Two French naval ships docked at Ho Chi Minh City and a neighboring province on Friday, commencing a five-day visit to the southern metropolis.
The visit of Mistral-class amphibious assault ship Dixmude and La Fayette-class frigate FS Surcouf is part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-France diplomatic ties and the five years of their Strategic Partnership.
It contributes to promoting cooperation between the two countries’ navies in particular and the bilateral defense ties in general.
Due to the large tonnage, Dixmude docked at the nearby Ba Ria-Vung Tau port, while Surcouf stayed at the port of Ho Chi Minh City.
During their stay, the 713 officers and sailors on board the vessels will pay courtesy visits to leaders of the municipal People’s Committee, the High Command of Naval Region 2 and the city’s High Command.
The crew members will take part in exchange and joint drill activities, as well as share their experience in fields of their common concern.
They will also explore historical relic sites and natural landscapes in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Surcouf stayed at the port of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Dixmude and Surcouf are joining in a combat training mission named “Jeanne d’Arc”, which aims to enhance international cooperation and practical combat training.
Upon arrival at the Ho Chi Minh City port, Colonel Jaen Porcher, commander of Surcouf, and French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Vincent Floreani co-chaired a press conference on the ship to introduce activities of the mission as well as the schedule of the fleet in the city.
The Jeanne D’Arc mission is an annual deployment undertaken by French Navy ships over a five-month period.
Dixmude is 199 meters long and 32 meters wide. It can carry heavy combat equipment such as helicopters, landing vehicles and soldiers.
Surcouf is a modern multi-purpose hidden frigate, which is made of composite material.
It is 125 meters long and five meters wide, and is equipped with helicopters, anti-ship guns and missiles, and anti-submarine torpedoes.
|Dixmude stayed at the port of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre|