The signing was witnessed by Sen. Lieut. Gen. Pham Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) and deputy head of the Defence Ministry’s steering committee for Vietnam’s participation in the UN peacekeeping operations. This is the first time that Vietnam has sent its military medicine officers to join the UN’s peacekeeping forces. Accordingly, 63 members of Vietnam’s field hospital, mostly staff from the Military Hospital 175, together with medical equipment, will be sent to South Sudan in order to take over the United Kingdom’s field hospital. Addressing the signing ceremony, Under Secretary-General of the UN, Atul Khare, applauded the decision and expressed his belief that Vietnam would contribute a high-quality field hospital that works effectively for the UN peacekeeping operations. He also said he hoped that the country would make further contributions to such an important mission deployed by the UN. A send-off for the field hospital is scheduled to be held at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on October 1.