The mission not only demonstrated the Vietnam Coast Guard’s youthful vitality, trust, and spirit of international integration, but also contributed positively to maritime law enforcement in the region and the world.

Captain of Ship CSB 8001 Le Van Duong shared that he was honored and proud of performing the task as it was the first time a ship of VCG had visited India. It was an unforgettable voyage for him and all crewmembers, travelling from Vung Tau city (Ba Ria-Vung Tau province) to Andaman Sea to Bay of Bengal and Chennai port (Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India), and then returning home.

Duong added that the trip crossed two oceans with a number of busy sea lines such as the Singapore Strait or the Strait of Malacca. Operating the ship in different tough weather and sea conditions on the voyage, they earned much competency and experience.

During their stay in Chennai, from courtesy calls to sports and artistic exchange activities, the ship’s crewmembers always showed their great working spirit, dynamism, and expertise for the sake of the bilateral cooperation and long lasting friendship between Vietnam and India.

Ship CSB 8001 in formation in a joint VCG-ICG exercise.

Especially, a buffet hosted by the ship’s commander on the ship’s deck left deep impressions on many ICG guests. They heaped praise on Vietnamese dishes, especially those who tasted “cha gio or nem ran” (fried spring rolls) and “banh tet” (round glutinous rice cake) or drank Dalat wine for the first time. In an atmosphere of friendship, they, hand in hand, sang the song “I am sailing.”

Rear Admiral Paramesh, Commander of ICG Eastern Region shared that he had been to Vietnam once and been deeply impressed by local people’s virtues. He was also surprised at the capacity of such young crewmembers of the ship who could sail a long trip to India.

During the visit, the ship’s crewmen also welcomed Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau. He visited and encouraged the ship’s sailors, and expressed his pride to see a modern vessel of VCG. He said the visit helped popularize the Vietnamese culture to India and promote friendship with Indian friends. He considered each sailor on the ship a “Vietnamese ambassador” in the South Asia country.

Both sides demonstrated their expertise and created an atmosphere of friendship at all meetings, exchanges, and joint exercises. Vice Admiral Nautiyal, Deputy Commander of ICG and Commander of the ICG Western Region, lauded the professionalism and good skills of Vietnamese coast guards. He also believed that VCG is an excellent partner of ICG and that the two forces could team up to effectively deal with maritime issues in reality.

Through the practical activities, the two sides shared and learned each other’s experience in fields of maritime security and safety, search and rescue (SAR), and sea environmental protection. The relationship between the two countries in general and their coast guard forces in particular was lifted to a new height after the visit by the ship to India, the general said.

Meanwhile, Major General Nguyen Van Son, Commander of VCG emphasized that the cooperation between the two forces has seen a vigorous development since they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on anti-crime and SAR in 2015.

According to General Son, the success of the visit would contribute to expanding the VCG-ICG cooperation ties. In the time to come, VCG should further boost cooperation with other forces in charge of law enforcement at sea of foreign countries in the region and the world.

Translated by Van Hieu