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Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 08:03 (GMT+7)
Experience in training “Elite Special Force” at 126th Naval Commando Brigade

To meet the urgent requirements of battlefield in the South, on April 13th 1966, Reconnaissance Commandos Training Unit – forerunner of the 126th Naval Commando Brigade- was founded. This is an elite naval commando force of the Vietnam People’s Navy. During the resistance war against the U.S. for national salvation, the Unit continuously conducted about 300 combat operations in Cua Viet - Dong Ha (Quang Tri 1966-1973), sinking 339 enemy vessels, damaging 33 others and destroying a dozen thousand tons of weapons and equipment, annihilating thousands of enemy troops. It also trained more than 5,000 naval commandos to support water battlefield of the South. It engaged in operations to clear torpedoes laid by the U.S. in the North rivers and seas (1972), and the historic Ho Chi Minh campaign, directly liberating the Spratly Islands. After that, the Unit participated in operations to protect Southwest border and helped the Cambodian people to get out of the genocide (1979). Together with other forces, the Brigade has surmounted difficulties and hardships to successfully fulfil its assigned task of protecting the Homeland’s sacred sovereignty over seas and islands.

With achievements in training and fighting, the Brigade were twice bestowed the People’s Armed Forces Hero title (1969 and 1971), 4 collectives and 12 individuals of the Brigade were bestowed the Hero title (Team 1 was bestowed three times). Those noble titles further contributed to its tradition of “Being heroic and ingenious; overcoming difficulties; unifying to achieve feat of arms and victories”, being the motivation for its cadres and troops to successfully fufil its assigned tasks and missions in the new situation.

Counter-terrorism training

To date, in response to increasingly higher requirements for the cause of Homeland protection, the Brigade has set out many guidelines and measures to enhance synergy and combat strength, among which training elite special force has always been attached great importance, and thus bringing about a number of valuable lessons.

First and foremost, alongside the effective exercise of leadership and direction of party committees at levels over training task, the Brigade has focused on preparations for training, including personnel and facilities preparations. Annually, prior to training season, the Brigade directs its organs and units to reorganize themselves and restructure their cadres staff, particularly training staff on specialized skills, at the same time to draw up training programs, plans, timetables (monthly and quarterly) close to tasks of units and training subjects, ensuring regularity, unity and scientific implementation.

In recent years, in order to improve the quality of training, the Brigade has been invested in constructing a new system of modernity-oriented skillful and tactical training fields close to assigned task and area of operation of each force.

Moreover, the Brigade has frequently attached great importance to training cadres at levels, considering this as a key work to improving its quality of training and combat readiness. As for cadres at team-level and above, the training contents include plots, tricks, weapons and equipment of the potential enemy, and the military knowledge, skills in party work and political work, capabilities of command, staff – operations, and organization, training methodology of commando skills and tactics. As for cadres at grass-roots levels and new cadres, the Brigade has focused on improving their experience and skills on training soldiers tactics, martial arts and other combating skills with a focus on naval commando, frogman commando, and counter-terrorism commando.

To meet the requirements set by assigned tasks and the development of tactics applied by Commando troops in general and those in water environment in particular, the Brigade has focused on improving the quality of training for specific forces in harsh weather, taking it as the basis and motivation for enhancing the quality of training elite special force. Assuring that troops are “well-trained with good tactics and skills” is the focus of unit’s training to successfully fulfil regular and contingency tasks.

From gained experiences and achievements, over the past years, the quality of training of the Brigade has incessantly improved. In 2015, troops’ average result of swimming was 25km length, drifting in the sea for 25 hours, and diving to 45m-55m depth. Shooting result of BM task was excellent. Also in that year, its carders got 3 silver medals and 2 bronze medals in the Army’s unarmed martial arts competition, and the championship of regiment and brigade level in the Navy’s gymnastics and sports competition. Those have contributed to enhancing synergy and combat strength of the unit, deserving its title of a Hero of the People’s Armed Forces.

Senior Colonel Hoang Minh Son

Brigade Commander

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