35 officers of the Vietnam People’s Army have completed the 2015 English Language Training programme funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and provided by the British Council. The closing ceremony was held this on 18 December 2015 in Hanoi.
The training is part of a programme now in its fourth year, funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, and provided by the British Council, for officers of the Vietnam People’s Army. The 35 officers undertook between 6 and 9 months of training according to their entry standard of English. At the end of their training, they were equipped with the language skills they needed to undertake specialist professional military training courses provided by the UK Ministry of Defence. Those whose fluency is most developed being eligible for some of the UK’s most advanced military Command training courses for future General Officers, run at the UK’s Defence Academy in Shrivenham, UK. Other officers are expected to be employed in future Vietnamese contingents deployed on Peacekeeping Operations, or to be prepared for future senior appointments in the Vietnamese People’s Army.
Since 2012, 135 officers of the Vietnamese People’s Army have completed English language training funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and provided by the British Council in Hanoi. Confirmed at the annual bilateral Defence Working Group in Hanoi in January, and highlighting the importance of training in Defence cooperation between the UK and Vietnam, the 2015 programme has significantly expanded this initiative, with 49 officers undergoing training in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this year alone. The programme is one of several strands of Defence engagement which the 2 nations agreed to advance during 2015, which include increased Defence industrial cooperation and Maritime cooperation, while 2016 is expected to also see an increase in military exchanges of experience between the 2 nations across a wide spectrum of engagement areas. Defence cooperation also formed a part of the fourth Vietnam-UK Strategic Dialogue co-chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire in February this year.
Joining today’s ceremony were Group Captain Tim Below RAF, UK Defence Attaché to Vietnam, and officers from the Ministry of National Defence’s Foreign Relations Department, Peacekeeping Centre, and training Unit 871. Group Captain Tim Below RAF, UK Defence Attaché to Vietnam said:
This English Language Training programme, now in its fourth year funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, and delivered by the British Council to officers of the Vietnam People’s Army, is a mark of the UK’s commitment to develop Vietnam’s capabilities to contribute to global security and stability.
I am already working with the Departments of the Ministry of National Defence represented here today to further develop this programme in 2016 in both Hanoi and now also in Ho Chi Minh City, and subject to successful contract and officer student selection, I anticipate the UK Ministry of Defence funding this British Council training, which continues to expand in scope and in the numbers of officers, for many years to come.
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