Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan

On this occasion, Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, former Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, granted an interview to the People’s Army Newspaper.

Reporter: Thank you for the interview! The Army Games has been held six times. There have been increasingly more countries sending troops to the games. As a combat pilot who studied in the former Soviet Union (the Russian Federation now) and served in the Vietnam People’s Army for many years, what do you think about the event?

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan: As we all know, the Party’s and State’s foreign policy in general and the military-defense foreign relations policy of the Vietnam People’s Army in particular are to be friends with all countries and militaries, to ensure peace for each nation and the world. Therefore, our participation in the Army Games is suitable with Vietnam’s foreign policy and defense relations policy.

The games serve as a practical and meaningful competition for military personnel. It contributes to making connection and enhancing mutual understanding and consensus among militaries of participating countries. I spent years studying in Russia (former Soviet Union), so I have quite a good understanding of the Russian country, people and military.

The Russian Federation is a trustworthy strategic partner and a faithful friend of Vietnam during our national defense and construction cause.

The competition provides an opportunity for the Vietnam People’s Army to show their capabilities in various areas. Also it helps display the solidarity between the Vietnamese military and Russian friends in particular and international counterparts in general. I think the games will benefit all participants.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan as a combat pilot

In addition, the games help us further improve skills and capabilities, especially to master our weapons and equipment, contributing to building a revolutionary, regular, elite and gradually-modernized military.

Reporter: This year, the Army Games is co-organized by 12 countries. Vietnam will host two events of the games, including “Sniper Frontiers” and “Emergency Area,” for the first time. What do you think about Vietnam’s role as one of the Army Games 2021 hosts?

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan: Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still developing complicatedly, our teams are determined to practice and participate in the games. It shows the responsibility of the State’s and the military’s leaderships, our solidarity with the Russian Federation and the participating militaries. Within the framework the Army Games 2021, Vietnam will host two events, including “Sniper Frontiers” and “Emergency Area.” I think these competitions are suitable for our troops’ traditions and actual missions. Particularly, during the resistance wars against foreign invaders, our military was famous for guerrilla warfare. Therefore, they have much experience in the “Sniper Frontiers” competition. On the other hand, our country regularly suffers from natural disasters every year and our troops have always been the major force for search and rescue operations. Thus, we also have advantages in the “Emergency Area” competition.

Reporter: Vietnamese troops have taken part in several events of the Army Games such as “Tank Biathlon,” “Safe Route,” or “Sniper Frontiers,” etc. and gained good results. However, we have yet to send troops to compete in the “Aviadarts” event, a competition for air force squadrons. Could you talk about the potential of the Vietnamese air force if they join the event?

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan: Vietnamese troops have gained good results at several events such as “Tank Biathlon,” “Safe Route,” and “Sniper Frontiers.” We have not taken part in the “Aviadarts” event because we have not built any air-show teams. However, with the capabilities of our air force, we can absolutely take part in this event. The only thing we need is practice, and we can fulfill the mission as usual.

Reporter: What is your assessment of the “shoulder-fired missiles” competition of Army Games 2021?

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan: I think the “shoulder-fired missiles” competition is necessary for the games because it is an effective anti-aircraft weapon for the air defense posture of any countries. This type of weapon helped us shoot down numerous fighters of the enemy in the past. Therefore, we should send our force to the completion when we are ready.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan (first row, sixth from left) in a visit to Russia in 2016

Reporter: Army Games 2021 witnesses the participation of 41 countries. Apart from strong and traditional competitors, there are several new ones such as Burkina Faso, Peru, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. What are your expectations on Vietnamese military teams at the games?

Sr. Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan: The competition is increasingly interesting in terms of the contents and participants. If Vietnamese military teams self-believe in their preparations and promote determination, they can achieve the best results as expected, I think so.

Translated by Trung Thanh