Tuesday, February 08, 2022, 08:02 (GMT+7)
Building a strong Truong Sa island district as the Fatherland’s outpost

The island district of Truong Sa under Khanh Hoa province has a total area of nearly 500 km2, including Truong Sa township and 2 island communes of Song Tu Tay and Sinh Ton. Due to Truong Sa’s particularities compared to other units within the State’s administrative system, the island district’s policies on the people’s livelihood have yet to be sustainable, its political system is gradually being completed, and its weather and climate conditions are extremely harsh. However, the district’s Party Organisation, authorities, Military, and citizens have effectively employed investments from the State, the province, and sectors to boost socio-economic development, consolidate defence-security potential, and improve the people’s life. Constructions serving both defence-security consolidation and the people’s daily life, such as airport, communication station, satellite television, meteorological station, infirmary, and school have been basically built to make Truong Sa strong in terms of defence, fine in terms of lifestyle, beautiful in terms of landscape, and exemplary in terms of military-civilian unity.

To achieve those good results, first of all, the district has attached great value to building politically, ideologically, and organisationally strong armed forces with a high level of combativeness and capability in defending their assigned seas and islands as a task of paramount importance. Grasping and executing Decision 872/QĐ-TM, dated June 8th, 2018 by Chief of the General Staff on the organisational structure of the district’s armed forces and the implementation of three breakthroughs, the district has advised Naval Zone 4’s Party Committee and Command on adjusting the organisational structure of the standing force in accordance with the particularities of the stationed area. It has mobilised all qualified male citizens to build a “strong, extensive” militia force, reviewed sources of reservists according to new targets, and consolidated documents on reservist reception to readily reinforce islands and stationed positions.

Moreover, the district has focused its leadership and direction on realising a breakthrough in raising the quality of training and combat readiness. In the training process, it has always adhered to the motto of “basics, practicality, and thorough grasp.” Importance has been attached to organising synchronous, intensive training courses in accordance with combat projects and objects of combat, regarding the defence of national sovereignty over seas and islands as the goal of training, and taking battlefield practice as the training environment, condition, and projects. Over the years, the district’s armed forces have stepped up a reform in their contents, forms, and methods of training and improved the quality of training management, operation, and plans in accordance with their tasks, combat projects, objects of combat, organisational structure, weapons, and technical equipment. Emphasis has been placed on training troops to master combat projects, closely carrying out reconnaissance of other countries’ activities in the air and at sea, improving troops’ capability in exploiting weapons and technical equipment, maintaining the airborne early warning system, fighting against electronic warfare, and ensuring safety. Besides, significance has been attached to enhancing all-level cadres’ training capacity, opportunely providing training courses for reinforcements, and frequently practising combat readiness shift (once a month during 3 days) to better the armed forces’ combat readiness and complete projects on sea and island defence. At the same time, the district has regularly supplemented and adjusted combat documents, strictly maintained regulations on command, combat, and headquarters duty, patrol, and guard, ensured smooth communication between its islands and the coast, enhanced reconnaissance coordination with relevant forces, and proactively given advice to its higher echelons on dealing with issues to avoid falling into passivity and preserve peace and stability within itself. It has thoroughly grasped and studied resolutions, directives, tasks, and strategies for the Fatherland protection in the air and at sea, increased its vigilance against plots and artifices of objects of combat, promoted the role of organisations in rendering troops fully aware of their task and responsibility for firmly protecting national sovereignty over seas and islands. Units of the district’s armed forces have proactively ensured logistics and technical support for training and combat readiness, while maintaining a high rate of healthy troops (over 99%) and the technical coefficient of their weapons and equipment, thereby contributing to raising their combat readiness capacity. In 2021, islands of the districts opportunely detected and handled violations of our national sovereignty by foreign aircraft, warships, and fishing vessels and spent 1,500 hours on practising defensive combat projects. In the conference to review the Determination to Win Emulation, 6 islands of the district were given the Good Training Unit Flag and the Emulation Flag by the Ministry of National Defence and the Navy, while 10 islands of the district were presented with the Certificate of Merit by Khanh Hoa province.

There is a fact that the district is far from the coast and frequently hit by typhoons and tornados, which profoundly impacts on its cadres, soldiers, and citizens’ life, ideology, and task performance. Therefore, the district has paid due regard to improving its cadres, soldiers, and citizens’ material and mental life. In addition to ensuring sufficient policies and entitlements for cadres, public servants, and citizens on its islands under Prime Minister’s Decision 70/2008/QĐ-TTg, dated May 29th, 2008, the district has directed its offices, units, and households to step up crop and animal husbandry to be partly self-sufficient in food and maintain food supply in the event of bad weather. It has frequently repaired houses and supplemented utensils for all households, while investing thousands of billions of VND in constructing cultural works, electricity grid, schools, and health stations to improve troops and people’s life on its islands. Notably, it has effectively exploited Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and “For beloved Hoang Sa - Truong Sa” Fund to repair the primary schools of Sinh Ton and Song Tu Tay, construct playgrounds for children, and acquire materials for teachers and pupils. At the same time, it has brought into play the role of its pedagogical council in maintaining the operation of schools and classes and cooperated with Khanh Hoa Provincial Study Promotion Association in giving encouragements to teachers and pupils, thereby making a new change in the quality of education.  Moreover, it has provided free medical examination and treatment for its citizens, sufficiently prepared medicine and medical equipment, frequently disinfected accommodation and workplace of its cadres and citizens, and well conducted the work of epidemic prevention and control. It has also focused on executing the movement titled “the entire people unite in building cultural lifestyle within residential areas” and organised art performances with military units stationed on its islands and many traditional festivals on national holidays. Doing so has contributed to enabling the district’s cadres, public servants, and citizens to keep their mind on their work and enjoy a cultural, civilised, happy life.

In order to increase the politico-spiritual as the basis for building and consolidating the all-people national defence, the posture of all-people national defence, and the “posture of people’s hearts and minds,” the district has attached importance to building its political system and unity between the Military and the people. More specifically, it has promulgated regulations on the organisational structure and operation of all-level people’s committees as well as on competent offices’ functions, tasks, and authority. It has cooperated with Khanh Hoa province’s departments and sectors and Naval Zone 4 in recruiting public servants under regulations. Due attention has been paid to initiating new members into the Party and flexibly appointing military cadres to local party committees and authorities to improve the performance of military-defence task. Military units have actively collaborated with local party committees and authorities in encouraging the people to implement the Party’s guidelines and the State’s laws and policies and take part in building political bases on islands. They have maintained duty, search, and rescue to readily help the people on islands and fishermen at sea. Also, they have proactively ensured supplies and helped the people on islands to develop crop and animal husbandry.

In response to such support, citizens of the district have always felt proud to live on Truong Sa. All men have volunteered to join the militia force and help military units maintain duty on islands. All women have participated in ensuring environmental sanitation, taking care of flowers and bonsai on islands, and performing arts to improve troops’ mental life. Citizens on the district’s islands and fishermen at Truong Sa have always heightened a sense of responsibility to opportunely provide information for competent forces to grasp other countries’ activities and help repel foreign vessels with violations of our national sovereignty. In 2021, the military and the people on islands cooperated with fishermen in driving away 72 foreign vessels with violations of our waters and provided assistance for 14 fishing vessels with 67 fishermen in dealing with incidents at sea. It should be noted that thanks to investments from sectors and localities as well as efforts made by the military and the people on islands, up to now, hundreds of constructions, such as Capital Guest House, Truong Sa Traditional House, Ho Chi Minh Memorial House, Vo Nguyen Giap Park, Grand Prince Tran Quoc Tuan Statue, pagoda on islands, solar electricity system, drinking water purifier system, and school have been built on the district of Truong Sa. On islands of the district, there have been not only military staff members, but also families full of joys and optimism. The unity between the military and the people has helped maintain the vitality of cultural works, while the green has continued stretching over vegetable, flower, and bonsai gardens to build up a happy life between “winds and waters.”

With political resolve and efforts made by tens of thousands of people, nowadays, Truong Sa island district is described as green pearls at sea. Communication is smooth. The district has sufficient electricity, schools, and drinking water. The people are enjoying a really peaceful life. That is an important foundation for Truong Sa’s troops and citizens to determinedly protect national sovereignty over seas and islands and build the district into a fortress and border marker of the Fatherland.

LUONG XUAN GIAP, Chairman of the District People’s Council

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