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Saturday, October 21, 2017, 20:41 (GMT+7)
Qualities of Uncle Ho’s soldiers shining in the flood-stricken Northwest

Cadres and soldiers of  Military Region 2 have contributed to further burnishing qualities of Uncle Ho’s soldiers through their relief efforts in the Northwestern region. Their deeds have also enabled Directive No. 05-CT/TW by the Politburo (the 12th tenure) on the acceleration of studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle to be put intro practice in this flood-stricken region.

The Northwestern region assumes strategic significance to Homeland construction and protection. This region is endowed with difficult terrain, harsh weather and continual natural disasters, which wreak havoc on human life and public property and beset the stationed armed forces’ combat readiness training and firm defensive zones building.

Fully aware of that, the Party Executive Committee and High Command of Military Region 2 have always attached much importance to leadership and command over the task of preventing, controlling and recovering from natural disasters and search and rescue “as a combat mission in peacetime” of the armed forces. The Party Executive Committee issued Resolution No.02-NQ/ĐU dated January 20th, 2015, on “leading the implementation of the task of preventing, controlling and recovering from natural disasters and search and rescue until 2020 and beyond”. Its affiliates have also been directed to thoroughly grasp and fully implement the higher echelons’ resolutions, directives and guidelines, to grasp the local situation, to keep a close watch on local weather conditions, and to get manpower and equipment ready while closely working with local authorities under the slogan “timely prevention and control and swift recovery with a high priority to prevention”. The Department of Politics under Military Region 2 issued Instruction No.789-CCT, dated April 13rd, 2017 on “Party and political work in preventing and controlling natural disasters and search and rescue in 2017” while the Division of Mass Mobilization under Military Region 2 issued Dispatch No.536/CCT-PDV on “Mass mobilization work in prevention, control and relief of natural disasters”. Both of these documents aim to heighten a sense of responsibility among cadres and soldiers of Military Region 2 armed forces for the task. In the process of the task implementation, units have closely combined preventing, controlling and recovering from the aftermath of natural disasters with the mass mobilization work, contributing to building a firmer posture of people’s hearts and minds in the Northwestern region and further bolstering the image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the face of overwhelming odds.

Between June and August, 2017, tropical Storm Talas and its circulation resulted in torrential downpours, landslides and flash floods, causing great losses of life and property damage to the locals in the Northwestern provinces of Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Son La, Yen Bai,  Lai Chau and Dien Bien. By late August, 2017, it left 69 people dead, 34 injured, 15 missing, 1,084 houses swept away, 248 public facilities and 72 transport works devastated, local irrigation systems paralyzed, 3,311.2 hectares of crops submerged, hundreds of fish ponds and 31,937 of cattle and poultry damaged. Tropical Storm Talas inflicted close to VND 5.5 trillion’s worth of total estimated damages on the region, which worsens the locals’ difficulties.

 Troops of Yen Bai Provincial Military Command helping the people after flooding (photo: qdnd.vn)

Imbued with Uncle Ho’s teachings that “Ours is the army of the people, which means our army are birth children of the people. Our army do not have any other interests apart from the people’s interests” and joining the people nationwide in assisting the flood-stricken locals, Military Region 2 armed forces have closely cooperated with the local authorities in opportunely and effectively dealing with the aftermath of the storm. The Party Executive Committee and High Command of Military Region 2 have directed the lower echelons to deploy forces to assist the locals under the 4 “on-the-spots” slogan (on-the-spot command, on-the-spot forces, on-the-spot equipment; on-the-spot logistics) while sending delegations led by heads of the High Command to direct relief efforts. Prior preparations enabled Military Region 2 to mobilize about 10,000 cadres and soldiers and lots of equipment in a short time to participate in relief efforts under the slogan “4 togethers” (eating together, living together, working together, speaking dialects together), Military Region 2 armed forces promoted qualities of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” through their images of being drenched by torrential downpours, struggling over seemingly impassable mountain passes and roads, demonstrating a contempt for difficulty to find 10 victims, to evacuate 136 households to safer areas, to repair 3.2 kilometres of roads, 4 bridges and spillways and 560 metres of stream embankments, and to clean up 13 schools and public facilities, providing free medicine for nearly 4,000 locals and spraying chemicals for environmental clean-up. Military Region 2 also closely cooperated with the higher echelons, local authorities and benefactors in affording the affected locals about 50 tonnes of rice, 19 tonnes of fresh milk, 6,495 boxes of instant noodles, 1,600 gifts, 200 bunk beds, 32 computers, cash and many other basic necessities, which are valued at hundreds of billions of VND.

Districts of Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai Province) and Muong La (Son La Province) were worst-hit. As a result, Military Region 2 sent 2 lifeboats, 10 rafts, 50 soldiers and 22 members of the militia and self-defense forces to Mu Cang Chai in search and rescue efforts with “no stone left unturned”. The hardships, resilience and devotion by “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” are beyond description. The safe return of Sung A Tong (in Hang Gang Hamlet, Lao Chai Commune, Mu Cang Chai District) and many others presumed missing relieved their families’ sufferings and dissipated cadres and soldiers’ fatigue. Considering the people as their own flesh and blood, Military Region 2 armed forces struggled over seemingly impassable mountain passes and roads to Phinh Ho Hamlet, the remotest hamlet of De Xu Phinh Commune’s, in order to relocate 23 households with 130 members to a safer area as the fissured mountain peak of Na Hau Chong were putting their life in jeopardy. Thanks to effective participation by Military Region 2 armed forces in recovery efforts, the life of ethnic groups in the Northwestern region has gradually returned to normal. Notably, in the process of recovery efforts, Sgt Nguyen Van Quang (from Platoon 2, Company 20, Yen Bai Province’s High Command), who had come across it, turned a box of gold rings and necklaces in to the Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Control for it to be returned to its owner. His action contributed to shining qualities of Uncle Ho’s soldiers in the flood-stricken region.

While the Northwestern region is gradually recovering from the aftermath of tropical Storm Talas, its weather remains unpredictable. In order to deal with all possible contingencies, the Party Executive Committee and High Command of Military Region 2 have directed affiliates to firmly grasp and successfully implement Resolution No.02-NQ/ĐU, to effectively fulfil the work of mass mobilization and to actively participate in the building of political bases, socio-economic development, hunger eradication and poverty alleviation, recovery efforts and the movement “the military contributing to building new-type rural areas”. At the same time, communication and political, ideological education work has been enhanced so as to raise awareness and heighten a sense of responsibility among cadres and soldiers within Military Region 2 of relief efforts.

Relief efforts by Military Region 2 armed forces have vividly illustrated fine traditions and qualities of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”. This has contributed to fostering the people’s trust in the Party, State and military, enabling the spirit of the military’s “being pious to the people” as taught by Uncle Ho to brilliantly shine in the beloved Northwestern region.

Maj.Gen. Trinh Van Quyet, Commissar of Military Region 2

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