August 22, 2019 | 07:44 pm GMT+7
Naval ships from various nations including Vietnam participating in RIMPAC 2018 assemble for a photo exercise off the coast of Hawaii on June 26. Photo by AFP.
Vietnam will participate in the first U.S.-ASEAN joint maritime exercise held next month in the Gulf of Thailand.
The participation was confirmed at a press conference Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.
Hang said the joint maritime exercise will take place September 2-6, and as an ASEAN member, Vietnam will participate in it.
She also said the exercise was being carried out under an agreement reached last year between ASEAN and U.S. defense officials, but gave out no details of Vietnam’s participation.
A Bangkok Post report said the exercise “would involve at least eight ships along with aircraft.” It would begin at Thailand’s Sattahip naval base and extend to the tip of Vietnam’s southernmost Ca Mau Province, the report said.
Last October, the Vietnamese navy sent its 015 Tran Hung Dao frigate to participate in a five-day joint naval exercise with ASEAN and China at Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province. The event aimed to foster stability and relieve tensions in the region.
In June last year, Vietnam’s defense ministry also sent eight naval officers to Hawaii to participate in the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise, the world’s largest multinational naval drill held every two years. Participating in the one-month maritime exercise were 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 naval forces.