COMPACAF visit to Vietnam affirms growing partnership

Ho Chi Minh City, December 21, 2017 – “Enhanced cooperation between the United States and Vietnam is of mutual benefit to our airmen, our nations and the entire region,” said Gen. Terrence J.O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) commander, during his first visit here Dec. 14-16.

O’Shaughnessy and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Johnson, PACAF command chief, stopped in Hanoi, Cam Ranh, and Ho Chi Minh City to affirm the United States’ shared commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as to seek opportunities for advancing cooperation with the Vietnamese Air Defense-Air Force (ADAF). Col. Jay Gibson, PACAF director of safety, also accompanied a portion of the visit to discuss further cooperation on the subject of aviation safety with his ADAF counterpart.

“This visit is the start of a continuous dialogue between our airmen, allowing us to better understand each other and identify areas we can make progress together,” O’Shaughnessy said. “We have much in common…pride in our service, shared interests and perspectives, and common security challenges. We look forward to greater cooperation to ensure peace and stability in the region and in the world.”

O’Shaughnessy and Johnson met with key defense and military leaders throughout the three-day visit, to include Sr Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang, Vietnam People’s Army chief of General Staff, Lt Gen. Le Huy Vinh, ADAF commander, and members of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate. Additionally, the group visited four air bases – Gia Lam, Noi Bai, Cam Ranh and Bien Hoa – providing the opportunity to engage with ADAF airmen on a variety of subjects.

In addition to shared security challenges, discussions focused on opportunities to further cooperate in areas of aviation safety and pilot training, search and rescue, humanitarian assistance, and military medicine.

Both nations also affirmed their commitment to continued progress on war legacy issues, highlighting the 142nd Repatriation Ceremony in Hanoi Dec. 13. The ceremony marked the recovery of four cases of U.S. servicemembers’ remains, the result of the ongoing humanitarian partnership between the Governments of Vietnam and the United States.

“The repatriation of our warriors serves as a great example of the trust we must continue to build upon between our nations,” O’Shaughnessy said. “We remain committed to making progress in these areas together, to acknowledging the past and looking forward to the future.”