Zone 4 Command. During their stay in the Vietnamese central province, members of the visiting Australian delegation will participate in a wide range of activities, including military-to-military engagement, professional experience sharing on ship, humanitarian disaster relief operations, and friendly sporting events.

Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Canberra Arriving in Cam Ranh International Port

The Australian Army Band is expected to perform in public on the evening of 7 May at Tue Tinh Park, Tran Phu street, Nha Trang. Australian guests will also take part in other community engagement activities including interactions with Khanh Hoa province school children.

Addressing the ship welcome ceremony, Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Mr. Craig Chittick stated, “IPE19 provides an opportunity for Vietnam and Australia to deepen our bilateral relationship through building a shared understanding and trust. This is also an excellent occasion which promotes people-to-people links. Australia welcomes opportunities to expand our defense cooperation with Vietnam and IPE19 visit reaffirms Vietnam is a very important partner in the region.”

HMAS Newcastle arriving in Cam Ranh International Port

HMAS Canberra, one of the two Canberra-class amphibious assault ships and the largest ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, has a dual role. It provides one of the most capable and sophisticated air-land-sea amphibious deployment systems in the world, and gives the Australian Government the capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief within the Indo-Pacific region. HMAS Canberra is 230 meters long and more than 30 meters high. The 27,000-ton warship can land a force of over 1,000 personnel by helicopter and water craft, along with weapons, ammunitions, vehicles and logistics as well as humanitarian aid as required. She can reach a maximum speed of up to 20 knots (35km/h) and operate in a maximum range of approximately 6,000 km.

Reported by Binh Chau – Chung Anh