Thursday, September 09, 2021, 11:17 (GMT+7)
Can Gio district’s armed forces successfully fulfill “dual” mission

As a coastal district of Ho Chi Minh city, with 70% of its total area (71.361 ha) being mangrove forests, Can Gio has been recognised as a global biosphere reserve by UNESCO. With a 20-km-long coastline and a system of important seaports and rivers (Long Tau and Soai Rap rivers), Can Gio district and Ho Chi Minh city have great potential for developing a sustainable marine economy. In the foreseeable future, Can Gio district will become an important economic pillar within the string of coastal urban centres, namely Vung Tau, Can Gio, and Go Cong. The district holds a position of utmost importance to socio-economic development and defence-security consolidation of both Ho Chi Minh city and Southeast region. Being fully aware of the district’s potential and position, the armed forces of Can Gio district have promoted their core role in performing the military-defence work together with local authorities and citizens and they have been in the vanguard of the fight against COVID-19, thereby contributing to ensuring political security and social order and safety as the basis for rapid, sustainable socio-economic development.

First of all, the District Military Party Committee (DMPC) and the District Military Command (DMC) have proactively advised the District Party Committee and People’s Committee on leadership over the military-defence work and the fight against COVID-19. Grounded on higher echelons’ directives and documents, the DMPC and the DMC have given advice to the District Party Committee and People’s Committee on promulgating legal normative documents to successfully fulfil the “dual” task and create a legal corridor for promoting the synergy of the entire political system and all resources in the process. At the same time, they have assisted the District People’s Committee in consolidating the Defensive Zone Steering Board, the Military Service Council, and the Defence and Security Education Council and taken part in the Steering Board on COVID-19 Prevention and Control, thus making contributions to enhancing all-level party committees and authorities’ leadership and management towards the military-defence work.

A zero-dong supermarket

Building a solid defensive zone is a matter of strategic importance to Can Gio as the district is located in the city’s coastal defensive direction. Hence, the DMC has promoted its core role in advising local party committees and authorities to implement the Project on the building and operation of the defensive zone. Emphasis has been placed on the Project to build comprehensively strong commune-level military commands in the period of 2020-2025, the defensive combat Determination, the combat readiness Plan, and the defence mobilisation Plan. To combine economy with defence and security, the DMC has closely cooperated with competent offices in helping the District People’s Committee to appraise socio-economic development projects. Typical examples include the Project on Thanh An island commune’s socio-economic development towards 2020, with a vision towards 2030 to construct infrastructures, improve the people’s life, and defend sea and island sovereignty, the Project on developing tourism in Can Gio in the period of 2017-2020, with a vision towards 2030 to make investments in infrastructural and tourism development, preserve cultural values, and gradually build Can Gio district into a top tourism and resort urban centre of Vietnam and the region. Those projects have enabled the district to combine socio-economic development with defence-security consolidation and build a strong defence zone. The DMPC and the DMC have given advice to all-level party committees and authorities on building the defensive zone military posture under the preset plan and effectively tapping resources. In this regard, priority has been given to key military constructions directly and frequently serving the defensive zone’s operation, such as coastal defensive position, artillery battlefield, district training ground, and commune-level military headquarters. At the same time, due attention has been paid to taking advantage of facilities and natural terrains to reduce costs and protect the environment. The defensive zone military posture has been built in a focalised, in-depth, inter-connected, solid, and flexible fashion so that it would be capable of both protecting the district and attacking enemies. The district’s armed forces have maintained close cooperation with the Public Security Force, the Border Guard Force, and the Navy according to the Government’s Decrees 03/2019/NĐ-CP, dated September 5th, 2019 and 130/2015/NĐ-CP, dated December 18th, 2015 on protecting national security, ensuring social order and safety, preventing and combating crime, and mobilising human resources and civilian vessels in the defence of seas and islands. As a result, the district defensive zone’s potential, synergy, and power have been unceasingly improved as the basis for successfully fulfilling the “dual” task. Moreover, the DMC has acted as the core force in defence and security education, while accelerating the Project on “building the politico-spiritual potential within the defensive zone.” On a yearly basis, the DMC closely cooperates with local sectors, committees, and unions in reviewing and deploying cadres and citizens to defence and security education courses. In 2020, the district dispatched 6 cadres from the 2nd and 3rd groups to attend defence and security education courses held by higher echelons. Such courses at all levels within the district have been organised for 440 cadres from the 4th group and 200 vessel owners, citizens, and young people. The DMC has also taken part in providing defence and security education for nearly 2.500 high school students. Knowledge of defence and security has been disseminated together with COVID-19 prevention and control via various creative forms and methods, such as mass media, communal meeting, and cultural and sports programme. Besides, the district’ coastal militia and self-defence force has worked with the Border Guard Force to effectively disseminate knowledge of defence and security to each vessel, fisherman, and aquatic farm. Promoting the function as “an army ready for work,” the district’s armed forces have well carried out the mass mobilisation work, participated in building the political system at grass-roots level, actively implemented the emulation movement entitled “the Military joins hands in building new-style rural areas,” and helped the people with hunger eradication, poverty reduction, natural disaster and epidemic prevention and control. Doing so has allowed the district’s armed forces to disseminate the Party’s guidelines and the State’s law and policy on the Homeland protection, build a firm “posture of people’s hearts and minds,” and bring into play the all people’s strength to perform the military-defence work and consolidate the all-people national defence.

Building the armed forces is an important part of the military-defence work. Thus, the district’s armed forces have focused on consolidating the organisational structure of the standing force, particularly all-level military offices in a “sufficient, compact, and strong” manner. Also, due regard has been paid to building the reserve force and the militia and self-defence force in a “compact, qualitative, effective, and strong” way. Competent offices have reviewed, classified, and closely managed vessels as the basis for organising and building the coastal militia force properly. Currently, members of the militia and self-defence force account for 2.18% of the district’s population, 29.9% of them are party members, and all communes and townships have a military party cell. Due to the complex developments of COVID-19, the district has proactively, flexibly adjusted training plans, with a focus on training cadres at grass-roots level, mobile militia units, coastal militia units, and specialised units. The training work has been carried out in accordance with each force’s organisational structure, task, and existing weapons and equipment. In the training process, great value has been paid to following the motto of “basics, practicality, thorough grasp” and organising synchronous, intensive training courses relevant to each group of troops, combat projects, and particular terrains. Besides, skills in civil defence, natural disaster prevention and control, search and rescue have been improved. On an annual basis, the district directs 2 or 3 communes to hold defensive combat drills and exercises on natural disaster prevention and control and search and rescue. Via such exercises, all-level party committees and authorities’ awareness and capability in the military-defence work as well as the armed forces’ synergy and combat power have been  considerably raised.

In response to COVID-19, the district’s armed forces have always grasped the spirit of “fighting the epidemic like fighting enemies” and considered the fight against COVID-19 as “a combat mission in peacetime.” Cadres, soldiers, and the militia and self-defence force have enhanced the work of information and propagation to raise the people’s awareness of COVID-19 prevention and control via various forms and methods. Being in the vanguard of the fight against COVID-19, the district’s armed forces have taken part in serving hospitals and quarantine zones and cooperated with others in conducting patrols to maintain social order and safety. With a sense of political responsibility, military offices at all levels have encouraged organisations and individuals to donate hundreds of millions of VND and give supplies to citizens in difficulty, thereby bolstering the noble virtues of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers,” being highly appreciated by local party committees, authorities, and people.

Those above-mentioned results will provide a solid foundation for the armed forces of Can Gio district to surmount all difficulties and successfully fulfil the “dual” task of military-defence consolidation and COVID-19 combat for the district’s comprehensive, sustainable socio-economic development.

Lt. Col. VO CHI TAM, Commander of the DMC 

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