Australian Embassy

Media release - 19 November 2019

Australian military transport aircraft mobilised to deploy Vietnam's second rotation of Military Level 2 Field Hospital to South Sudan

Australia is proud to support Vietnam's second deployment of Military Level 2 Field Hospital on a UN mission. Australia is providing one of its largest military transport aircraft, C-17A Globemaster III, to carry Vietnam’s peacekeepers and equipment to South Sudan. Australia will also transport Vietnamese VIPs and personnel of Level 2 Hospital Rotation 1 back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Attending the farewell ceremony at Noi Bai International Airport are Deputy Chief of General Staff, RADM Nguyen Trong Binh and the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam HE Ms Robyn Mudie. The first sortie of the C17 aircraft left Hanoi at 11:00am today and will fly for around 12 hours (with a stop over in Seychelles) to Juba, South Sudan. The second sortie, which transports the remaining military personnel and equipment, is expected to take place on 26 November 2019. In total, the two airlifts will fly 63 personnel and approximately 60 tonnes of cargo to South Sudan and transport the 63 personnel of Rotation 1 back to Vietnam.

“I am very proud to be here today to farewell Vietnam’s second medical contingent to South Sudan.  The Level 2 Field Hospital is one of the most complex military units to deploy and Australia congratulates Vietnam on the outstanding success of its first deployment.  Vietnam’s dedicated and professional military medical and support personnel are, rightly, earning the country an outstanding reputation for its contribution to UN international peacekeeping operations in South Sudan”.

“Australia has been privileged to support the training and strategic airlifts for this operation, which show a high level  of cooperation and trust between the Australian Defence Force and Vietnam People’s Army”  Ms Mudie said.   

Aside from the airlift – a very visible element of support - Australia has been providing Vietnam with support in peacekeeping since 2011.  The support includes English language and Subject Matter Expert training for each of Vietnam’s deployments, helping Vietnamese peacekeepers meet the UN’s strict English and skills requirements. The language support for Rotation 3 of the Level 2 Hospital is also underway under the Defence Cooperation Program.

Australia has a long history of contributing to UN’s peacekeeping efforts. An ADF contingent of up to 25 personnel are currently deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), known as Operation ASLAN. 


Background information about the C-17A

  • The C-17A is one of the world’s largest military transport aircraft. It has been designed for maximum ease of use by the pilots, loadmasters, and maintenance personnel. This includes the use of heads-up display and advanced avionics for the pilots; an easily reconfigurable cargo floor which expedites cargo loading by loadmasters; and large access panels and flight computers to aid technicians with maintenance activities.
  • The C-17A can transport loads weighing up to 70 tons, and has a large cargo ramp on to which vehicles (including tanks) can be loaded. The C-17A can fly at speeds of up to 830km/h, and transport cargo up to 10,000km (depending on weights). With air-to-air refueling, the C-17A’s range-with-payload is increased further.
  • The C-17A can support tactical operations, being able to land on short, semi-prepared runways, and equipped with electronic warfare self-protection equipment. The crew can also operate the aircraft on night-vision equipment, and the aircraft is capable of airdropping cargo or paratroopers.
  • The C-17A complements the capabilities of the C-130J Hercules and C-27J Spartan aircraft and together they will provide Defence with a flexible and capable fleet for Defence to fly where it needs to go.


See also Media Release from Australian Minister for Defence: