Thursday, May 30, 2019, 18:21 (GMT+7)
Building the Military Transport Branch on a par with its mission

Over the past 70 years of combat service and combat (June 18th 1949 – June 18th 2019), the Military Transport Branch has always fulfilled its assigned tasks and made great contributions to the cause of liberating the country and defending the Homeland. In the new situation, the Branch continues to promote its tradition and make itself strong on a par with its mission.

To meet the requirements of our revolution, on June 18th 1949, the Military Transport Department was founded and initially tasked with organizing military transport comprehensively. From its early inception, despite the fact that cadres and soldiers were not experienced in counselling and organizing military transport while materials and equipment were not sufficient, with the determination to “pave the road to advance, fight the enemy to move forward”, the Transport Force flexibly employed methods of transport, from primitive one to modern one, by land, water, air and pipeline to manoeuvre materiel and troops to the battlefields, thereby making great contributions to achieving resounding feats of arms and liberating and unifying the country.

In the new period, the Branch has continued taking the lead in overcoming the war consequences, withdrawing the cargoes and spoils of war on the battlefields and transport lines, relieving sea ports, and transporting goods for the national construction and development with various types of tasks and goods. Against that backdrop, the Military Transport Branch has been organized into 3 levels, namely strategic level, operational level and tactical level. It has step by step modernized equipment and means of transport, upgraded the system of depots and ports, made itself “revolutionary, regular, seasoned, gradually modern”, well fulfilled the transport work, and opportunely provided transport for the military tasks, especially for the sea and island protection, natural disaster prevention and control, and search and rescue.

In the upcoming time, the tasks of Homeland construction and protection and Military build-up will have new developments and impose higher requirements on the Military Transport Branch. Meanwhile, the Branch’s organizational structure and means of transport have yet to meet the task development. Currently, over 70% of the Branch’s vehicles are old-fashioned while the budget is limited. To fulfil the assigned task, the Military Transport Department’s Command has been directing the whole Branch to synchronously take measures to build a strong Military Transport Branch on a par with the task requirements.

First of all, the Department has actively advised the General Logistics Department (GLD) and Ministry of National Defence (MND) on consolidating the structure of the military transport force in line with the master plan and task of each level. Grounded on higher echelons’ directives and resolutions, particularly the Strategy for Homeland protection in the new situation, the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 623-NQ/QUTW on the military logistics work towards 2020 and beyond, the Project on the organizational structure of the Vietnam People’s Army towards 2021, the Department has taken part in designing the Project on consolidating the Military Logistics Branch’s organizational structure, with a focus on completing the plan to build transport units in each region and strategic direction. At the same time, it has suggested making the Transport Branch “compact and uniform” at all 3 levels, with priority given to developing strategic and operational-level transport force and units tasked with combat readiness, natural disaster prevention and control, and search and rescue as well as newly-founded units, especially in the important areas and sea, island areas.

To deal with the dearth and imbalance of transport staff members at all levels, the Branch has strictly adhered to the regulations on organizational structure; frequently reviewed the manpower under the plan; continued to carry out the work of personnel deployment and rotation among units. At the same time, it has cooperated with offices and the Military Logistics Academy in setting up the training targets and programs for transport cadres and building a contingent of high-calibre transport cadres and organizing refresher courses for cadres, thereby contributing to preparing the human resources, gradually supplementing and balancing transport staff members within the whole Military, particularly units in the Central Region and the South. Besides, the Department has proactively counselled the GLD and MND to direct units at all levels to closely manage and build the transport potential and posture to meet the requirements for Homeland defence in the new situation. At the same time, importance has been attached to building the transport potential and posture within the defensive zones; enhancing the quality of transport reserve force; grasping the economic sectors’ transport force and vehicles for mobilization when necessary.

As military transport is a highly specific operation, to meet the task requirements, the Branch has stepped up building comprehensively strong offices and units, with a focus on making transport units “regular, safe, and effective” and building a contingent of transport staff members with political zeal, proper structure, and standard professional competence in each post. To do so, the Branch has continued to diversify forms of education and training and combine training with retraining, and training courses at schools with refresher courses at units. Significance has been attached to providing comprehensive but intensive training courses on specialized tactics and technique as well as transport during combat; to combing primitive transport with modern transport. In addition, the Department has directed units to improve the training quality, align professional training with military training; to provide training courses on traffic safety; to organize training and exercises to enhance the capabilities in manoeuvring, quickly unloading goods, ensuring transport for operations of all types in a hi-tech war and combat to protect seas and islands; to train staff members to exploit and master the existing transport means and vehicles, particularly the modern ones. Doing so has contributed to improving the transport staff’s military, operational, professional competence.

To raise the effectiveness of transport in the new situation, the Department has counselled the GLD and MND to formulate the plan on using and gradually modernizing means of transport in an effective, economical manner in accordance with each level and the Military’s budget and development demand. Grounded on the Plan 979/KH-HC, dated October 21st 2013, by the GLD on executing the Resolution 623, the Branch has actively acquired new-generation vehicles for transport units at all levels, with priority given to equipping newly-founded units and replacing vehicles that have been used for a long time or degraded. To make it effective, the Department has required offices, units, and localities to overall review watercraft within the whole Military; provided new watercraft for them in each region; accelerated the building and equipment of strategic watercraft. At the same time, it has directed operational-level offices and units to acquire small-level motorized vehicles to meet their demands for transport and training. Besides, the Department has undertaken researches and recommended the MND to provide budget for acquiring and manufacturing equipment, particularly watercraft under the East Sea - island and sea Project, constructing military bases on islands, upgrading operational-level ports, building and consolidating the system of depots and workshops at the strategic and operational levels.

While renewing the equipment, the Branch has well performed the work of technical maintenance to preserve and sustainably use materiel. To do so, the Branch has closely managed the quality and quantity of means of transport, particularly vessels, consolidated the equipment of stations and workshops, promoted technical staff’s self-reliance in repair and maintenance, improved the quality of technical days, strictly maintained the safety regulations, particularly for vehicles used to transport materiel and petroleum.

Currently, every year, the entire Branch transports about 300 million ton-kilometres and nearly 250 million troops-kilometres. To meet the task requirements, particularly at high times, the Branch has stepped up reform in methods of transport, decentralized transport flexibly, and promoted the strength of the market economy to perform a number of tasks. The Branch has encouraged the decentralization of transport and the capability in transport according to each defensive zone in order to make it relevant to the peacetime conditions and exploit the on-spot forces in wartime, while being flexible in transporting goods at each level to reduce the overlapping routes and raise the effectiveness of transport. In this regard, the Branch has focused on transporting weapons, technical equipment and materials of combat works for units and privatizing transport of goods and new recruits. In the coming time, the Branch will cooperate with enterprises in conducting surveys on air transport and speed up scientific researches, with a focus on developing the method of mobilizing means of transport during operations and building the transport force and posture to facilitate operations to protect Truong Sa Islands and counter strategic isolation; in applying technical initiatives to transport training, technical support, and management. At the same time, it will continue developing and frequently updating the military traffic network on the digital map within the whole Military so as to look up the information and directly track, operate, and manage vehicles during transport.

A part from the above-mentioned measures, the Branch will continue enhancing the emulation movements, namely “Building regular, safe, and effective transport units” and “Traffic culture and the homeland’s peacefulness” as well as the Campaign 50 as the basis for it to accomplish the transport work and make contributions to the entire Military’s successful fulfilment of all assigned tasks.

Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Dieu

Director of the Military Transport Department

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