Thursday, December 12, 2019, 12:32 (GMT+7)

Sunday, November 10, 2019, 08:34 (GMT+7)
On the organization and use of the standing militia force in Ho Chi Minh city

To successfully fulfil the military-defence mission, over the years, the Party Committee and People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh city have always paid due attention to directing the Municipal Military Command and districts to build and consolidate the standing militia force in the area, ensuring that this force would perform a core role in the combat readiness task and the defence of political security and social order and safety.

Ho Chi Minh city holds a position of utmost importance to the country’s economy, culture, society, national defence and security. It has a population of over 8 million, 2 million as temporary residents and about 200,000 foreigners working and living in its area. At present, it has 322 commune-level administrative units while many offices of the Party and the State, 53 consulates, offices of international organizations, 3 export processing zones, 16 industrial zones, and 4 hi-tech zones are located in its area. Over the years, the city’s political security situation has witnessed complex developments. The foreign-backed reactionary and oppositional organizations have been stepping up their sabotage plan in all political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, and social fields, distorting our Party and State’s guidelines and policies, inciting demonstrations, riots, collective complaints and denunciations, and workers’ strikes. In addition, in the city’s area, fires, explosions, traffic accidents and jams, flooding, crimes, and social evils have yet to be reduced.

The standing militia force’s martial art performance

Against that backdrop, the Municipal Military Command (MMC) and its Party Committee have determined to focus their leadership and direction on building the all-people national defence and the three-category armed forces as a task of importance and urgency. In this regard, greater importance has been attached to building a powerful, widespread militia and self-defence force and a compact, strong standing militia force as the basis for making the defensive zone strong and capable of dealing with the situations, which would contribute to strengthening the force for maintaining political security and social order and safety to meet the requirements for the city’s national defence-military mission. To that end, the MMC and its Party Committee has proactively advised the Municipal Party Committee and People’s Committee on issuing the system of guiding and directing documents. District-level military offices have actively cooperated with local party committees and authorities in developing the plans/projects for consolidating and building the standing militia force and strictly executing the Municipal People’s Committee’s Project on “consolidating and raising the quality of the militia and self-defence force, making commune-level military commands and offices’ military commands comprehensively strong in the period of 2016-2020” and the Project on the organization and use of the standing militia force to settle riots and demonstrations in the period of 2015-2020 under the Municipal People’s Committee’s Decision 595/QĐ-UBND. After the issuance of the new policy set by leaders of the city and agreed by the Military Region 7, sectors, forces, and the people in 24 districts and 322 communes and wards have actively implemented it. Up to now, the number of the militia and self-defence force members has made up 1.42% of the city’s population while the number of militiamen has accounted for 4.42% of the militia and self-defence force.

Regarding the standing militia force’s organizational structure, under the principles set by city, the districts of key national defence and security have established standing militia companies according to the Project 595, with the staff members being deployed from those districts’ standing militia force and commune-level militia force. Other districts have organized standing militia platoons and maintained readiness for transforming those platoons into companies. With the approval of the Military Region 7, the MMC has built a standing militia company. Members of this force were selected from the city’s districts. They would take turns to join full-time training courses and perform the combat readiness duty for every 3 months. Doing so has helped increase the strength of the standing militia force and directly raise the synergy of the districts’ militia. Cadres and soldiers of the standing militia force were carefully selected according to the procedures for initiating members into the core militia force by the all-level military offices. Most of the standing militia force members have been party members or eligible for being initiated into the Party at the ages of 18-25, with basic education background and good health tested by competent offices.

Maintaining readiness for performing the task

With reference to the mechanism for leadership and direction and the authority of mobilization and command, the standing militia force is placed under the direct, regular leadership of the Municipal Party Committee Standing Board and the districts’ party committees in terms of construction, training, equipment provision, and force deployment. Presidents of the Municipal People’s Committee and the districts’ people’s committees directly manage and operate the work of building and training this force. When a security and political incident occurs, grounded on the direction by the Municipal Party Committee and the districts’ party committees as well as on the plans by the Municipal People’s Committee and the districts’ people’s committees, the presidents of the all-level people’s committees directly command this force. Concerning the authority for mobilization, the city has decided that the MMC Commander would mobilize the standing militia force in the area with the agreement of the Municipal People’s Committee President and the Military Region 7 Commander, and that the all-level military command heads would mobilize this force in their areas with the agreement of the people’s committee presidents at the same level and the senior-level military office heads.

While consolidating the standing militia force both qualitatively and quantitatively, the MMC has always paid due regard to the training work and considered it as a key measure for improving this force’s synergy and combat readiness capacity. The training work has been organized in a focalized, comprehensive manner in accordance with the force’s structure, equipment, and task, the areas’ reality, and local budgets. On an annual basis, the all-level military offices develops the training plans and advise localities on making elaborate preparations, introducing the task, holding refresher courses for cadres, and delivering summons. In the training process, the MMC has directed localities and units to adhere to the motto of “basics, practicality, and thorough grasp.” They have been required to enhance the coordination between the forces to maintain political security and social order and safety in their areas. Also, the standing militia force have been involved in the technical, tactical, and live-firing training courses with the Regiment of Gia Dinh under the Military Region 7 Commander’s yearly combat training order. Units and localities have closely combined combat training with discipline management, political education and education of local tradition, and aligned the training work with the practice of the projects for defensive zone combat, natural disaster prevention and control, search and rescue, and the mass mobilization work. In addition to the general training program for the militia and self-defence force under the regulations, the standing militia force has been trained to use supportive tools, master the skills in combating and arresting criminals with weapons, the on-spot combat projects, and the individual, team, squad, platoon, and company tactics to prevent and deal with demonstrations and riots, and maintain cooperation with the Public Security Force, the Border Guard, and the Coast Guard in conducting patrols, settling the A2 and A3 situations, and safeguarding the areas’ security and order. This force has also been trained to carry out the mass mobilization work, which has greatly improved its synergy and task performance.

Besides, the city has paid due regard to ensuring good policies and entitlements for the standing militia force. The MMC has proactively cooperated with the Municipal Department of Planning and Investment in advising the Municipal People’s Committee on directing the districts to allocate the budget for this force’s operation and worked with the Municipal Department of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs to provide policies and entitlements for this force. Up to now, the city has invested in providing the standing militia force with sufficient uniforms and modern equipment and supportive tools. Meanwhile, localities have proactively ensured the budget for the standing militia force and adopted measures for exploiting resources for the militia and self-defence work from unions and enterprises under the regulations of law. The policies and entitlements for the training and operation of the standing militia force have been flexibly applied by the districts under their economic conditions. Moreover, the standing militia force has been provided with monthly allowances. When taking part in training courses and activities, this force has been given daily wages in accordance with local budgets, which has enabled this force to keep their mind on their work.

The organization and operation of the active militia force have been derived from the practical demands for the military-defence work, the building of defensive zones, and the ensured political security and social order and safety in the area of Ho Chi Minh city. The city has achieved the encouraging initial achievements in the building, organization and use of this force. Therefore, it could be affirmed that it is a sound policy aimed at building the masses’ armed forces at the grass-roots level in peacetime which should be maintained, further studied, and adopted widely.

Sr. Col. Nguyen Van Hoang, PhD

Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the MMC

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