The Indian Coast Guard patrol vessel Sarang, with 140 crewmembers on board and led by Senior Colonel Naresh Kumar Kaul, docked at Nha Rong Port on Wednesday to start a five-day visit to Ho Chi Minh City.
>> An audio version of the story is available here The Indian guests were welcomed and presented flowers by Colonel Le Xuan Thanh, commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard of Zone 3, and representatives of the Ministry of Defense’s External Relation Department, the High Command of Military Zone 7, the city Border Guard, the city People’s Committee and the Indian Consulate General in the city. The visit, the fifth such regular one by an Indian naval vessel, aims to strengthen the friendship, cooperation, and mutual understanding and trust between the two countries’ armies. During the visit, several Vietnam Coast Guard units and the Indian guests will join mock exercise drills, exchange experience in law enforcement at sea and perform coordination in search and rescue at sea.
A Chetak helicopter is seen on board the Indian Coast Guard patrol vessel Sarang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
During their stay, the Indian guests will pay a courtesy visit to leaders of the municipal People’s Committee and visit the High Command of Military Zone 7 and the High Command of the Vietnam Coast Guard. They will also visit several attractions in the city. An advanced offshore patrol vessel, the Sarang is 102 meters long and 11.5 meters wide, and has a displacement of 2,000 tons.
Vietnamese officers (R) shake hands with their Indian guests from the Indian Coast Guard patrol vessel Sarang on August 26, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The vessel, equipped with two high-speed boats and one Chetak helicopter, is used for offshore patrols, rescue missions and international cooperation activities. The Vietnam Coast Guard and the Indian Coast Guard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on "coordination in cross-border crime prevention and development of areas of joint cooperation" and are making plans to implement the MoU. In talking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Senior Colonel Naresh Kaul said: "Currently, the maritime security situation is increasingly tense. The strengthening of cooperation between the Vietnam Coast Guard and the Indian Coast Guard will help create safe waters for seafarers, providing cleaner waters for future generations.”
Colonel Le Xuan Thanh, commander of the Vietnam Coast Guard of Zone 3 (L) talks with Indian Senior Colonel Naresh Kumar Kaul (R) on August 26, 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre
He also expressed his hope that this cooperation will be on a long-term basis, tighten friendship between the two countries in general and the coast guard forces of the two countries in particular, and have a positive effect on the handling of global issues, as well as specific problems of countries. During this trip, besides meetings, the two sides will also hold training and practice sessions, Senior Colonel Kaul said. Vietnam and India have a close and steadfast relationship in three areas: society, culture and defense, he added.