A ceremony marking the handover was held April 9 at the offices of the 3rd Regional Coast Guard in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau.
Attending the ceremony were Vietnam Coast Guard commander Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Son, U.S. Consul General Marie Damour and other officials, the U.S. embassy said in a Facebook post Saturday.
Lt. Gen. Son said that Vietnam highly appreciated the U.S. gesture and considered the event “an important milestone of the Vietnam-U.S. partnership,” helping Vietnam improve its law enforcement capacity at sea.
The cooperation between the coast guards of both countries has strengthened in recent years.
In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard handed over the Hamilton-class (the second-largest class of vessels in the U.S. Coast Guard) USCGC Morgenthau cutter to the Vietnam Coast Guard under their Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. The ship was then commissioned for the Vietnam Coast Guard and renamed CSB 8020.
The U.S. has also sold a total of 24 Metal Shark high-speed patrol boats and is overhauling the USCGC John Midgett, another Hamilton-class vessel, to hand it over to Vietnam.
At a press conference in Hanoi, outgoing U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink had remarked that security cooperation was developing strongly between the two countries, especially between the two militaries.
He said that Vietnam and the U.S. have worked together to implement a United Nations resolution on North Korea and to promote a common stance on the East Sea. The U.S. has assisted Vietnam in building its defense capacity, especially maritime capabilities, and supported Vietnam in sending peacekeeping personnel to South Sudan.
Referring to East Sea disputes, Kritenbrink had stressed that the U.S. always stood by its partners and allies in building an international order based on rules, and opposed ” the provocative actions of China with the other countries in the region.”