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Wednesday, September 09, 2020, 11:44 (GMT+7)
Kien Giang Province builds and enhances the operation of the maritime militia and self-defense force

Kien Giang Province is located at the southwestern end of the country with nearly 200 km of coastline, with 140 large and small islands and ​​63,000 square kilometers of water that borders the waters of Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia, including 5 archipelagoes with 143 big and small islands. The Province has 2 island districts (Phu Quoc and Kien Hai), 7 coastal districts and cities, of which Ha Tien Town and Kien Luong District are both coastal and border localities, and 49 coastal and island communes. The geographical and natural conditions endow Kien Giang with multiple potentials and advantages in economic development, especially marine economy, and, at the same time, they also pose hard challenges for the province in strengthening national defense and maintaining security and safety and protecting the sovereignty over the sacred seas and islands of the Fatherland.

Over the past years, along with promoting socio-economic development and improving people's lives, the Provincial Party Committee and Provincial People's Committee have always paid attention to leading and directing the good implementation of defence and military work, of which building and improving the operational quality of strong maritime militia and self-defense force to meet the requirements of protection of the sovereignty over sea and islands in the new situation has been identified as a key task. On the basis of thoroughly grasping Directive No.04/CT-BQP issued on January 26th, 2007 by the Minister of National Defence on “Strengthening the direction over the development of the maritime militia and self-defense force”, the Provincial Military Party Committee and Military Command have advised the Provincial Party Committee and Provincial People's Committee to issue specialized resolutions and complete documents to lead and direct localities in building the maritime militia and self-defense force to ensure stability and promote its role in building the maritime defence posture.

Shooting drill (Photo: qdnd.vn)

Annually, the Provincial Military Command has actively coordinated with agencies, departments, branches, and localities in reviewing the workforce, ships, and boats operating at sea as a basis for organising the force building. On the basis of fishermen’s fleets, military agencies of coastal districts and communes have developed plans for appropriate staffing organization to ensure an extensive maritime militia and self-defense force in all routes. Party committees at all levels have regularly paid attention to developing and building a contingent of Party members in the maritime militia and self-defense force to act as the core in the process of task performance. For this work to be effective, the units have selected cadres and soldiers who meet the standards of qualifications and politics and have good ethical qualities and outstanding sense of responsibility to participate in Party awareness and militia and self-defense refresher courses organized by the localities and the Provincial Military Command. The contingent’s performance results have been regularly monitored and firmly grasped to promptly praise and commend and develop plans for Party member admission and cadre appointment when eligible.

As the maritime militia and self-defence force mostly consists of unskilled workers, including ethnic minorities who have difficult economic conditions, uneven qualifications, while the force is dispersed that is difficult for management, training, and education, the Provincial Military Party Committee and Military Command have attached particular importance to improving political stuff for cadres and soldiers. Based on the fundamental education contents and programs, military agencies at all levels have actively coordinated with ship owners, production co-operatives, and enterprises in firmly grasping the exploitation schedules and time and developing appropriate educational plans to ensure the number of participation, not affecting the economic development of enterprises and households. During the intensive education sessions, besides the fundamental contents, the units have also coordinated with the Coast Guard Region 4, the Fisheries Department, and the Border Guard post in organising propaganda about the Vietnam Maritime Law, the 1982 United Nation Convention on Maritime Law, the fisheries law and the maritime laws of ​​the countries with contiguous waters, the agreements on historical waters, and the agreements on fisheries that Vietnam has signed with other countries. At the same time, importance has also been attached to the education on the nation, the Army, and the localities’ traditions, the Party and State's guidelines and undertakings on economic development in association with strengthening national defence and security and protecting sovereignty of the sea and islands, mottos in handling and settlement of maritime situations, and legal documents on national defence, security, and sea and islands. Attention has been paid to educating the sense of observance of the localities and enterprises’ regulations, fostering methods and styles of mass propagation and mobilization, and experience and skills of recognizing the breaches of maritime law. Propagation and education have been closely combined with the struggle against false claims distorting the Party's guidelines and undertakings and the State’s policies and laws, acts that affect the marine environment, and illegal activities causing insecurity and unsafety and infringing upon the sovereignty over sea and islands of the Fatherland. Cadres in charge of, troops, squads or platoons on fishing and transport means and in enterprises have regularly organized weekly and monthly dialogue meetings and coordinated with establishments and enterprises in firmly grasping the ideological situation, conditions, circumstances, and sense of responsibility in production and sense of observance of regulations to promptly take measures for education and assistance for the maritime militia and self-defense soldiers.

Operations on fishing grounds with potential dangers require cadres and soldiers to have good health, qualifications, military skills, and flexible combat capabilities. Therefore, the Provincial Military Party Committee and Military Command have directed to develop appropriate plans and improve the quality of training for the maritime militia and self-defense force. Accordingly, the military agencies at all levels have developed training plans with comprehensive, focused, key contents relevant to the requirements, staffing organization, equipment, and local practices and in accordance with local budgets. In training, the motto of “Basics, practice, and quality” has always been adhered to with focus on training cadres and soldiers to master the maritime militia and self-defense force’s combat techniques, tactics, and styles, be proficient in on-site combat plans, and improve the coordination with the Public Security, Border Guard, Coast Guard, and Navy in patrol, control, and handling of situations. In addition, the maritime militia and self-defence force have also been trained in prevention and control of natural disasters, smuggling, and armed piracy, raise of awareness of defense and military tasks, conspiracies and tricks of hostile forces, marine security situation, maritime legal documents, shooting, fire prevention, anti-sinking, towing of ships, and use of maritime communication equipment,  satellite positioning, etc. After the training, the Province has organized shooting contests for 100% of the members, so the training quality has been improved markedly. 100% of annual training results are satisfactory, including over 75% are good and excellent.

Along with that, the Province has actively taken care of the implementation of policy work towards the maritime militia and self-defence force and those operating in establishments and enterprises. The Provincial Military Command has actively advised the Provincial Party Committee and Provincial People's Committee to promulgate new preferential policies, especially in accessing loans for fishermen to invest in building and upgrading fishing ships and boats with large capacity. At the same time, modern communication equipment and support tools have been provided to practically serve the work of leadership, command, and management of the maritime militia and self-defence force in task performance. Establishments and enterprises approved by the Provincial People's Committee to provide 81 concessional loans for 81 ship owners to build and upgrade ships and marine services with a total amount of more than VND 691 billion.

By positive and synchronous measures, the construction and operation of the maritime militia and self-defence force in Kien Giang Province have obtained positive results, making important contribution to strengthening and enhancing the defence-security potential and posture. The maritime militia and self-defense force has coordinated with other functional forces in settling hundreds of violations of law, especially illegal fishing and smuggling at sea, propagating and mobilising thousands of fishermen to observe the regulations on fishing, promptly preventing multiple complicated fishing ground disputes, rescuing ships and vessels in distress due to thunderstorms, and maintaining security and order at sea and on fishing grounds to contribute to protecting firmly the sacred sovereignty over the sea and islands of the Fatherland.

Colonel NGUYEN NGOC SON, Deputy Head of the Political Department, Kien Giang Province Military Command

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