Sep 02, 2019 / 17:24

Vietnam warship leaves for 1st ASEAN-US maritime drill

The Hanoitimes - The drill will consist of pre-sail activities in Thailand, Singapore and Brunei, followed by a sea phase in international waters in Southeast Asia.

A submarine-hunting corvette of the Vietnam Navy on Sunday [September 1] left for the first ASEAN-US maritime drill which will begin this week in Thailand. 
 
Battleship No.18 of Vietnam Navy. Photo: Baohaiquan
Battleship No.18 of Vietnam Navy. Photo: Baohaiquan

Battleship No.18 is a Pohang-class corvette that South Korea gifted to Vietnam last year, according to VnExpress.

This is the first-ever Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Maritime Exercise (AUMX) which will last five days from September 2 to September 6, starting at the Sattahip Naval Base in Thailand and ending in Singapore.

Vietnam will join activities from September 3 to September 5.

Co-led by the U.S. and Royal Thai navies, AUMX will consist of pre-sail activities in Thailand, Singapore and Brunei, followed by a sea phase in international waters in Southeast Asia, including the Gulf of Thailand and South China Sea, according to Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS).

During the mission, the crew of battleship No.18 will patrol the southern area of Vietnam’s waters, attend long-distance sailing training courses, check the status of weapons and equipment to improve their commanding ability and train themselves to be battle ready at sea, and learn ways to improve their ability to coordinate with navies of other countries.

They will also learn to take aerial photography (PHOTOEX), visit, board, search, and seize (VBSS) questionable ships, and carry out night cruises.

The AUMX includes eight warships and four aircraft from seven countries, and more than a thousand personnel representing all ten ASEAN member states and the US, DVIDS reported.

The AUMX was proposed by former U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at a meeting with his 10 ASEAN counterparts on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus in October 2017 in the Philippines.

The proposal was approved at the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting one year later in Singapore and it was agreed that AUMX drill will only take place once and not on a regular basis.

Rear Adm. Joey Tynch, commander of Task Force 73, who oversees the U.S. Navy’s security cooperation in Southeast Asia, noted that AUMX continues the trend of increased multilateral cooperation among navies in the Indo-Pacific, according to DVIDS.