U.S. Secretary of Defense Makes Second Visit to Vietnam in 2018, Highlights Growing U.S.-Vietnam Partnership

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis visiting the Bien Hoa Airbase

HANOI, October 17, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis made his second visit of the year to Vietnam and his first visit to Ho Chi Minh City October 16-17. Secretary Mattis’ visit highlighted the significant growth in the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Vietnam by visiting the Bien Hoa Airbase, situated 30 kilometers outside of Ho Chi Minh City, to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to contribute to dioxin remediation – another significant step in addressing legacies of war.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis meets with Vietnam’s Defense Minister, General Ngô Xuân Lịch
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis meets with Vietnam’s Defense Minister, General Ngô Xuân Lịch

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink accompanied Secretary Mattis throughout his visit.  “Secretary Mattis’ visit demonstrates continued U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam that contributes to international security. It also shows our commitment to addressing war legacies, which serves as the bedrock of the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral defense partnership,” Ambassador Kritenbrink said. “I strongly believe that as we continue to address these legacies, we can expand our work together for the mutual benefit of both our peoples and the world.”

United States Agency for International Development, together with the Ministry of National Defense, completed a successful five-year, $110 million effort to clean dioxin contaminated soil at Danang International Airport earlier this year. The subsequent dioxin remediation project at Bien Hoa Airbase exemplifies the persistent steps both countries continue to make to jointly resolve war legacies, while deepening a strong partnership through security, economic, and cultural cooperation.

During his visit, Secretary Mattis also met with Vietnam’s Defense Minister General Ngô Xuân Lịch and the Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Committee Mr. Nguyễn Thiện Nhân.