May 29, 2020 / 07:53

Vietnam-US defense ties maintain growth momentum, Hanoi says

The Hanoitimes - Hanoi made the statement following the news on the transfer of USCGC John Midgett (WHEC 726) to Vietnam's Coast Guard.

The Vietnam-US defense ties are moving forward, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has said, as the two former war adversaries deepen the bilateral comprehensive partnership.

 Deputy Spokesperson Doan Khac Viet of Vietnam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA

The bilaterial relations have maintained momentum in different sectors, including security and defense, MOFA’s Deputy Spokesperson Doan Khac Viet said at an online press conference on May 28.

“Based on the agreements, including the 2011 MOU on Advancing Bilateral Defense Cooperation, the 2015 Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations, and the 2018-2020 Plan of Action for Vietnam-US Defense Cooperation, the two sides continue to strengthen bilateral defense relations in areas of maritime security and maritime law enforcement capacity, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, and development in the region and the world,” Viet noted.

Viet made the affirmation in response to petition for comment on the handover of another patrol ship from the US Coast Guard to its Vietnamese counterpart.

The US Coast Guard is reportedly going to hand over USCGC John Midgett (WHEC 726) to Vietnam Coast Guard, the second after USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC 722) was handed over to Vietnam in 2017. Both are of the Hamilton-class cutter.

USCGC John Midgett (WHEC 726) 

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a visit to Vietnam on November 20, 2019 (his first official visit to the country) said that the US would transfer a second Hamilton-class High Endurance Cutter to Vietnam in 2020.

“The delivery of the vessel – one of the largest class ships in the U.S. Coast Guard’s fleet – is a symbol of the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam and will increase Vietnam’s maritime law enforcement and search and rescue capabilities,” said the US Embassy in Vietnam.

“We are committed to expanding this strategic partnership by increasing cooperation in areas of common interest such as maritime security, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. This includes providing Vietnam the capabilities it needs to protect its sovereignty and natural resources so it can continue to thrive,” Mark Esper said.