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Monday, February 26, 2018, 21:31 (GMT+7)
294th Radar Regiment improves combat training quality

294th Radar Regiment (E294), 367th Air Defense Division, was founded on March 5, 1968, amid a critical period of our resistance war against the U.S. Imperialism. In its early days, the regiment had to simultaneously conduct force building and participate in the defense of our airspace in the North. It was this difficult time that turned the regiment into a renowned unit in our air defense force. Later, due to new developments in the war, it was dispatched to the Southern battlefield to monitor the airspace and provide aerial intelligence for the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign. After our ultimate victory over the U.S. Imperialists, E294 was deployed to Southwest Border War and international voluntary mission. Thanks to its outstanding feats in combat, the regiment was decorated with the State’s Combat Merit Medal 3rd Class and many other honorable commendations; notably, its 48th Radar Station was awarded the title Hero of the People’s Armed Forces.

Training combat coordination at the radar headquaters

Currently, the regiment’s primary tasks are conducting combat training, maintaining combat readiness, and monitoring our southern airspace. Due to its vast area of operation, the regiment’s capabilities have been enhanced with a considerable number of modern equipment. To meet new operational requirements, members of E294 have constantly upheld its tradition of solidarity, proactiveness, flexibility, and creativity in implementing all assigned tasks. As a result, the regiment was able to achieve encouraging results in combat and combat readiness training, in improving proficiency in operating new equipment, and in technical maintenance work.

These positive outcomes were resulted, first and foremost, from the enhancement in leadership ability for commanding staffs and Party committees at all levels in the regiment. Every year, before the training season, its command and Party committee always instruct its subordinate contingents to conduct thorough education activities for their members on superior authorities’ training and combat readiness guidelines and resolutions, especially the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 765 NQ/QUTW, and the Air Force – Air Defense Party Committee’s Resolution 558-NQ/DU on “Improving training quality 2013 – 2020 and beyond”. Base on these documents, party committee at each level in the regiment issue their own training and combat readiness resolution; clearly identifying primary approaches, key issues and major drawbacks that need to be addressed, especially focusing on improving the efficiency in operating new hardware. At the same time, Party committees and commanding staffs at all levels were given more responsibilities to completely prevent any negligence in implementing training programs. Also, the regimental command and Party Committee instructed its subordinate contingents to carry out comprehensive but specific training, focusing on innovative training principles and methods. Besides, education and propaganda programs for the troops were pushed ahead to promote the importance of training activities and make them understand that these were the primary political task of the unit. As a result, all regiment’s officers and soldiers had better understanding about their training and combat readiness tasks, their training quality and proficiency in operating equipment, especially new hardware, were constantly improved.

In a combat readiness situation

The implementation of Central Resolution 4 (tenure XII) on Party building and regulation was upheld by the regiment’s Party committees to improve the leadership ability of its subordinate commanding staffs and Party committees; in which the main focus was combining party committee building with consolidating the leadership system at all levels. At the same time, the regiment leadership closely integrated the work of Party building with the implementation of Politburo Directive 05-CT/TW (tenure XII) on further studying and following the ideology, moral examples and style  of President Ho Chi Minh, and other emulation movements, especially the  “Promoting tradition, devoting talents, being worthy of Uncle Ho’s Soldier” campaign. In 2017, the Regiment’s Party Cohort and 06 subordinate Party cells were rated strong and transparent; 86.3% party members achieved good and excellent working evaluation; and all cadres completed sucessfully their responsibilities and assignments. These results were crucial fundamentals for the regiment to enhance its leadership capability in improving training and combat readiness quality.

Preparation work is an essential factor and has direct impact on training quality. The regiment always proactively conducts thorough and comprehensive training preparation in every aspect, especially in developing training plan, tutoring cadres, and repairing and reconstructing training yards, etc. Due to the fact that E294 has a lot of new technical equipment which has not been introduced in training programs in military schools, its training depends mainly on officers who were trained abroad or on site. Also, the unit actively sent selected personnel to join enhanced training courses which were held by the Division and Air Defense – Air Force Command and organized its own training sessions for technical officers. These sessions focused on the capabilities of newly equipped radar systems; information technology application; foreign aerial vehicles; and training methods, etc. In conducting these activities, the regiment strictly followed the principles of: “direct, on site”, senior command tutors subordinate commands, experienced officers tutor new officers. So that, all E294 officers had deep understanding and high proficiency in operating new technical hardware, and 75% of them achieved good and excellent results in training. Besides, the unit also furthered the acquisition of training materials, especially text books, documents, models, and training tools, etc. During the past years, the regiment worked with superior commands and translation experts to develop a full set of training documents for new equipment, renovate 78 sets of function and engine diagram; assemble 52 models; and upgraded 16 classrooms.

Radar maintenance 

To ensure the proficiency and efficiency for officers and soldiers in operating the new radar systems, E294 closely follows the principle: “basic, practical, solid, safe and cost-effective”, and considered technical training as the fundamental and tactical training as the main focus. Also, the regiment actively seek to reform training methods, making them appropriate to each combat group and each type of equipment. Training for combat crews at headquarters focused on improving commanding method and manner; proficiency in using equipment at the headquarters, alias and secret codes in communicating, and coordination in tracking and transferring target information between different components. Training for combat crews at radar outposts and stations is focused on system capabilities and tactics; and improving proficiency in operating new radar platforms. Most notably, the training also emphasized on enhancing combat coordination and the ability to track every type of target, especially in complicated scenarios, such as: small RCS or low-flying targets, infiltrating enemy aircraft, or enemy approaching in large number, etc. Besides, to quickly familiarize soldiers and officers with new radar systems, the regiment set specific criteria and standards for each combat group and promoted foreign language training for instructors and cadres. That said, E294 assigned officers with high linguistic skill to teach in language tutoring sessions for its members, these sessions were held on every Tuesday and Thursday by the Division and the Regiment itself. Tutoring lessons were designed to help officers in studying and familiarizing with the capabilities and tactics of new radar equipment. Besides, the unit issued many supportive policies to motivate its personnel in language self-study. As a result, all regiment’s members were able to proficiently and effectively operate new radar equipment, thus improving the unit’s training and combat readiness quality.

Technical service for radar systems plays a crucial role in improving the quality of training and combat readiness. To effectively carry out this work, the regimental Party Committee and Command instructed its subordinate units to strictly follow Central Military Commission Resolution 382 on technical work leadership in new scenario and Campaign 50. To meet demanding requirements in technical service for radar systems, especially new platforms, E294 focused on training and building its technical cadres in every sector. Accordingly, the regiment’s technical section was responsible for tutoring technical personnel for radar stations, power stations and car pool; focusing on repairing normal damages; improving technical skills for leading engineers; maintenance procedures and organizing daily, weekly and monthly maintenance service, etc. At the same time, the unit worked with the Division’s technical department to hold technical service competition to improve working skills for related personnel. As a result, its technical officers and second-year technical soldiers were able to repair normal damages and several complicated cases. Also, radar stations and outposts strictly conducted technical maintenance activities and managed to repair simple damages for their equipment. Consequently, technical ratings of equipment in the regiment met or exceeded predetermined standards (1%-5%), ensuring all radar systems to always operate around the clock and identify and track every target in their assigned coverage.

To uphold the tradition of the regiment during the last 50 years, all E294 members commit to continue to stay unified; promote collective intellects, activeness, and innovation, determine to effectively employ newly-equipped equipment, to improve the unit’s overall strength and defend the southern airspace of the motherland.

Senior Colonel Tran Tien Dung, 294th Radar Regiment Commander.

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