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Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 19:56 (GMT+7)
Thuan Nam District builds a strong coastal militia force

Thuan Nam is a coastal district holding a position of importance to Ninh Thuan province’s defensive zone posture. Comprehending that, over the past years, the District’s Military Command (DMC) has given sound advice to the District Party Committee and People’s Committee on closely combining socio-economic development with defence-security consolidation and the building of strong district-level defensive zone, particularly in the coastal areas. In this regard, great importance has been attached to building a strong, reliable coastal militia force and making it ready to cooperate with other forces in maintaining security and order at sea and safeguarding the sea and island sovereignty.

Patrolling the area

Grounded on the Party’s national defence guidelines, the Law on the Militia and Self-Defence Forces, and higher echelons’ plans and projects, the DMC has counselled the District Party Committee and People’s Committee to issue directives and resolutions on building the coastal militia force to meet the requirements of local tasks. The DMC Party Committee’s Resolution has set the targets for “building the coastal militia force in the three lines, namely coastal, inshore, and offshore lines, increasing the rate of new party members within the militia and self-defence forces, and striving to establish party organizations within mobile and coastal militia platoons”. To do that, all-level military offices have actively helped local party committees and authorities build the coastal militia force both qualitatively and quantitatively to meet the requirements set by the tasks of protecting sea and island sovereignty and sovereign rights at as well as natural disaster prevention and control, and search and rescue at sea.

Due to the high requirements and particularities of operations of the coastal militia force, the DMC has advised the district on directing organizations and coastal communes to carefully review the personnel, vessels, and fishing grounds as the basis for recruiting members of the coastal militia force. Priority has been given to recruiting citizens who are at the age of militia service and have good morality, health, profile, and experience in fishery, and particularly discharged soldiers and ship owners with good political profile and a sense of observance of the State law and local regulations. To create a favourable condition for the performance of the task at sea, the DMC has cooperated with communes in selecting members of the coastal militia force who are both captains and ship owners and arranging those who are in the same blood group into the formation at the same fishing ground with the active coastal militia squads and platoons. At the same time, it has persuaded ship owners and fishermen to commit to readily taking part in protecting the sovereignty and sovereign rights in the seas under the Government’s Decrees 30/NĐ-CP and 130/NĐ-CP.

The task of the coastal militia force is not only hard but also dangerous, thus requiring its members’ fitness, military skills, political will and determination. Therefore, the DMC and its Party Committee have counselled the district to improve the political quality of the coastal militia force. To that end, the district has directed communes to further provide defence and security education for ship owners and captains, and step up the work of political, traditional, and legal education for the coastal militia force during full-time training courses. Those operations have contributed to raising the coastal militia force members’ awareness of the Party’s guidelines, the State’s law, and the district’s policy on socio-economic, cultural development as well as building up their political will, sense of responsibility, and capability to perform their task. Simultaneously, the district has ordered communes to enhance the quality and effectiveness of commune-level military party cells and well conduct the work of initiating new members into the Party within the coastal militia force with emphasis placed on discharged soldiers, while assigning the targets of new party members to each commune on a yearly basis. With the above-mentioned approaches, so far, Thuan Nam District has founded 1 active coastal militia platoon in Phuoc Diem commune (including 3 squads), and 2 active coastal militia squads in the communes of Phuoc Dinh and Ca Na. In those platoons, there are party organizations while party members, youth union members and discharged soldiers act as the core in the coastal militia squads. This is a really reliable political force of local party committees and authorities in maintaining security and social order in the sea border areas and protecting the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty.

The militia force of Phuoc Ha commune practises shooting

Moreover, the DMC has attached significance to improving the quality of training and exercises and the combat capability within the coastal militia force. On an annual basis, the district organized training courses for commune-level military command cadres, commanders of coastal militia platoons and squads as well as village leaders as the basis for holding training courses for members of the coastal militia force at the grass-roots level. It has made elaborate preparations, such as facilities, training aids for training at sea. To ensure the strength of training, the district has selected the training duration properly in order to avoid affecting the people’s fisheries business (regularly from September to November). During the training process, the district has adhered to the motto of “basics, practicality, quality” while employing training forms and methods in accordance with the characteristics of trainees and areas. As for first-year members of the coastal militia force, the district has organized full-time training courses in the clusters of communes; it has assigned communes to hold training courses for other members of the coastal militia force. Focuses of training have been placed on shooting practice at sea, first-aid skills, natural disaster prevention and control, and search and rescue. Moreover, great value has been attached to mobilizing the coastal militia force in the district-level defensive zone exercise, natural disaster and search and rescue drills as well as commune-level combat exercises. The district has also cooperated with the Coast Guard Region 3 and the Provincial Border Guard Command in providing supplementary training for the coastal militia force, such as regulations on the distance between ships of a platoon and squad, method of communications, methods to grasp and report the situation, recognize strange vessels, and fight against foreign vessels’ violations of Vietnam’s waters. In 2017, the district directed the defensive exercise of Phuoc Dinh commune, mobilized 39 members of the coastal militia force to cooperate with the border post of Son Hai in combating to protect the unit. In 2018, in the district-level defensive zone exercise, coastal localities mobilized 9 high-powered vessels and 99 people in combating to protect sea and island sovereignty, which was highly appreciated by the province.

To enhance the effectiveness of operation of the coastal militia force, the district has strictly maintained the order for combat readiness duty, established safe production teams at sea, and combined the people’s exploitation of seafood with their grasp of the situation and illegal activities to report to the district. At the same time, it has cooperated with the Public Security, Border Guard and Fisheries Resources Surveillance in conducting patrols to grasp the situation, opportunely detect and drive away foreign vessels violating our waters as well as prevent and handle vessels using illegal fishing tools to catch fish and destroy the environment. Up to now, the district has founded 106 united production teams at sea, including 33 teams working in the distant waters, high-powered ships provided with modern equipment and machines. Since 2013, the coastal militia force has provided hundreds of pieces of valuable information related to foreign vessels’ violation of our waters and fought to handle hundreds of cases of thefts and security destabilization in the area. Notably, in 2014, when the Haiyang 981 Oil Rig violated Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, the district’s coastal militia force promoted its role in carrying out the work of propagation to persuade fishermen and people to keep their mind on their work at sea and conform to the Party and State’ guidelines and policies on fighting to protect the sea and island sovereignty and sovereign rights.

To encourage the coastal militia force well performing the task, the district has always paid due attention to ensuring policies for this force. Under the Law on the Militia and Self-Defence Forces, circulars, decisions, and guiding documents by the Ministry of National Defence, and the Project on “Organizing and ensuring policies for the militia and self-defence forces in Ninh Thuan province’s area in the 2017-2020 period”, the district has ensured sufficient policies for the coastal militia force. At the same time, it has effectively used the budget allocated by higher echelons and actively mobilized resources to build the headquarters of commune-level military commands and working places of the coastal militia force. Up to now, all commune-level military commands have owned the headquarters while coastal militia platoons have possessed working places. Moreover, the district has created a favourable condition for members and cadres of the coastal militia force to get loans under the Prime Minister’s Decrees 67/NĐ-CP and 89/NĐ-CP in an effort to implement projects for economic development associated with defence and security missions. Over the past years, in the district, 10 projects for building high-powered ships have been given loans. At the same time, the district has supported fishermen under the Government’s Decision 48/QĐ-TTg thousands of billions of VND.

The building and operation of the coastal militia force in Thuan Nam District has brought about the encouraging results and helped fishermen keep their mind on their work at sea to become “living markers” in the waters, thereby contributing to consolidating the posture of “people’s hearts and minds” and safeguarding the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty.

Col. Nguyen Van Duong, Standing Member of the District Party Committee

Commander of the DMC

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