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Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 14:25 (GMT+7)
On party and political work in the defensive area exercise in Kien Giang province

In wartime and in defensive area exercises alike, party and political work is a matter of importance to promoting political and spiritual factors and meeting stated requirements and objectives of the exercises. Therefore, it needs to be assessed and innovated for the sake of increased effectiveness.

Commandants of the 9th Military Region and Kien Giang province rewarding units involved in the DAE

Kien Giang is the largest province located in the southwest of Vietnam, and features various types of terrain, namely plains, hills, mountains, sea and islands. It shares its 54-km borderline with Cambodia and is situated in one of the significant defensive directions in the 9th Military Region. Its coastline stretches over 200 km with more than 100 islands of different sizes such as huge islands of Phu Quoc and Tho Chu. Fully aware of those, over the past years, in parallel with promoting the building of provincial defensive zone, the 9th Military Region and the provincial government have taken defensive area exercises seriously. Annually, the Kien Giang provincial Military Party Executive Committee and Military Command have counselled the provincial party executive committee and People’s Committee to conduct province, town, and commune-level exercises which have involved all the provincial affiliates to date. Given creative and breakthrough contents, defensive area exercises have been closely conducted under the motto: practical, appropriate to exercise subjects, areas as well as requirements and tasks, thereby contributing to the local party executive committees and governments’ enhanced leadership and commanding abilities to handle military-security-related contingencies, the local armed forces’ increased overall quality, and reinforced construction of local defensive areas. The realities of all-level exercise execution, especially 2017 provincial defensive area exercise (hereafter the DAE), have prompted some discussion on party and political work as follows.

Perceiving Instruction No. 600/CT-BTL of the 9th Military Region’s Commander and its affiliates’ guidelines on the execution of the DAE, the provincial Military Command cooperated with the provincial relevant departments, sectors, and agencies in counselling the Standing Board of the provincial Party executive Committee and the provincial People’s Committee to issue Directive No. 04-CT/TU and Schedule for conduct of the DAE respectively. The provincial sectors, agencies, and mass organizations of which forces of the military, public security and border guard acted as the core, made thorough preparation for the DAE whose contents underwent three stages. The first stage: bringing the local armed forces to states of combat readiness and the locality to a defensive state; the second stage: making preparation for defensive combat; the third stage: carrying out defensive combat of which field training contents included: dispersing demonstrations, combating armed riot, civil conflicts and disputes, receiving Vietnamese expatriates and refugees in boundary areas; the local forces worked with border guard force and the militia to regain occupied border guard posts; occupying and regaining some of boundary areas and island communes. The DAE has been the largest-scale three-level one which involved various types of forces throughout districts of Kien Luong, Phu Quoc, Giang Thanh, and Ha Tien township, and incorporated brand-new contents of the realities of the local military-security situation. Broadly speaking, it was an across-the-board test of the local party executive committee and government’s leadership ability, the local armed forces’ combat capability, and local people’s responsibility towards the task of national protection as stated in Resolution No. 28-NQ/TW by the Politburo on continued building of central cities and provinces into strong defensive zones in the new situation. Thanks to  synchronous measures by the provincial military Party executive  Committee and Command, the DAE went according to plan, and was highly lauded by the 9th Military Region’s High Command, in which its political department in an advisory capacity directly carried out party and political work in a proactive and creative fashion.

During the preparatory process of the DAE, grounded in the higher authorities’ exercise-related instructions, party executive committees at all levels issued a special resolution on implementing the mission of the DAE which was considered to be the central political task. The Political Department under direct authority of the provincial Military Command formulated a plan concerning party and political work in line with specific conditions, and delegated every relevant office and individual a concrete task while briefing the task of the DAE to cadres, soldiers, the militia and reserve forces, thereby enhancing their sense of responsibility and determination and synergy of the whole political system in finalizing preparations and conducting the DAE. In addition, the provincial Military Command counselled party executive committees and governments at various levels to properly streamline the steering board, the organizing board, the advisory subboard, and exercise teams while holding training and trial exercises for cadres. For heads and members of party executive committees and political cadres, the provincial Military Command offered intensive training of leadership and commanding capabilities as well as methods of executing party and political work in different stages of the DAE. Political offices at diverse levels concentrated on formulating a series of documents concerning party and political work in accordance with the higher political offices’ guidelines, assisting relevant sectors in carefully preparing documents for the DAE. The reality has shown that the efficiency of party and political work in the preparatory process of the DAE has contributed to the Party’s promoted leadership mechanism, the government’s enhanced governance and agencies and sectors’ heightened advisory role, thereby mobilizing synergy of the whole political system and people to make preparations for the DAE in a swift and thorough fashion. The provincial government spent 11.000 working days, excavated some 10.000 cubic meters of rock and earth, and mobilized nearly 1.000 transport vehicles to construct, upgrade and finalize headquarters, evacuation, and field training areas, etc in a short period of time.

The execution of the DAE is the central stage and a determinant to its success. During this stage, the enormous workload and the simultaneous and synchronous deployment of various local forces, agencies, sectors and industries in a short time necessitates the swift implementation of party and political work and consistent leadership of party executive committees via comprehension and creative application of Party’s viewpoints on all-people defence and people’s war as well as Vietnamese military art. In addition, it is essential to promote the role of key commandants and cadres in carrying out plans and dealing with arising incidents in a proactive and determined manner. Political offices need to well prepare the draft resolution and hold party executive committee’s meetings to pass documents concerning party and political work. Accordingly, following heated discussion, the provincial Military Party Executive Committee’s meeting responsibly ratified defensive combat determination which included additional issues regarding force disposition and combat solutions. Notably, during the DAE, the Steering Board always brought into play military democracy, proactiveness and creativity of the exercise teams; a contingent of commissars and political cadres closely followed the exercise teams in order to propagandize and encourage soldiers to put their trust in weapons, equipment and military art, to properly apply combat techniques and tactics to handle arising incidents, to maintain discipline and to ensure absolute safety for soldiers and materiel. Besides, it is crucial to tightly cooperate with forces, sectors, industries and mass organization to boost emulation movements and mass mobilization, grasp security and political situation in the area, strictly obey confidential regulations, and opportunely deal with unexpected incidents.

Commando force of the 9th Military Region in cooperation with the mobile police force of Kien Giang province to release hostages

At the end of the DAE, political offices proactively counselled party executive committees and governments at diverse levels and worked with competent agencies to grasp the situation regarding exercise forces and local people; strictly maintain discipline and compensate people for damage caused by the DAE while inspecting and urging military offices and units as well as relevant sectors to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the DAE to learn from mistakes. The provincial government directed its Military Command and the provincial military school to include arising incidents concerning party and political work in the armed forces’ training program and defence knowledge-related courses. The review of the DAE has shown that party and political work plays an essential role in defensive area exercises. Yet, it still exposes some limitations. Some units at grassroots level have yet to be practical in the work of political education and ideological orientation. Some cadres at grassroots level still show limited capability for executing party and political work. There has been ineffective coordination among political offices at all levels and local competent agencies.

The reality of the DAE has highlighted the importance of party and political work. Therefore, this work needs to be further researched and assessed theoretically and practically to build more effective and creative models and forms of defensive area combat exercise, contributing to firm protection of the Homeland in every situation.

Snr. Col. Ho Van Thai, Standing Member of Kien Giang Provincial Party Executive Committee

Commissar of the Provincial High Command

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