Vietnam air squadron makes debut

By Pham Quang, Thanh Nien News

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An amphibious DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Photo: Pham Quang
The Vietnamese Naval High Command presented a squadron of six amphibious planes and eight pilots to an air-force brigade in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa on Tuesday.
Since its establishment on September 5, 2013, the DHC-6 squadron has participated in a number of missions, such as ferrying working groups from the Ministry of National Defense to the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, participating in the international search for missing Malaysian flight MH-370, and training pilots in Truong Sa.
The DHC-6 squadron will assist Air-force Brigade 954 in protecting the country's sovereign seas and islands, according to remarks made by Rear Admiral Le Minh Thanh, the Vietnamese Navy’s vice commander during the hand-off ceremony.
In May 2010 the Navy signed an agreement with Canada's Viking Air to buy six amphibious DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft equipped with modern equipment for maritime patrols and surveillance, search and rescue at sea, and light transport.
The agreement also included 500 hours of flight training for 38 pilots, including landing on normal runways, soft ground (or grass), and water.

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