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Australia to continue providing airlift support to Vietnam’s peacekeepers

written by Staff reporter | November 15, 2021

Australia will continue to provide airlift support for Vietnam’s peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in 2022, Defence has confirmed.

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton confirmed this commitment in discussions last week with his Vietnamese counterpart, Minister of National Defence, General Phan Van Giang.

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“Australia is pleased to continue its support for Vietnam’s peacekeepers as part of our deepening defence cooperation,” Minister Dutton said.

“This support reflects the strength of our strategic partnership, and our shared commitment to an open, inclusive and resilient region that actively supports global security.”

Australia provided strategic airlift to Vietnam’s three previous rotations to UNMISS, the first in October 2018, the second in November 2019, and the third earlier this year.

Australia also supported these rotations through specialist peacekeeping and English language training.

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Earlier this year, Australia supported Vietnam’s contribution to the UNMISS by airlifting Vietnamese military personnel and equipment.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17A Globemaster provided the airlift during late March and late April, allowing Vietnam to rotate its UNMISS Level‑Two Field Hospital contingent.

Over those two months, the airlift transported more than 120 passengers and over 55,000 kilograms of cargo between Vietnam and South Sudan.

The cargo included medical and dental equipment, pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment, food stores and cold chain.

The Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton, said at that time that the Australian Defence Force’s work alongside Vietnam demonstrates the close ties between the two countries.

“Vietnam is an important partner for Australia in the Indo-Pacific, and I am proud the ADF has supported their deployment to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.

“The peacekeeping partnership between our two countries is a key element of our defence relationship. It highlights our shared vision of a peaceful, inclusive and resilient region actively supporting global security.”

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