The Vietnam People’s Navy, whose units are arranged in close and firm formations at sea, on islands and ashore, is strong enough to be a key force in the protection of Vietnam’s territorial waters and capable of defeating all attacks at sea, a naval commander has said.
Nguyen Van Hien, Deputy Minister of Defense and Commander of the
Vietnam People’s Navy, made the statement at a seminar held in the
northern port city of Hai Phong on Wednesday.
The event was organized to review the first victory of the Navy and the Air Defense-Air Force of the Vietnam People’s Army against U.S. forces in the Gulf of Tonkin 50 years ago.
In early August 1964, the U.S. administration staged the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident, using it as a pretext to send planes and warships to attack northern Vietnam, the admiral said.
The Vietnamese navy, despite its small forces and rudimentary weapons, fought back and drove the U.S. destroyer Maddox out of the northern waters, the commander said.
The local forces also shot down eight aircraft and arrested the first U.S. pilot Everett Alvarez in northern Vietnam, he added.
“This is a victory of the strength of the whole nation, and of the mind, military tactics, and unyielding will of Vietnamese people,” Admiral Hieu said. “Fifty years has passed but the significance of the victory remains intact.”
Currently, the situation in the East Vietnam Sea has become tense and complicated due to escalating acts by a foreign force that is carrying out a scheme to illegally claim most of the sea and violate Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty, the admiral said.
In the face of the situation, the Vietnam People’s Navy is gradually building its close and firm units at sea, on islands and ashore, and is strong enough to be a key force in the protection of Vietnam’s sovereignty over its seas and islands and the defeat of all marine attacks, the official said.
Many military officers and scientists also delivered speeches at the seminar, highlighting the significance of the victory.
Colonel Nguyen Xuan Bot, former captain of naval vessel 333 that fought in the above battle, said that the victory on August 2, 1964 came from the strong determination of Vietnamese naval soldiers who were ready to sacrifice themselves to safeguard their fatherland’s national sovereignty.
“Such a strong will brings to the Vietnam People’s Navy a strength that is enough to firmly protect the country’s sovereignty over seas and islands in any circumstances,” Colonel Bot said.
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