Earlier this week, Vietnam and Cambodia held the first iteration of a new search and rescue exercise. The mechanism spotlighted how the two sides are continuing to manage their defense ties amid these wider domestic and foreign policy developments that have tested relations.
Vietnam and Cambodia, two neighboring Southeast Asian states, share a broad defense relationship as part of their wider diplomatic ties. Vietnam provides the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) with military equipment, infrastructure, and training, while both countries have also looked to manage more sensitive areas of the relationship such as outstanding issues over their shared 700-mile long border, illegal fishing, and China’s growing influence in mainland Southeast Asia.
One of the new defense-related interactions that both sides had indicated would take place is a search and rescue exercise. Per details previously released by the Vietnamese military, the exercise, scheduled to take place in Tuasday commune in Chanthrea district in the Cambodian province of Svay Rieng, was expected to see the participation of some 800 people and focus on aspects including the establishment and operation of a joint command post, practicing dealing with chemical incidents and disasters, and post-disaster recovery.