First-ever Rescue Drill Strengthen Defense Ties Among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia

The program's goal is for the three militaries’ rescue forces to become more proactive in coordinating with and assisting one another in disaster response to guarantee peace and security for their people.

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The drill is held under an agreement of the ministers at the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Defence Ministers Conference in 2019 in Hanoi.

Speaking at the opening of the exercise, Lieutenant General Chanthong Soneta-at, Deputy Minister of National Defence of Laos, said natural disasters and issues related to climate change, such as floods, storms, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, drought and pandemics were not only major threats to people’s lives, property and livelihoods but could also cause great damage to the economy and the environment.

Attended the opening ceremony were General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, Vietnamese Defence Minister Gen. Phan Van Giang, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen. Chansamone Chanyalath, and Cambodian Deputy PM and Defence Minister Gen. Tea Banh.

Governments and armed forces of the three countries have prioritized the tasks of preventing and responding to natural disasters.

First-ever rescue drill strengthen defence ties among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
Chemical soldiers of Military Region 4 and soldiers of Laos troop handled toxic chemicals (Photo: baonghean.vn).

Deputy Minister of National Defence of Laos,Chanthong Soneta-at called on officers and soldiers participating in the exercise to strictly observe, have a high sense of responsibility, discipline, and orders as well as ensure solidarity and safety throughout the exercise.

Both Lieutenant General Chanthong Soneta-at and Colonel Pham Hai Chau, Deputy Director of the Rescue Department under the Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defence stated that the exercise was an important and very meaningful event, not only to enhance the capacity to respond to disasters in all situations but also to create opportunities for participants to exchange experiences and cultures, strengthening solidarity and trust between the armed forces of the three countries.

First-ever rescue drill strengthen defence ties among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
Vessels of the Vietnam People’s Army participated in river rescue exercise (Photo: baonghean.vn)

Nearly 500 soldiers from the three countries joined the exercise to search and rescue in response to flooding, landslides, building collapses, and chemical leaks. Vietnam engaged in most of the contents.

First-ever rescue drill strengthen defence ties among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
Soldiers of Military Region 4 and soliders of Laos troop participated in rescue and rescue when there is a landslide. (Photo: baonghean.vn)

It noted through the drill, the three militaries’ rescue forces would become more proactive in coordinating with and assisting one another in disaster response to guarantee peace and security for their people.

First-ever rescue drill strengthen defence ties among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
The Army Corps of Engineers of Military Region 4 searched and rescued in landslide-affected areas; construction collapse. (Photo: baonghean.vn)

On this occasion, the Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam, the Ministry of National Defense of Laos and the Ministry of National Defense of the Kingdom of Cambodia cooperated to raise awareness on proactive prevention, preparation and search and rescue for emergencies, immidate and well-conducted respond to incidents, natural disasters, and epidemics.

First-ever rescue drill strengthen defence ties among Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
The Army Corps of Engineers of Military Region 4 transports victims to the emergency room (Photo: baonghean.vn)

The organising board described the drill as successful and a practical activity in defence cooperation among Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, thus helping promote cooperation, solidarity, and friendship among the countries, including their militaries.

Zoey Nguyễn