Vietnam’s first level-2 field hospital will leave for its mission in South Sudan on October 1 as part of its UN peacekeeping contributions. Staff of the field hospital during a training The information was announced by the Ministry of Defence who added that a farewell ceremony would be held on that day at the Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City to see off 63 military officers joining the mission. According to Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh, the hospital was established in 2014 and is the first-ever Vietnamese independent unit to join the UN’s peacekeeping forces. Besides professional and foreign language training, the hospital’s staff were provided with survival skills. The hospital was now ready for the mission after the latest inspection by the ministry on May 4. “The successful implementation of the first level-2 field hospital would create the premise for the second hospital and the next military engineering unit to join the UN’s peacekeeping force in 2020,” Vinh noted. Colonel Hoang Kim Phung, Director of the Vietnam Peacekeeping Department, revealed that 10 among 63 staff of the hospital are female, making it the most gender-mixed unit on the mission. “This is significant as the United Nations always prioritises gender equality,” Phung said. Vietnam started joining the UN peacekeeping operations in 2012 and 27 officers have been sent to work at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic and the UN Mission in South Sudan over the past five years.