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Making the provincial armed forces of Lang Son increasingly strong

The building of strong local armed forces is one of the main tasks of all-level party committees and authorities within the province of Lang Son. To do so, they have synchronously, drastically adopted various effective measures and achieved good results.

Lang Son is mountainous border province holding a position of strategic importance to the country’s national defence and security, acting as the Northern gateway of Vietnam. Being fully aware of the province’s position, over the years, the Provincial Military Party Committee (PMPC) and the Provincial Military Command (PMC) have proactively advised the Provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee and all-level party committees and authorities on making the armed forces comprehensively strong and capable of playing a core role in performing the military-defence work. Doing so has greatly contributed to increasing the province’s defensive zone potential and posture and boosting socio-economic development.

The PMPC and the PMC have always regarded the building of politically strong provincial armed forces as a central routine task and a determinant to ensuring that the armed forces would be a loyal, reliable political and fighting army of local party committees, authorities and people. Therefore, the PMPC and the PMC have focused their leadership and direction on enhancing the work of political and ideological education to build up cadres and soldiers’ political zeal and a sense of consensus amongst them. Implementing the Project titled “renewing political education at military units in the new period,” offices, units, and localities have actively renewed the contents, forms, and methods of education in accordance with the function and task of the standing force, the reserve force and the militia and self-defence force as well as the characteristics of each region. Moreover, great value has been attached to introducing the Party’s military-defence guidelines, the State’s law and policy, and the military-defence task, and clarifying the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” within the province as well. Offices, units, and localities have regularly updated new contents relevant to the task requirements and opportunely provided official information to orientate cadres and soldiers’ ideology against complex, sensitive issues. At the same time, a lot of measures have been taken to grasp and manage troops’ ideology, strictly maintain work regulations, operation of organisations within offices and units, and the Regulation on Democracy at grass-roots level, heighten cadres and party members’ role model-setting responsibility, and deal with ideological issues to avoid passivity.

Party organisations play a role of utmost importance to the building of politically strong provincial armed forces. Hence, the PMPC has always concentrated on improving the leadership capacity and combat strength of party organisations within all-level military offices and units, especially in the militia and self-defence force and the key, remote, isolated, border area. Over the years, the province has adopted many measures to execute the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.4 on the Party building and rectification in line with the studying and following of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics and lifestyle, while focusing on building “four-good, three-no” party cells. Up to now, the rate of party members within the province’s militia and self-defence force has been 20.4%. Meanwhile, the rate of party members within the province’s reserve force has been 14.38%. In 2020, 96.8% of party organisations were rated pure and strong; 91.7% of party members successfully fulfilled their task; the PMPC was recognised as a typically pure, strong party organisation.

The provincial armed forces patrolling the border

In addition to making the provincial armed forces politically, ideologically strong, the province has focused on realising three breakthroughs to improve the provincial armed forces’ synergy and combat power. Grasping the Party’s guidelines on building the armed forces in the new situation, particularly directives by the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defence, and the Military Region 1’s Command, the PMPC and the PMC have advised the Provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee on reviewing and consolidating the organisational structure of the standing force, the reserve force, and the militia and self-defence force in a compact, strong manner. In this regard, due attention has been paid to building a “revolutionary, regular, elite, gradually modern” standing force, a “strong, extensive” militia and self-defence force, and a “powerful” reserve force. In spite of difficulties, the PMC has helped local party committees and authorities to manage reservist resources, actively train reserve officers with local budgets, combine distribution of targets of military call-up with preparation of reservist resources, and consolidate the organisational structure of the reserve force and the militia and self-defence force. The province has promulgated and well implemented the Project on building and developing the militia and self-defence force in the periods of 2012-2015 and 2016-2020. Importance has been attached to building specialised, mobile, and standing militia and self-defence units and developing this force within ethnic minorities. Up to now, 99.02% of the province’s reserve units have been sufficiently staffed. Also the province has established 321 militia and self-defence units, including 21 standing ones in the border area. The militia and self-defence force has promoted its role in cooperating with the Border Guard Force and others in patrolling the border and performing national defence mission at grass-roots level.

Training and combat readiness is a central, routine political task and one of the three breakthroughs to raise the provincial armed forces’ synergy and combat strength. Hence, the PMPC has issued the Resolution 324-NQ/ĐU on improving the training quality in the period of 2013-2020 and beyond and the Resolution 99-NQ/ĐU on leading the training work in the period of 2016-2020 and realising the Resolutions 765-NQ/QUTW and 703-NQ/ĐU by the Central Military Commission and the Military Region 1’s Party Committee respectively. The PMC has required all-level party committees and commands to renew the contents, forms and methods of training. They have been also asked to organise comprehensive, focalised training relevant to combat projects and each force’s organisational structure. In the training process, the province has directed standing units to adhere to the motto of “basics, practicality, thorough grasp” and provide training courses for the reserve force and the militia and self-defence force under the motto of “basics, practicality, quality.” As for commands and offices, the province has focused on raising their capability in making preparations and practising combat. Their capacity to give advice to local party committees and authorities on leading the military-defence work and especially dealing with defence-security situations in the border area has been also enhanced. As for detachment-level units, emphasis has been placed on training troops to master infantry combat skills and tactics during independent and joint combat at platoon, company and battalion levels. Cooperation with the Public Security Force and the Border Guard Force in protecting political security and social order and safety as well as national border sovereignty and security has been promoted. In addition, the province has organised exercises to improve cadres’ command capacity and soldiers’ combat skills. Between 2015 and 2020, the province directed all districts and clusters of communes to hold defensive zone exercises associated with natural disaster prevention and control drills. In 2019, the province organised the provincial defensive zone exercise, which was highly appreciated by the Military Region 1.

All-level party committees and commands have attached great weight to military standard order building and discipline management. Against the complex developments of violation of discipline and law across the Military, the PMPC has released a special resolution on military standard order building and discipline management within the provincial armed forces, while requiring offices and units to educate troops and raise their self-awareness to observe law, discipline and regulations. At the same time, due attention has been paid to designing and including special topics about traffic culture and regulations on complying with discipline and law in education programmes. In the process, the PMC has asked cadres to set good examples in morality, lifestyle, and observance of law and discipline for soldiers to follow. Due regard has been paid to maintaining the Political and Cultural Day and the Legal Study Day at grass-roots level. As a result, there has been a positive change in military standard order building and discipline management within offices, units, and localities. Over the past 5 years, the province has witnessed no serious violation of discipline, while the rate of normal violations has been below 0.2%.

A part from those above-mentioned measures, the province has directed offices, units, and localities to ensure logistics and technical support. It has mobilised resources to construct the shooting range of Dong Quan, consolidate the system of caves and defensive works within rear and combat bases, and accelerate the execution of the Project on modernising equipment for the special task, armoured, and militia and self-defence units in charge of natural disaster prevention and control and search and rescue.

By actively, synchronously adopting such measures, the provincial armed forces of Lang Son have successfully fulfilled the military-defence task. In 2020, the provincial armed forces were given the Determination to Win Emulation Flag by the Military Region 1. They were also presented with the Certificate of Merit for their achievements in the fight against COVID-19 by the Provincial People’s Committee. Those outstanding achievements will provide an important basis for the provincial armed forces to continue playing a core role in performing the military-defence task.

Sr. Col. LE XUAN THUAN, Member of the Provincial Party Committee Standing Board

Commander of the PMC

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