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November 20, 2019, 5:17 pm

Lessons from the search of the missing plane

(14:41:47 PM 18/03/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam’s People Army, said two rescue and one naval ships of China that joined the search for the Malaysian missing plane withdrew from Vietnam on March 16.

 

Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan

 

It is said that Vietnam had to spend about VND20 billion ($1 million) a day for the search of the missing jet. Is it correct?

- The Ministry of Defense has not calculated the cost for the search and rescue work. I do not comment on the number of VND20 billion per day, but if you look at the size, means and forces used in eight days both on the air, at sea and on land, the cost is huge.

However, Vietnam always considers that searching for the missing people and rescue them is the most important task. During the search, someone asked me: "If the cost is too high then will we keep doing it?" and I replied: "We have calculated the probability that we could and we will do the search as long as we can."

- This incident partly showed the gap of air defense of Malaysia and Southeast Asian countries. Particularly, for Vietnam, how is the role of the radar systems in national defense?

- The failure in detecting the MH370 aircraft after the last signals was affected by many factors, not just the means but also the people, in specific situations. Therefore, it is improper to evaluate the radar and air defense systems of Southeast Asian countries through this incident. For example, in the terrorist attacks on September 11 in America, the second plane crashed into the target 15 minutes after the first plane. Did the U.S. air defense system not detect the aircraft? If they did, how could they have to handle it? The incident was also not enough to assert that America's air defense system was poor.

In the entirely normal circumstances and conditions, the receiver signals are considered normal. Only when the incident happens, can everything be integrated and analyzed.

- Malaysia has changed the search direction in the deep waters, which is far away from Vietnam. Do they ask for Vietnam’s assistance or does Vietnam take the initiative in this search campaign?

- Vietnam has not received a formal proposal from Malaysia in search and rescue work in the new search areas. In the search and rescue work in Vietnam, the military forces are the core in both means and manpower. This is ensured by the defense budget, so it has a certain limit.

Technical means of Vietnam is modern but they are not equipped for expeditionary forces. For long distance, calculation on scientific basis is needed.

- As a former senior pilot, what is your own opinion about this mysterious case?

- I used to tell the story of my teammate, whose aircraft crashed into the sea but it only broke a wing. To see that the plane will surely explode if it falls into the sea, we should not exclude the possibility that may occur.

When Malaysia notified of the new search corridor--I think that to define the new search area they have to analyze information from multiple sources. Now we need to check how much gas that aircraft loaded, because Boeing planes often charge enough fuel for the trip and a reserve for the alternate airport in case of having incidents. From that we can estimate how many hours more that the aircraft could fly... Do not ignore the assumptions.

- On March 15, Vietnam declared to halt the search and rescue on the East Sea and also asked other countries to end their search. Have they withdrawn all of their vehicles out of Vietnam’s territories?

- As reported by the Coast Guard and Navy on March 16, there were two rescue and one naval ships of China which were still in Vietnam’s waters. We approached and informed them of the halt and they said they had not yet received the formal notification and they were trying to avoid the big wind and waves. We asked them to leave Vietnam’s waters and if they need help with logistics, Vietnam is willing to help. Besides, there was one injured person on one ship and this person must be moved to another ship. After doing this task, both ships left the territory of Vietnam.

The ship 998 of the Chinese Navy also left Vietnam's territory after being informed.

There is no foreign vehicle participating in the search and rescue campaign in Vietnam at the moment. Our forces continue to carry out the sovereignty surveillance tasks and some others have returned to perform some other tasks.

- What do you think about collaboration between the search and rescue forces of Vietnam with other countries?

- The search and rescue mission in the East Sea has now ended. I can confirm that the combination between Vietnam and others was relatively good. From the beginning, we came up with the tasks and orientation and confirmed that the forces of other countries must operate under the direction of Vietnam. During the search, we highlighted two issues – the effectiveness of search and safety of rescue task.

Regarding efficiency, with many forces, the efficiency would be higher, but without scientific regulation, the efficiency would not be high.

There are a lot of lessons in ensuring the safety of the search and rescue forces. In many cases, while searching for victims, accidents occurred for the searching forces. We well performed the safety issue in the last campaign.

Search and rescue missions are Vietnam’s regularly, annual tasks. Vietnam has cooperated with many countries, but this is the first time the search and rescue was implemented of a broad range at sea.

In this campaign, Vietnam well demonstrated the leadership, coordination, commander of the search and rescue forces. However, we must also learn from experience to use forces more appropriately and effectively.

Source: Vietnamnet
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