The Oregon National Guard hosted a delegation from Vietnam’s National Committee for Search and Rescue (VINASARCOM) during the week of August 24-30, as part of the ongoing State Partnership Program.
Vice Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chief of General Staff of Vietnam People’s Army and Vice Standing Chairman of VINASARCOM, leads the delegation, which also includes other VINASARCOM experts in search and rescue, firefighting, explosion and building collapse, finance planning and investment, and foreign relations. Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, were also in attendance, including Cmdr. Brent Freeman, U.S. Naval Attache to Vietnam, and the Oregon National Guard’s Maj. Kyle Akers, Bilateral Affairs Officer to Vietnam.
The week-long visit included workshops related to emergency management and emergency response, as well as tours of emergency management and Oregon National Guard facilities. The delegation witnessed the certification training of the Oregon National Guard’s CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon. The delegation toured the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Multnomah County’s emergency operations center in Portland. They toured Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management emergency operations center and the Oregon National Guard’s joint operations center in Salem. The visit also included meetings with government, education, business and economic leaders at Portland State University’s Hatfield School of Government in Portland, Oregon.
The Oregon National Guard’s State Partnership with Vietnam is poised to greatly benefit all those involved in the program, with cross-cultural awareness, domestic emergency preparedness training, and the enhancement of international relationships.
The partnership between the Oregon National Guard and Vietnam was made official in November 2012 as part of the National Guard Bureau-sanctioned program, which pairs emerging democracies with National Guard states.
The State Partnership program complements broader U.S. engagement with Vietnam in pursuit of shared priorities such as disaster relief, education, health, trade and the environment. The program directly supports the broad national interests and security cooperation goals of the United States by engaging partner nations via military, socio-political, and economic conduits at the local, state, and national levels.