The Royal Australian Navy warship, HMAS Ballarat, will pay a goodwill visit to Vietnam this August with the purpose of strengthening relations between the two navies and enhancing bilateral ties between Vietnam and Australia.

The ship is scheduled to visit Ho Chi Minh City from August 22-26 with a crew of 28 officers and 156 sailors, according to a media release on defence cooperation of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam .

They will meet senior officers and sailors from the Vietnamese People’s Navy to engage in a range of goodwill activities and to conduct a professional exchange on ship operations.

In addition to this, the crew will participate in a friendly sporting event with cadets at the Naval Technical College as well as meet Vietnamese people to explore their rich traditional culture.

The visit creates an excellent opportunity to promote the defence relationship between Vietnam and Australia that commenced in 1999 and recently reaffirmed at a meeting between the two countries’ Defence Ministers in Canberra in February 2013, said Group Captain Matthew Dudley, Australian Defence Attaché in Vietnam .

He cited that since 1999, the Australian Defence Force has trained over 1,300 Vietnam People’s Army officers and is now assisting the army prepare for a future role in peacekeeping operations.

Weighing 3,600 tonnes and 118 metres in length, the ANZAC Class guided missile frigate has roles in air defence, anti-submarine and surface warfare, surveillance, interdiction and reconnaissance.-VNA