Vietnam Coast Guard

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Vietnam Coast Guard
(Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam)
Vietnam Marine Police insignia.jpg
Seal of the Vietnam Coast Guard
Active 1998 - present
Country  Vietnam
Type Coast guard
Role Vietnam maritime law enforcement, patrol, border control, search and rescue
Part of President
Headquarters Hanoi, Vietnam
Colors              Blue, White, Orange
Anniversaries August 28, 1998
Equipment Patrol boats, Offshore vessels, Frigates, Salvage tugs, Search and rescue ships, Aircraft
Engagements MT Zafirah hijacking
MT Orkim Harmony hijacking
Decorations Vietnam Fatherland Defense Order ribbon.png Vietnam Feat Order ribbon.png
Website Vietnam Coast Guard
Commander Major General Nguyễn Quang Đạm
Political Commissar Major General Hoàng Văn Đồng
Chief of Staff Major General Ngô Ngọc Thu
Racing Stripe Vietnam Marine Police Racing Stripe.jpg
Vietnam Marine Police insignia 2.jpg
Awards Fatherland Defense OrderFeat Order
Aircraft flown
Patrol 3 x CASA C-212 Aviocar - Series 400

Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG; Vietnamese: Cảnh sát biển Việt Nam) is the coast guard of Vietnam. It is a branch of the Vietnam People's Army, and falls under the management of the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence. Since its creation in the late 1990s, the Vietnam Coast Guard plays an important role in maintaining sea security and protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf boundary. It has dispatched forces in waters in overlapping areas between Vietnam and foreign countries, providing protection and assistance to local fishermen when necessary. In addition, the Vietnam Coast Guard perform search and rescue duties, along with their duties of combating and preventing smuggling, piracy, and trade fraud in Vietnamese waters.


Vietnam Coast Guard was prepared to build in 1998 through President of Vietnam Tran Duc Luong's order No 3-L/CTN on April 7, 1998 announced the Ordinance on the Vietnam Coast Guard and it was accepted by The Tenth National Assembly of Vietnam on March 28, 1998.[1]

In previously, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam does not have a dedicated Coast Guard, but only the Navy for offshore patrol and other military activity, or the Border Patrol Directorate (Bộ Tư Lệnh Biên Phòng), which has checkpoints at the part where the river meets the sea. They are equipped with small boats for short pursuit, and equipment that is meant for short-term security reasons. All river patrol responsibility belongs to Fluvial Police (Cục Cảnh sát giao thông đường thủy - Bureau code:C25) supervised by provincial or/and local police office (Ministry of Public Safety - Bộ Công An), and sometimes is the Vietnam Customs (Hải Quan), depending on the geographical responsibility (fluvial or fresh water only).

Vietnam Coast Guard became independent from the Vietnam People's Navy on March 1, 2008. It has in-scope intelligence of international exchange and co-operation with its ASEAN counterparts in smuggling and on-sea drug interdiction operations. As an organization keyed to fight against illegal trafficking, it would like to start with a fresh image and equipped with adequate technology and hardware, in order to deploy with efficiency for missions. They would like to present a role model for extended of its projects.


  • Develop and maintain operational capability to ensure national maritime sovereignty.
  • Be recognized by the nation as the guardian of maritime security.
  • Become the foremost maritime security agency in South East Asia.
  • Develop and improve the ability to respond to maritime search and rescue requirements throughout the area of responsibility.
  • Develop and improve the ability to preserve and protect the maritime environment.
  • Continually improve the organization and operation of the agency.


In the internal waters, territorial waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, Vietnam Coast Guard have mission to patrol and control in accordance with the laws of Vietnam and international treaties concerned that, Vietnam is a contracting member (such as The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)) to protect the sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection of natural resources, prevention of environmental pollution; detect, prevent and combating acts of smuggling, piracy, armed robbery against ships, illegal transport and trafficking, transporting illegal narcotics, precursors.

Vietnam Coast Guard is responsible in cooperating with functional agencies to do the mission. If any incident happens at sea, Vietnam Coast Guard have responsibility to inform to the functional agencies and coordinate with foreign countries to settle the issue. Lt. General Phạm Đức Lĩnh said in The 7th Heads of Asia Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM - 7) on July 2011: "Vietnam Coast Guard used in overlapping sea areas between Vietnam and foreign countries. Local fishermen will be better protected and assisted if necessary, and remind local fishermen not to cross into the waters of foreign countries."[2] In October 2013 the VMP were transferred from the navy to the coast guard, apparently so as to qualify for Japanese equipment aid.[3]

The Vietnam Coast Guard is responsible for protecting the security of Vietnam's coast line and deals with problems like:

  • Drug smuggling
  • Human trafficking
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Industrial radioactive and toxic waste dumping
  • Marine Environmental Protection
  • Surveillance of Illegal Operations by Foreign Fishing Vessels
  • Vietnam maritime law enforcement
  • Marine assistance
  • International Affairs
  • Search and rescue (SAR)
  • National defense - alongside the Vietnam People's Navy[1]

In addition to its role, the Vietnam Coast Guard has moved their headquarters from Hai Phong to Hanoi in February 2008, due to current needs to address these tasks. Current headquarters are located at 94 Le Loi Street, Nguyen Trai ward, Ha Dong district, Ha Noi. Their training base and logistic support facilities remain in Hai Phong.


Organizational system[edit]

1. Coast Guard Command[4]

2. Units in Coast Guard Department:

  • Regional Coast Guard: similar with Regional Navy. In the structure of Regional Navy have fleets, flotillas and Marine police teams;
  • Coast Guard fleets;
  • No.1 and No.2 Reconnaissance base;
  • No.1,2,3, and 4 Anti-drugs, Anti-crime Task base;
  • Center of Coast Guard Information;
  • Center of Coast Guard Training.

Regional Coast Guard[edit]

Vietnam Coast Guard regions
  • 1st Regional Coast Guard: managed from Ka Long River, Quang Ninh Province to Con Co island, Quang Tri Province. Based in Hai Phong;
  • 2nd Regional Coast Guard: managed from Con Co island, Quang Tri to Xanh islet, Binh Dinh Province and South China Sea. Based in Quang Nam Province;
  • 3rd Regional Coast Guard: managed from Xanh islet, Binh Dinh to Dinh An harbor, Tra Vinh Province and South China Sea. Based in Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province;
  • 4th Regional Coast Guard: managed from Dinh An harbor, Tra Vinh to Ha Tien, Kien Giang Province and the Gulf of Thailand. Based in Ca Mau.

International cooperation[edit]

CASA C-212 series 400 in Vietnam Coast Guard

Vietnam Coast Guard and Philippine Coast Guard have signed an agreement to set up hotline in principle. In the near future, both will draft detailed regulations on coordination, so that when a situation at sea will settle in time.[5]

On July 14, 2012, Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Kōichirō Genba and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh had a meeting in Hanoi. Japan Coast Guard is willing to help Vietnam bolster its coastal patrol capabilities, include set up such an institution and train its personnel.[6]

Vietnam Coast Guard would be equipped with modern facilities to carry out effectively their tasks to maintain security, order and safety in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone with the close cooperation with regional coast guards of regional countries.[7]

That's the reason why Vietnam Coast Guard need to strengthened confidence building, mutual understanding between members, promote practical cooperation and efficiency among countries in Southeast Asia and in the world. To solved issues such as piracy, smuggling, trade fraud and transportation of persons, illegal drugs, disaster search and rescue, disaster,... Vietnam Coast Guard's in collaboration with some countries for networking exercises of information processing, situation, to forwards to exercise with soldiers on sea in some situations, such as anti-piracy, search and rescue, environmental response to incidents,...


Main type of patrol vessels in Vietnam Coast Guard

To create a breakthrough development for Vietnam Coast Guard, a contract signed between Vietnam and United States that United States Coast Guard helped train Vietnam Coast Guard from 2009. The United States Coast Guard kicked off its partnership program with the Vietnam Coast Guard under the Export Control and Related Border Security program by conducting two sessions of the Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer course in Hai Phong and Phu Quoc, October 12–23, 2009. This was the first United States Coast Guard engagement with the Vietnam Coast Guard under their new partnership program. Its positive results bode well for future cooperation between the two forces. The training courses received a great deal of attention from the Vietnam Coast Guard leadership, as well as the Ministry of Defence (Vietnam), with senior representatives from MOD both attending the opening and closing ceremonies, and hosting farewell lunches and dinners. The Vietnam Coast Guard leadership's recommendations for future training will not only be very useful for planning purposes, but represent clear signals that they are eager for further cooperation. Continuing the partnership plan, the United States Coast Guard has invited one VMP officer to attend the 15-week International Maritime Officer Course starting in March 2010 at the United States Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia.[8]

Besides vessels are equipped with self-building, Vietnam Coast Guard also cooperated with Damen Group to build large vessels with Netherlands's license, will being built in Vietnam by Song Thu company, 189 company,... Vessels have completed such as one Offshore patrol vessel 9014, one hydrographic survey vessel 6613, four Salvage tugs 6412,...[9]

Later on in 2008, Vietnam Coast Guard received three ocean sentry turboprop airplanes CASA C-212 Aviocar - Series 400 equipped with MSS 6000 systems from the Swedish Space Corporation.[10]

Vietnamese Government has planned to invest in upgrading facilities for the force including modern ships which can operate in bad weather and stay long at sea. Furthermore, the force is also equipped with helicopters to enhance its operations at the border of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Vietnam to protect the territorial waters and fishermen as well. In particular, on Vietnamese sea, adjacent waters boundary waters disputes over sovereignty, there must be always the presence of Vietnam Coast Guard.[5][7]


Vietnam Coast Guard's vessels are equipped with specialized functions (almost all Vietnam Coast Guard's vessels are self-produced):

  • To coastal patrol and protection, including vessels from 120 to 400 tons, have very high speed, armed with powerful weapons, numbered beginning with 00.., 20 .., 30 .., 40 .., 50 ..;
  • To support, search and rescue, including vessels from 1.000 to 2.000 tons, numbered beginning with 600..;
  • To offshore patrol, including vessels over 2.500 tons with helicopter on deck, numbered beginning with 800..;
  • To Search and rescue, vessels have named beginning SAR or 900...

Almost Vietnam Coast Guard's vessels named CSB (abbreviated by Vietnamese words: Cảnh Sát Biển - Coast Guard).

Ships (48 in service)
Photo Type Builder Role Quantity Name
Project206 Shershen Egypt 1989 DN-SN-89-09160.jpg
Shershen class
148 tons
 Soviet Union Patrol 4 CSB-5011, CSB-5012, CSB-5013, CSB-5014
Vietnam Marine Police vessel type 3.jpg
120 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 5 CSB 001,CSB-1011,CSB 1012, CSB 1013, CSB 1014
Vietnam Marine Police vessel type 2.jpg
200 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 10 CSB-2001, CSB-2002, CSB-2003, CSB-2004, CSB-2005, CSB-2006, CSB-2007, CSB-2008, CSB-2009, CSB-2010
Vietnam Marine Police vessel type 1.jpg
400 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 4 (4 more on order) CSB-4031, CSB-4032, CSB-4033, CSB-4034
Vietnam Marine Police vessel type 5.jpg
Offshore patrol vessel
1200 tons
 Vietnam Patrol/Search and rescue 3 CSB-6006, CSB-6007, CSB-6008
DN 2000 (Damen 9014 class)
2500 tons
 Vietnam Patrol 2 (7 more on order) CSB-8001, CSB-8002
Offshore patrol
1500 tons
 South Korea Patrol 1 CSB-8003
Patrol boat
280 tons
 South Korea Patrol 2 CSB-2015, CSB-2016
Vietnam Marine Police vessel type 6.jpg
Damen Salvage tug
1400 tons
Search and rescue 4 CSB-9001, CSB-9002, CSB-9003, CSB-9004, CSB-9005
South African patrol vessel.jpg
Damen Stan 4207 patrol vessel  Netherlands Search and rescue 3 SAR-411, SAR-412, SAR-413
Aircraft (5 in service)
Photo Type Builder Role Quantity Name
CASA C-212 Aviocar series 400  Spain Patrol 3[11] 8981, 8982, 8983
EC-225  Vietnam Patrol 1 8985

Table of Ranks[edit]

Rank of Commander of Vietnam Coast Guard usually is Vice Admiral. Admiral is very rarely used.

Level Ranks Translation Insignia
Flag Officers
Sĩ quan cấp Tướng
Trung tướng Lieutenant General
Vietnam Marine Police Lieutenant General.jpg
Thiếu tướng Major General
Vietnam Marine Police Major General.jpg
Field Grade Officers
Sĩ quan cấp Tá
Đại tá Senior Colonel
Vietnam Marine Police Colonel.jpg
Thượng tá Colonel
Vietnam Marine Police Senior Colonel.jpg
Trung tá Lieutenant Colonel
Vietnam Marine Police Lieutenant Colonel.jpg
Thiếu tá Major
Vietnam Marine Police Major.jpg
Company Grade Officers
Sĩ quan cấp Úy
Đại úy Captain
Vietnam Marine Police Captain.jpg
Thượng úy Senior Lieutenant
Vietnam Marine Police Senior Lieutenant.jpg
Trung úy Lieutenant
Vietnam Marine Police Lieutenant.jpg
Thiếu úy Junior Lieutenant
Vietnam Marine Police SubLieutenant.jpg
Officer cadets
Học viên Sĩ quan
Học viên Sĩ quan Officer Cadet
Vietnam People's Navy student officer.jpg
Non-Commissioned Officers
Hạ sĩ quan
Thượng sĩ Sergeant Major
Vietnam Marine Police Sergeant major.jpg
Trung sĩ Sergeant
Vietnam Marine Police Sergeant.jpg
Hạ sĩ Corporal
Vietnam Marine Police Corporal.jpg
Chiến sĩ
Binh nhất Private 1st class
Vietnam Marine Police First Private.jpg
Binh nhì Private
Vietnam Marine Police Second Private.jpg

See also[edit]