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Thursday, September 30, 2021, 13:26 (GMT+7)
Promoting the No Number Naval Ships’ tradition to build a strong and modern Brigade 125

In the great resistance war against the U.S., for national salvation, together with our military and people, “the No Number Naval Ships” - the present-day Brigade 125 under the Naval Zone 2 achieved brilliant feats of arms to contribute to making up the legendary “Ho Chi Minh sea trail.” Bringing into play that tradition, the Brigade is concentrating on making itself strong and modern on a par with its task requirements.

60 years ago, on October 23rd, 1961, the General Command (the present-day Ministry of National Defence) decided to establish a military sea transport force called Group 759 to provide weapons, technical equipment, and military staff for the South. Right after its foundation, the Group quickly acquired, repaired, and built ships, while conducting reconnaissance of watercourses and wharves to set up routes. On the evening of April 10th, 1962, a wooden-hulled motor ship with 7 crew members quietly left Nhat Le beach (Quang Binh province) for the South. After 8 days and nights of seafaring, the ship arrived at Vam Lung wharf (Ca Mau province). On August 1st, 1962, it came back to the North safely. That scouting cruise paved the way for the Central Military Commission to issue the Resolution on sea transport to the South.

On the evening of October 11th, 1962, the first wooden-hulled ship carrying 30 tons of weapons, called “Phuong Dong 1” left Nghieng wharf (Do Son, Hai Phong city) and arrived at the Vam Lung wharf (Ca Mau) after 5 days, marking the inception of the strategic transport line across the East Sea. Immediately after that event, President Ho Chi Minh sent a telegram of congratulations and directed the Group 759 to “quickly draw lessons and keep transporting more weapons to the South for the people to annihilate the enemy.” Under the President’s Directive, the Group 759 successfully organised dozens of cruises against the enemy’s control to provide more than 1,000 tons of weapons for the military and people on the Southern battlefield to enhance military attacks associated with uprisings to destroy the enemy’s strategic hamlets and expand liberated zones. At that time, sea transport was seen as the most effective method. Since then, the Central Military Commission assigned sea transport to the Navy. On January 29th, 1964, the Group 759 was assigned to the Navy and renamed Group 125, aka the “No Number Naval Ships.”

To meet its new task requirements, the Group 125 continued to strengthen its organisational structure, step up training, and improve its troops’ combat morale. Sailing hundreds of thousands of nautical miles against the harshest weather conditions as well as bombs and torpedoes of the U.S. Air Force and Navy, the Group 125 supplied hundreds of thousands of tons of weapons, equipment and fuel and tens of thousands of soldiers to battlefields. It should be noted that during the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign, while transporting weapons and personnel, the Group 125 took part in liberating the Truong Sa islands. In 80 days and nights of combat and combat service, the Group 125 organised 143 cruises, sailing 65,721 nautical miles, transporting 18,741 cadres and soldiers, 8,721 tons of weapons, and 50 tanks, sinking the enemy’s PCF ship, causing severe damage to three others, arresting 42 prisoners of war, directly making contributions to the complete victory of the resistance war against the U.S., for national salvation. The strategic sea transport line named after the beloved President Ho Chi Minh definitely excellently fulfilled its mission.

After the country had been unified and moved forward to socialism, the Navy’s task was centred on the defence of seas, islands, and continental shelf. The Brigade 125 has been mainly tasked with transporting cargoes and personnel for the newly-liberated islands, meeting the travel need of the military and people across the country, and especially providing supplies and military staff for the Truong Sa islands. Notably, on March 14th, 1988, many of cadres and soldiers on the Brigade’s ships HQ505, HQ604, and HQ605 bravely fought and sacrificed their lives to protect the sacred national sovereignty over the Truong Sa islands. With those remarkable achievements in the process of combat and development, the Brigade and 13 collectives, and 22 individuals have been given the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces and many other noble rewards by the State.

Providing aid for fishermen at sea

Currently, the building of a modern Vietnam People’s Navy capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty over seas, islands, and continental shelf is more demanding. To successfully fulfil the assigned task, the Brigade’s Party Committee and Command have determined to keep promoting the tradition of the Ho Chi Minh sea trail and synchronously adopt measures to build a strong, modern Brigade, with a focus on the following.

First, enhance the work of political education and ideological management to improve cadres and soldiers’ political zeal as the basis for successfully fulfilling the assigned political mission. To that end, the Brigade has stepped up the Project on “renewing political education within military units in the new period.” Emphasis has been placed on rendering cadres and soldiers fully aware of the Party’s military-defence guidelines presented in the Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.8 (9th and 11th tenure) on the Strategy to defend the Homeland in the new situation, the 10th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.4 on the Maritime Strategy of Vietnam towards 2020 as well as higher echelons’ resolutions and directives. Doing so has enabled the Brigade to make its cadres and soldiers clearly understand the importance of seas and islands and the impacts on the country’s marine economy and defence-security work. At the same time, due attention has been paid to updating information relating to seas, islands, and disputes in the East Sea and disseminating our Party and State’s viewpoints, guidelines, and maritime strategies. Doing so has helped cadres and soldiers to grasp the situation relating to seas and islands, the task of the Military, the Navy, and the Brigade, and the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy, clearly identify partners and opponents, increase their responsibility, revolutionary vigilance, and absolute loyalty to the Party, and remain steadfastness against hardships to fulfil their task. In the process, the Brigade has focused on educating troops on the tradition of the “No Number Naval Ships” and building up their pride and love for seas and islands as well as combat morale to sacrifice for the Homeland’s sacred sovereignty. Great value has been attached to enhancing the Campaign titled “promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers - naval soldiers” in tandem with the 13th Politburo’s Conclusion 01-KL/TW on continuing to execute the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW on “studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics, and lifestyle” and the Determination to Win Emulation Movement.

Second, improve the quality of training and combat readiness. Consideration has been given to adhering to the training motto of “basics, practicality, thorough grasp,” providing intensive and synchronous training, taking the defence of seas and islands as the goal of training, and applying valuable lessons on war-time transport and protection of seas and islands to raise the quality of training. To make training relevant to the task requirements, the Brigade has directed its affiliates to achieve breakthroughs in (1) training troops to master weapons and technical equipment, particularly the new ones and (2) organising training courses in accordance with each force’s combat project. Importance has been attached to improving all-level cadres’ capabilities in management, commanding, operation, staff work at company and brigade levels, foreign languages, and information technology. Units have been required to enhance night-time training and exercises in the harsh weather conditions, raise troops’ manoeuvrability to opportunely deal with situations at sea and strictly maintain the regulations on combat readiness. Besides, they have actively supplemented, adjusted, and practised combat projects properly, closely combined transport with patrol and scouting mission, and cooperated with other forces in grasping the situation. They have also collaborated with local authorities and offices in developing combat plans and projects to protect their barracks, depots, and harbours. At the same time, they have actively taken part in defensive zone exercises and search and rescue operations to contribute to maintaining political security and social order and safety within their stationed areas.

Third, frequently provide logistics and technical support for training, combat readiness, and other contingency missions. Under the motto of being proactive, flexible, independent, self-reliant, creative, industrious, and thrifty in production, the Brigade has concentrated on providing materials, petroleum, and supplies for training, combat readiness, and other contingency tasks, particularly the “BM” and “CV” ones. To ensure troops’ health for continuous, durable operations at sea, the Brigade has directed its logistics office to make a breakthrough in “improving the quality of feeding and taking care of troops and the military standard order building within the Logistics Branch.” Affiliates of the Brigade have stepped up the movement to practice thrift, fight against wastefulness in all steps and activities, actively promote crop/animal husbandry, prevent epidemics, and build a system of “standard, green, clean, scenic” barracks. In the technical work, the Brigade has attached significance to raising the quality of maintaining and repairing vessels, weapons, and technical equipment. It has seriously maintained the order for the technical work on a weekly, monthly, quarterly basis and the regulations on safety assurance and fire prevention and control. Moreover, it has well carried out the Campaign titled “managing and exploiting weapons and technical equipment effectively, sustainably, safely, economically and ensuring traffic safety.”

Bringing into play the glorious tradition of the legendary “No Number Naval Ships,” cadres and soldiers of the Brigade 125 will always be loyal to the Party, the Homeland, and the people, united, ingenious, and courageous in combat, active, proactive and creative in production and work to successfully fulfil all assigned missions.

Sr. Capt. VO DINH CHIEN, Commander of the Brigade 125

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