Thursday, November 02, 2017, 06:59 (GMT+7)
Brigade 490’s experiences from Army Missile – Specialized Equipment Technical Competition 2017

Grasping the guideline from Plan 168/KH-KTBC by Combined Arms Technical Department and Plan 167/KH-CKT by Artillery Technical Department on the organization of “Army Missile – Specialized Equipment Technical Competition 2017”, the command staff and Party Committee of Brigade 490 and Artillery Command concluded that this is a key political task in 2017; meanwhile, it is also a basis to improve our technical service quality and an invaluable opportunity for us to demonstrate the comprehensive result of regular technical work under the guiding principles of Resolution 382-NQ/ĐUQSTƯ on “Technical service leadership in the new period”.

Opening ceremony of the competition held in July 2017

Earlier this year, Brigade 490 Party Committee and command staff issued leadership resolutions and projects to make preparations and determine the objective for the brigade’s team in the competition. To achieve the highest result possible, the brigade leadership established a steering board for the upcoming contest and assigned specific responsibilities to its members. Meanwhile, propaganda work was promoted to raise a sense of awareness among officers and soldiers of the brigade about the competition’s goals, requirements, significance and events(1). Also, Brigade 490 Party Committee and subordinate party cells conducted monthly and quarterly assessments of the preparation work for the contest, closely instructed and monitored related cadres, encouraged Party members and Youth Union members to play exemplary and pioneer role in implementing the task. At the same time, the brigade carried out the technical service work under the spirit of Movement 50, with the motto “Manage and employ weaponry and equipment to ensure efficiency, durability, cost-effectiveness and traffic safety”; while proposing in-depth and long-term technical facility construction plans. Additionally, Brigade 490 leadership promoted technical capability enhancing programs for personnel and made investment in a wide range of equipment to improve the quality of technical services for missile – specialized equipment in preparation for the upcoming competition.

The brigade weaponry includes R17E missiles that incorporate a number of electronic and automatic devices with high precision capability so that the operation and technical maintenance of them are very complicated. In compliance with rules of the contest, Brigade 490 carried out the technical service work according to its annual and 5-year plans and promoted the capability of repair stations to implement maintenance, integration and repair work for minor errors/damages in both common and specialized equipment. Weapon systems were inspected thoroughly in inactive mode and under operational tests to assess their general technical condition. With missiles particularly, they were tested in accordance with manufacturer’s procedure. Operational records of weapon systems were also frequently updated. In preparation for the contest, the brigade had synchronized 18 sets of equipment, 1 set of construction vehicle, and implemented maintenance work for hundreds of weapons and technical devices. These activities enabled inspectors and technical personnel to thoroughly monitor the technical condition of missile systems and improve their capability and proficiency of operating those systems in training and maintaining combat readiness.

Missile operating procedure in the contest

Due to limited manpower and a large number of demanding tasks, Brigade 490 leadership had to increase training activities for technical personnel. The main focus of these activities is management, maintenance, inspection and repair work training and practice operating procedures of specialized systems. To achieve the highest effectiveness possible, the brigade combined planned on-the-job training with transition training from ammunition expertise to missile maintenance for technicians and established model teams for practicing operational activities. In addition, team leaders and cadres were required to closely monitor and instruct subordinates’ maintenance and technical work as well as their comprehension of the operational condition of devices and systems, methods and procedures of repairing damages/errors of systems under operational phases. Also, junior personnel were obliged to improve effectiveness and proficiency in deploying and withdrawing weapon systems and equipment, and fully understanding safety caution standards. To meet the demanding technical awareness requirements of the upcoming competition, the brigade leadership encouraged self-study among cadres and junior personnel to improve their professional knowledge and awareness of the Movement 50.

Moreover, investments were made to procure training materials, implement innovation and improvement in technical activities, and conduct maintenance and support projects. 5 model teams were established and trained to participate in the contest and serve exhibition activities. Key individuals were also selected to enhance the quality and effectiveness of technical work and other activities of the brigade in the near future.

Besides, the brigade leadership instructed subordinate units to strictly monitor their weaponry and equipment, and tighten disciplines in the technical work. The brigade’s Technical Bureau was ordered to improve the archive system as a whole and issue detailed instruction documents on storing, organizing, registering and listing weapons and equipment. Cadres at all levels were required to strictly conduct daily, weekly and monthly inspections of weapon and equipment and maintenance work. Technical days must be carried out as planned and in line with standard procedures. Brigade 490 leadership also attended weekly technical briefings to directly instruct, make assessment of working performance and resolve problems during the preparation for the upcoming competition.

To improve the appearance of the unit and standardization for technical facilities, the brigade mobilized a lot of resources in constructing and repairing barracks, technical stations, and depots with the principle of “Properness, sufficiency, decent appearance and cost-effectiveness”. Individuals with construction skills and talents in arts and decoration were selected as teams to serve in preparation work for the contest. These teams were given tasks from the brigade’s Technical Bureau and obliged to report on working progress and introduce necessary proposals to improve the working performance on a daily basis. The Technical Bureau in turn made weekly reports for the brigade leadership to review and issue instructions for problem-solving. Besides, technical contests at junior level were held to test the capability of the brigade, and the movements, such as “Youth Union vehicle, Youth Union garage” and “Youth Union technical day”, were launched to make breakthroughs in addressing weaknesses in technical work. Cadres and junior personnel were advised to restrain taking leaves to spend more time on practicing and preparing for the competition. As a result, in only 3 months, the brigade managed to hold 2 junior-level technical contests; repair 6 missile depots, 6 stores; construct 5 fire-fighting camps, 18,000 m2 of internal grounds and roads; replace 240 signs, verify 68/159 Youth Union vehicles, and 8/16 Youth Union garages.

Beside the preparation work, Brigade 490 also hosted the competition’s opening ceremony and held exhibition with the participation of Ministry of National Defense officials and delegations from the General Technical Department and 22 other units. Subordinate units were ordered to improve their landscapes and infrastructures, conduct foot drill training, and carry out addition technical work such as repainting 50 vehicles, store and depot doors and windows. During the competition, Brigade 490 worked with the local authority to promote propaganda and hold reception and ensure safety for delegations, and organize sufficient manpower to serve supporting roles in exhibition events and contest activities in line with plans and requirements made by the competition’s organization board. Therefore, the competition’s main events as well as additional exhibition activities were highly appreciated by ministerial senior officials and other units’ delegation. In the competition, Brigade 490 was awarded second prize and had 7/11 innovation projects graded as distinguished by the Ministry of National Defense and Artillery Command.

Lessons the brigade learned from its preparation and participation in the competition are:

First, the leadership role of the Party Committee and command staff at all levels must be promoted, and political work and morale boosting methods must be implemented to encourage personnel in carrying out given tasks.

Second, in planning schedules for task implementation and preparing human resources, materials and integrating preparation training for competition into regular technical work, the leading role of the Steering Board and consulting role of subordinate units must be highlighted.

Third, the organization of junior-level technical competitions must be taken seriously; also, they should be integrated into emulation movement in technical work to address downsides in preparation and organization phrases of the primary competition.

Fourth, to ensure sufficient manpower and materials for the preparation and organization of the competition, all resources must be mobilized, especially internal resources. In addition, personnel must be trained to be able to operate missile systems with high level of effectiveness, proficiency and combat readiness.

Senior Colonel Vu Dang Quyet, Brigade 490 Commander

(1) 4 main events of the competition: missile and launching pad maintenance, ground equipment technical services and systems operating practice; technical day implementation and technical facility management; technical innovation projects; technical work awareness.

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