Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 13:38 (GMT+7)
370th Air Division focuses on improving training quality and maintaining flight safety

370th Division (Vietnam People’s Air Defense – Air Force) – Hero of the Armed Force – is a unit equipped with modern aircraft and military hardware which boast high maneuverability and substantial firepower. The unit’s main task is conducting aerial combat operations to protect Vietnam’s airspace, waters, offshore islands and continental shelf from the 14th parallel to southernmost regions of the country. The division is also tasked with carrying out type rating training for fighter and helicopter pilots, VIP flight for senior Party, State and military officials to southern provinces, Spratly Islands, DK-1 rig; troop and supply paradropping, and training for foreign cadets (from Laos, Cambodia, etc). Besides, the unit actively participates in combined arms, national emergency, and provincial defense drills, and many other types of mission. Fully grasping the division’s responsibility, over the last few years, the unit’s leadership has issued instruction for its comprehensive set of operations, focusing on improving combat training quality and maintaining flight safety and considered these as decisive factors to enhance the unit’s overall quality and combat capability. As a result, 370th Division was able to accomplish every given task and received many commendations from the Party, the State and the Military.

In the division, the responsibility and leadership role of command staffs and Party committees were resolutely upheld in managing combat training activities, especially in flight training and maintaining flight safety, and this has led to the successes mentioned above. Fully grasping the Party’s military doctrine and superior levels’ instructions and resolutions on the work of training, especially the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 765/NQ-QUTW and Air Defense – Air Force Party Committee’s Resolution 558-NQ/ĐU on training quality enhancement and considering given tasks and the real situation in the unit, on April 8, 2013, 370th Division Party Committee issued Resolution 450/NQ-ĐU on training quality enhancement for 2013 – 2020 period and beyond; and a specialized resolution on leadership in training management and flight accident prevention. At the same time, the Division leadership ensured that its pilots and other personnel must have strong political awareness, absolute loyalty, high professional skills, creative mind and quick thinking in every situation to fulfill their training tasks. To do this, the division focused on strengthening Party committees and command staffs at all levels, especially those directly involve in combat training, aviation technical maintenance, logistics and radar operation, etc. Also, there were mentoring programs to enhance working ability for commanding officers and political commissars at all levels. Besides, the Division Party Committee clearly assigned responsibility for its subordinate contingents and instructed them to implement “Reform working behavior, enhance training quality, strengthen discipline, focus on grassroots level” principle. In addition, inspection and assistance for Party and political work in flight operation phases were increased, and these activities were considered as critical factors in improving combat training quality and flight safety. These two tasks were also integrated into the implementation of Central Resolution 4 (Tenure XII) on Party building and Politburo Directive 05 (Tenure XII) on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts, moral example and way of life and “Uphold tradition, devote talents, be worthy of the title “Uncle Ho’s soldiers”” Movement. Additionally, the leading role of command staffs, Party committees and Party members was promoted, and unit performance was regarded as a basis to evaluate working quality and promote cadres at all levels. At the same time, the division leadership fully employed its subordinate administrative bodies, especially training management contingents in planning, monitoring and directing training activities; educating and supervising training discipline, flight safety regulations and rules in other specialized activities.

Also, 370th Air Division spent a lot of efforts to comprehensively and rigorously innovate the work of training quality enhancement. In recent years, there have been many developments in training tasks of the division; therefore the unit has proactively and comprehensively reformed its training curriculum and methods. In term of curriculum, the reform focused on new flying tactics; flying lessons with complex maneuvers on land and on sea, interception training and basic 4-aircraft fly formation, etc, in which the ability to dealing with unexpected situation of pilots was heavily emphasized. Besides, training methods was reformed to boast higher flexibility and closely follow the requirements of the division’s combat missions. As a result, the unit’s flight training quality has achieved significant progresses over the years. In 2015, for the first time the division successfully conducted night bombing with only 06 sorties of Su-30 fighter. In the following years, the unit gradually increased night bombing exercises and step-by-step apply this training to Su-22 and helicopter pilots. Therefore, by this time of 2018, compared to 2015, the total number of night bombing exercises conducted by the division has already tripled. Especially, in 2018, 370th Division fighter pilots started to be trained to perform difficult tasks such as: flying horizontally to drop bomb or fire rocket at low and extremely low altitude, low-altitude tactical maneuvers, vertical flying combined with dropping flare to avoid enemy air defense, etc. In recent years’ training inspection, these new exercises have proven to be successful and flight safety has been completely ensured. The divisions also focused on type rating training for pilots, assistance instructor groups were established to help young pilots in training; and model flights performed by experienced instructor were organized to determined appropriate training methods. After completing training programs, advanced flights were implemented to put newly trained pilots into combat readiness duty regime. At the same time, training programs were required to progress from theory to practice, and from simple to complex exercises; avoid overconfidence and shortcut in training content.

As a result, over the past few years, 370th Air Division has successfully trained hundreds of pilots and crewmembers. With highly skilled personnel, the division regularly coordinated with other Southern units (7th and 9th Military Region Command; 4th Corps; General Department II; Special Force Command; 2nd, 4th, 5th Naval Region Command; air defense units) to conduct combined arms exercises in various scenarios. In the coming years, the division will continue to train basic 4-aircraft formation and combat flying for Su-30 and Su-22 pilots, complex acrobatic flying at low altitude, advanced acrobatic flying, and dogfight exercises. Besides, helicopter pilots and crewmembers will be trained to use guided munitions at night. At the same time, the unit will also focus on improving proficiency in using new hardware and applying technical innovations in flight training.

Beside training reform, 370th Air Division emphasizes on implement methods to maintain flight safety. The unit’s training principles are: human resource is the core; flight safety planning and management are crucial; aviation logistics and technical service are essential. Therefore, in term of human resource development, subordinate branches and units of the division educated its members, especially pilots and crewmembers, to fully aware the importance of flight safety. They also combined political education activities with flight safety training programs for related personnel. In flight safety planning and management, the division instructed its subordinate units to develop and adjust flight safety and flight direction plans appropriate to weather condition, given tasks, pilots’ skill, hardware condition, etc. In term of aviation logistics and technical service, the unit paid special attention in all three categories: quality, quantity and synchronization, 3 flight phases, and 4 technical preparation phases. Because aerial missions always require high technical standard, the division leadership ordered all contingents to strictly follow technical procedures and thoroughly monitor technical work. Every year, the unit holds competition for “Well-maintained aircraft and vehicle, exemplary depot and workshop; standardized and disciplined barracks”; and effectively realizes 50 Campaign and “Military logistics follow Uncle Ho’s words”.

Due to the demanding task of national defense in the new situation, 370th Air Division officers and airmen are constantly working to overcome all difficulties and determined to fulfill any training task and maintain flight safety, strengthening the unit’s overall strength and combat readiness to protect our Motherland Vietnam Socialist Republic.

Senior Colonel Pham Truong Son, 370th Air Division Commander

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