Australian troops have arrived in the South-East Asian nation to participate in a multilateral humanitarian exercise.
A group of 30 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel have arrived in Vietnam for Pacific Partnership 2022 — the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission in the Indo-Pacific.
The exercise aims to promote multilateral disaster management resilience in host countries, while also strengthening alliances.
The ADF contingent includes a team of medical specialists; gender, peace and security advisors; and Royal Australian Navy musicians aboard United States Military Sealift Command hospital ship, USNS Mercy.
The three-week visit is expected to involve providing tailored medical, dental and surgical support, guidance on gender, peace and security considerations for operations and participation in training opportunities and information exchanges.
Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Air Vice-Marshal Michael Kitcher, AM, DSM, said the exercise would help enhance resilience and preparedness in the Indo-Pacific region.
“ADF participation in Pacific Partnership 2022 demonstrates our commitment to fostering enduring partnerships, trust and interoperability between nations in our region,” AVM Kitcher said.
“COVID-19 restrictions meant we haven’t been able to fully participate in the program since 2019, so it’s a great opportunity to once again work closely with partner and host nations, learning from one another and building capacity within the region.
“This is an important opportunity to enhance our interoperability with other nations and demonstrate that we remain ready to respond, with our partners, if and when our regional neighbours need our help.”
This latest ADF contribution comes just months after a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster transported Vietnam People’s Army personnel, equipment and medical supplies to and from Juba, South Sudan.
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This formed part of Vietnam’s contribution to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which involved the delivery of specialist peacekeeping training, equipment, and strategic airlift support.
This marked the fourth time Australia has provided strategic airlift support to Vietnam’s UNMISS operations since 2018.