Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the Department of Policy and deputy head of the Office Senior Colonel Tran Quang Thanh, stressed that the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Australia has been developing remarkably in many areas. He highlighted the bilateral defense ties, saying that the two defense ministries have built a sustainable and effective cooperation program that meets each side’s needs and potential, contributing to peace and stability in the region and the world.

Professor Robert Hall handing over war memorabilia to Senior Colonel Tran Quang Thanh

The official emphasized that the cooperation in settlement of war legacy and search for remains of fallen troops and those missing in action is a foundation and bridge to expand and deepen bilateral defense ties in particular and the two countries’ relations in general.

In his speech, Colonel Paul Foura, Australian Defense Attaché to Vietnam, said that the course is being held in the offline format after a long hiatus due to COVID-19. The course aims to help Vietnamese trainees to effectively make use of the project on digitizing fallen Vietnamese troops-related information, thus completing the second stage of the project to hand it over to the Vietnamese side to serve the search and repatriation of remains of fallen troops.

Australian Defense Attaché to Vietnam Colonel Paul Foura addressing the event

According to the Australian official, the course opens up a chance for both sides to share experience and boost mutual understanding and trust.

Professor Robert Hall, Head of the Military Operations Analysis Team at the University of New South Wales, recalled that many years ago, the Vietnamese government and military supported Australia to collect and return the remains of Australian soldiers. This showed the humanity and generosity of Vietnam.

Delegates and trainees at the course

He added that based on the information collected, Australia has digitized them to identify the locations of fighting and the number of casualties in the war. He believed that the transfer of the aforementioned digitization project would be useful for Vietnam in the search for remains of soldiers missing during the war.

On the occasion, the professor handed over several war memorabilia of a Vietnamese soldier to the Vietnamese side. They included nine paintings and certificates of merit of a squad leader named Do Van Quang.

Translated by Mai Huong