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Oct 22, 2019 / 10:42

US is helping improve Vietnam Coast Guard capabilities: Admiral

The support focuses on maintenance and maintenance augmentation together with key leader exchange.

The US Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl L. Schultz, has said that they are working with other US government agencies to build out the Vietnamese Coast Guard and its capabilities and capacities. 
The US Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl L. Schultz. Source: Maritimeexecutive

“We’re really focused on maintenance support or maintenance augmentation,” Admiral Karl L. Schultz said in a teleconference on October 21. “I’d say cooperation with Vietnam is very strong.” 

The admiral said he hosted Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Son, the commandant of the Vietnamese Coast Guard, last summer at the US Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C – it’s “a key leader exchange.”  

He said, in commenting on the US Coast Guard cooperation with Vietnam, on how it stands and how it may look in the future, the US Coast Guard conducts subject matter expert exchanges with the Vietnamese Coast Guard. 

The admiral noted that there’s a former 378-foot High Endurance Cutter that was sent to Vietnam under the Excess Defense Articles program while they are helping the Vietnamese Coast Guard get the maintenance of that ship up and figure out how to crew that appropriately to utilize in support of their operations.  

There’s a foreign military sales case where they’re going to purchase 24 Metal Shark boats, small boats to support Vietnamese Coast Guard operations. 

“There’s a real positive ongoing story with the Vietnam Coast Guard,” the American admiral emphasized.

In closing remarks of the teleconference, Admiral Schultz said the US Coast Guard is in the region to reinforce the value of like-minded countries or friends, partners, and allies in the region. 

With what American embassies are promoting regionally, the US Coast Guard is trying to build the capabilities in terms of maritime services here whether it’s coast guards, regional navies, other maritime forces, he noted.

“The US Coast Guard has an enduring role in the region, going back over 150 years, and my visit serves to reaffirm that our commitment today is as strong as ever, the admiral stressed.

He said, the US Coast Guardsmen have been deployed to the Indo-Pacific region since June, conducting maritime defense and security operations with the US Indo-Pacific Command in the South and East China Seas, and broadening partnerships and alliances throughout the region.

So far, there’s a strong cooperation between the US Coast Guard and the Philippine Navies and with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.  

Across the region, the US Coast Guard’s specialized capabilities and expansive international relationships enable the US to partner – to build partner-nation capacity and model the rules-based values and behaviors that they want to see in the region.  

“Through our presence, engagement, and partnership, we are often a maritime bridge between our Department of Defense’s lethality and our State Department’s diplomacy, the admiral noted.