Australian Navy ship to visit Vietnam, peacefully this time

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The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Sydney will arrive in Ho Chi Minh City next Monday on a goodwill visit aiming to strengthen ties between the two countries' navies, the Australian Embassy said in a release.


The guided missile frigate HMAS Sydney and its crew of 35 officers and 194 sailors will stay in Vietnam until November 3.


The Commander and crew will meet with senior officers and sailors from the Vietnamese People's Navy to engage in a range of goodwill activities and to conduct a professional exchange on ship borne helicopter operations. 


The crew will also participate in friendly sporting activities with cadets at the Naval Technical College and play against the Vietnam Swans football team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) branch in HCMC.


During their stay, the crew will receive children from the Binh Minh Special School, a school supported by Loreto Vietnam-Australia Program, who will board the ship for a visit.


"This is an excellent opportunity to build upon the Australia-Vietnam defense cooperation relationship that commenced in 1999 and has recently been reaffirmed at the meeting between our two defense ministers in Hanoi in August 2012," said Group Captain Matthew Dudley, Australian Defense Attaché in Vietnam.


"Since 1999, the Australian Defense Force has trained over 1,200 Vietnamese People's Army officers in Vietnam and Australia.


"I know that the officers and crew of HMAS Sydney are looking forward to their visit to Ho Chi Minh City as one of the highlights of their deployment."

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