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US to hand over large Coast Guard cutter to Vietnam soon

09:43 | 30/05/2020

The US is set to hand over one of its Coast Guard cutters known as USCGC John Midgett (WHEC-726) to Vietnam in the coming months, VOV reported on May 29.

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The USCGC Midgett is the twelfth and last of the Coast Guard's fleet of 378 foot High Endurance Cutters. She is the third in her class (HERO) to be named for outstanding Coast Guardsmen. Her namesake, the late Chief Boatswain John Allen MIDGETT, Jr. was born in 1876 in Rodanthe, North Carolina and served for nearly forty years with the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the Coast Guard. U.S. COAST GUARD PHOTO

USCGC John Midgett (WHEC-726) is the second Hamilton class cutter the US has planned to deliver to Vietnam following the first USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722) provided in 2017.

According to the latest information from the Facebook accounts of former sailors of the John Midgett vessel (WHEC 726) of the US Coast Guard on May 18, repainting of the ship is underway in the port of Seattle, Washington.

American insignias have been painted over with white while components such as the radar & Phalanx CIWS were spotted being removed. The vessel is expected to be painted with the insignia of the Vietnam Coast Guard before it leaves Seattle for a trip back home to Vietnam.

After dismantling some important equipment from the ship, the US side will train Vietnamese sailors to own and direct the ship back to Vietnam.

The handover ceremony of the vessel to the Vietnam Coast Guard, scheduled to take place in late March, has to be canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

From then until now, the repainting of the ship had to be halted. Currently, due to the epidemic situation is reduced, the work on repairing and refurbishing the ship continues.

us to hand over large coast guard cutter to vietnam soon
Lt. Ryun Konze reviews several diagrams of the internal layout of US Coast Guard Cutter John Midgett (WHEC 726) to members of the Vietnamese Coast Guard in Seattle on Jan. 14, 2020. USCGC John Midgett is a 378-foot high endurance cutter commissioned in 1972. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Steve Strohmaier)

Responsing to reporters’ questions regarding the news at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on May 28, Doan Khac Viet, vice spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said, “The comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the United States have in recent times developed well in many fields, including national defense and security cooperation”.

“Both sides will continue to promote bilateral defense cooperation, including maritime security cooperation and capacity building on maritime law enforcement, contributing to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world,” stressed Viet.

The vice spokesperson also said that such cooperation is based on the agreements reached between the two sides, including the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation, the 2015 Joint Vision Statement on Defense Relations 2015 and the Plan of Action for Defense Cooperation for 2018-2020.

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