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Feb 12, 2023 / 22:31

UK Royal Navy ship concludes goodwill visit to Vietnam

The visit, the 4th in the past five years, demonstrates growing security and defense relations between the two countries over the past five decades.

The UK Royal Navy’s offshore patrol vessel HMS Spey today [February 12] concluded a five-day goodwill visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

 Navy officers of Vietnam and the UK meet in Ho Chi Minh City during the Royal Navy ship's visit on Feb 7-12. Photos: UK Embassy in Vietnam

The HMS Spey, commanded by Commander Michael Proudman and docked at Nha Rong – Khanh Hoi Port, marks the fourth Royal Navy ship coming to Vietnam in the past five years, affirming that the UK has been among Vietnam’s most persistent and reliable partners in maritime security.

British Ambassador to Vietnam, Iain Frew said security and defense are a growing part of UK-Vietnam relations. The visit of the HMS Spey to Ho Chi Minh City comes on the 50th anniversary of UK-Vietnam diplomatic relations. This milestone marks half a century of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

“The UK and Vietnam share many common interests, including maritime security, sustainable development, and a desire to see our economies grow and trade more together. I am confident that this visit will further deepen our strong relationship,” the Ambassador noted.

While in Ho Chi Minh City, officers of the ship paid courtesy visits to leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, the Command of Military Region 7, and the Command of Vietnam People’s Navy Zone 2.

The crew of the HMS Spey also engaged in a variety of interesting activities, including navy talks on board, a friendly football match with Vietnamese officers, and cultural exchanges with local communities.

In addition, HMS Spey welcomed aboard a group of students from British International School Ho Chi Minh City who have excelled in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. This is a unique opportunity for the students to tour the Royal Navy’s greenest ship and gain insight into the ship’s navigation and engineering systems.

 Commander Michael Proudman, HMS Spey’s Commanding Officer

Commander Michael Proudman, HMS Spey’s Commanding Officer, said: “We are excited to be visiting Ho Chi Minh City. This visit does not only represent an opportunity for us to intensify our collaboration with our Vietnamese counterparts but also underline the UK’s ongoing commitment to promoting global stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Notably, HMS Spey’s Surgeon Lieutenant Ellen Moore and Petty Officer Hannah Chenery delivered important messages on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science [February 11] to advance gender equality.

“Gender should not be a barrier to pursuing your chosen career,” is a message that Ellen Moore wants to convey. Meanwhile, Hannah Chenery said: “The sky is the limit. If we put our minds to it, we can do whatever we want.”

“We hope to join hands with Vietnam in empowering women and girls, especially in science, and technology,” they emphasized.

 Officials of both sides welcome the ship. 

The visit kicked off a series of activities of the year celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Vietnam.

HMS Spey is one of the greenest ships in the Royal Navy and has been working with regional partners to carry out environmental and hydrographic surveys as well as water sampling to aid studies on climate change.

The ship is currently on a five-year operation to the Indo-Pacific region, joining forces with her sister ship HMS Tamar. Working alongside partners and allies the ship is helping tackle security challenges and support nations in mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change.

During its recent patrols, the ship has also taken measures to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in the region.

 Lovely kids have a memorable day learning about the ship's navigation system and the unique technology that makes HMS Spey the greenest of the Royal Navy. 
 HMS Spey vessel concludes its five-day visit to Vietnam on Feb 12.