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|Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie bidding farewell to the members of Vietnam Level 2 Hospital Rotation 2 to South Sudan|
Attending the farewell ceremony at Noi Bai International Airport were deputy chief of general staff, RADM Nguyen Trong Binh and the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie. The first sortie of the C17 aircraft left Hanoi at 11:00 am today and will fly for around 12 hours (with a stop-over in the Seychelles) to Juba, South Sudan. The second sortie, which transports the remaining military personnel and equipment, is expected to take place on November 26. In total, the two airlifts will fly 63 personnel and approximately 60 tonnes of cargo to South Sudan and transport the 63 personnel of Rotation 1 back to Vietnam.
“The Level 2 Field Hospital is one of the most complex military units to be deployed and Australia congratulates Vietnam on the outstanding success of its first deployment. Australia has been privileged to support the training and strategic airlifts for this operation, which shows a high level of co-operation and trust between the Australian Defence Force and the Vietnam People’s Army,” Mudie said.
Aside from the airlift – a very visible element of support – Australia has been providing Vietnam with support in peacekeeping since 2011. The support includes English language and Subject Matter Expert training for each of Vietnam’s deployments, helping Vietnamese peacekeepers meet the UN’s strict English and skills requirements. The language support for Rotation 3 of the Level 2 Hospital is also underway under the Defence Co-operation Program.
Australia has a long history of contributing to the UN’s peacekeeping efforts. An ADF contingent of up to 25 personnel is currently deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), known as Operation ASLAN.