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Monday, August 26, 2019, 07:09 (GMT+7)
Making the Vietnam Coast Guard capable of meeting its task requirements in the new situation

Building a “revolutionary, standard, elite, modern” Vietnam Coast Guard is a strategy by our Party, State, Central Military Commission, and Ministry of National Defence. The Party Committee and Command of the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) have focused their leadership and direction on executing this strategy with various synchronous, focalized measures, thereby making the VCG capable of meeting the task requirements in all situations.

Under the Party’s leadership and the management of the State, particularly the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence (MND), with the support from Central sectors and ministries, local party committees and authorities, and the people across the country, over the past 21 years (August 28th 1998 – August 28th 2019), the VCG has strictly grasped and effectively implemented higher echelons’ directives and resolutions, while focusing on improving its task performance, analyzing, assessing, and anticipating the situation, opportunely counselling the settlement of situations, thereby contributing to maintaining security, peace, stability, and cooperation in the East Sea, defending the Homeland’s seas and islands, building up its tradition of “being resolute and courageous, overcoming difficulties, strictly maintaining unity, coordination, and law”. Up to now, the VCG has been made compact, strong, and modern. Its synergy and combat strength have been enhanced; it has become “kryptonite” of crime of all types at sea and provided a solid foundation for fishers to stay close to the sea and take part in building the all-people national defence posture in line with the posture of people’s security and protecting the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty.

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presenting the Third-Class Military Exploit Order to the VCG

At present, disputes over influence and sovereignty and crime situation in the East Sea are very complex. Meanwhile, the tasks of maritime law enforcement and Homeland’s sea and island protection have new higher requirements; the awareness, responsibility, and capacity of a section of VCG’s cadres and soldiers are still limited; the hostile forces are stepping up their sabotage plan with the increasingly cunning artifices. Thus, the VCG’s Party Committee and Command require units to grasp and effectively execute higher echelons’ resolutions and directives, especially the Resolution 120-NQ/ĐU on “making the VCG revolutionary, regular, seasoned, modern, and capable of meeting the task requirements in the new situation”. In the process, human factor plays a central role; investing in modern, synchronous means, technical equipment, and facilities is regarded as the key element; completing the organizational structure and training the human resources to make offices and units really “compact, strong, and highly professional” act as the basics. To do so, all-level party committees and commands within the VCG should focus on the main measures as follows.

First, frequently renewing political and ideological education and raising the quality of this work. This is a basic, important measure which should be carried out frequently, continuously. The content of political and ideological education must be made short and easy for troops to understand, remember, and follow, with a focus on introducing and grasping higher echelons’ directives and resolutions1, particularly those by the VCG’s Party Committee and Command on the military-defence task, the military build-up, the Homeland defence, and the building of the VCG. Units should combine regular education with topics-based education and education according to each group of troops, promote the role of organizations, forces, cultural institutions, central and local mass media, and organize oral and visual propagation, Political and Cultural Day, and Legal Study Day in accordance with the task of each level and unit. At the same time, it is essential to closely combine this work with the ideological, organizational, and policy work, standardization building, discipline management, and working method training so as to encourage cadres and soldiers heighten the spirit of “responsibility, discipline, people-centredness” and fulfil their assigned task.

The VCG’s search and rescue exercise at sea

Second, continuing to complete the organizational structure according to the function and task and develop the force. With the resolve and proper measures, up to now, the VCG’s organizational structure has been rather complete and met the task requirements. The VCG’s offices and units have been organized in a rather compact manner; the organizational structure between officers and professional servicemen, non-commissioned officers, and soldiers has been proper with the minimization of the number of non-commissioned officers and soldiers. To basically complete the organizational structure by 2020, all-level party committees and commands should continue grasping and executing higher echelons’ resolutions, directives, and decisions2, particularly the VCG’s Party Committee’s Resolution 120-NQ/ĐU and the VCG’s Command’s action plans/program for the Defence Minister’s Decision on “Reorganizing the VCG’s structure” in an effective, close fashion. At the same time, they should actively advise higher echelons on measures to deal with new, thorny issues in the process of force reorganization.

Third, making more investments in modernizing and synchronizing means and technical equipment. This is a matter of urgency which makes the VCG capable of maritime law enforcement. Thus, offices and units should proactively develop the plans to make investments in their means and technical equipment under the Project on “building the VCG towards 2020 and beyond”, ensuring the new equipment will be advanced, synchronous, and capable of meeting the requirements set by their specialized task and the regulations on management and repair. By 2020, the VCG will basically own groups of vessels, namely D-200, D-400, and reconnaissance and logistics vessels, being able to receive, repair, and restore old vessels transferred by other countries, having sufficient patrol aircraft and helicopters. At the same time, it will closely cooperate with ministries, sectors, competent offices, and domestic and foreign partners in completing the investment procedures and seeking investments. Its Command directs offices and units to step up researches and application of technology to managing and operating the technical work; to complete the plans on building technical facilities in the Coast Guard Zones; to improve the quality of technical support and mobilization, especially in the complex situations; to closely cooperate with localities in building the technical forces and facilities.

Fourth, enhancing the work of combat training and discipline management and the training of human resources. In the combat training work, units should adhere to the motto of “practicality, basics, thorough grasp”, renew the training method, content, and program, and attach great value to field training in harsh climate and weather condition. At the same time, they should raise the quality of exercises, contests, exams, and re-examination and combine combat training with discipline management and physical training. When managing and operating the training work, units should observe the motto of “being focalized, uniformed, synchronous” and improve all-level training cadres and offices’ political will, morality, and capability in counselling and directing the training work. Units should proactively build and complete their training grounds and multi-function drill halls, apply information technology to the training work, and resolutely prevent and fight against the “achievement disease” in this work.

Units should continue effectively executing the Project on “training a standardized contingent of specialized and technical cadres in the period of 2016-2020 to meet the task requirements”, selecting and training a high-quality pool of officers and professional servicemen, particularly in the technical, specialized, and legal fields. At the same time, due regard should be paid to counselling and maintaining cooperation in training cadres and organizing refresher courses within units, encouraging cadres and soldiers’ self-study, and adopting a preferential treatment policy to make cadres and top experts keep their mind on their work. By 2020, 98% of the VCG’s cadres will have to hold bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree (100% of its military, political, technical, and law officers must hold bachelor’s degree, and 6%-8% of them must hold postgraduate degree). The VCG’s contingent of cadres must have a good command of information technology and foreign languages to meet the task requirements.

In addition, units should supplement and complete the regulations on vessels and combat as well as the strategies for using their forces. They should accelerate the construction of barracks and facilities in a qualitative, standard, green, clean, environmentally friendly manner. Significance should be attached to expanding and developing cooperation with the maritime law enforcement forces of other countries in the region and the world. Consideration should be given to promoting administrative reform on a solid, professional, modern basis, reviewing, supplementing, and completing the regulations to make the work of management and operation and the administrative procedures uniformed and focalized in accordance with legal regulations.

Fifth, keeping building a strong Party Organization of the VCG politically, ideologically, organizationally, and morally. This is a matter of principle directly deciding the synergy and combat strength of each unit and the whole VCG. Party committees and organizations should strictly implement the principle of democratic centralism, collective leadership, and individual accountability, heighten self-criticism and criticism, promote democracy and collective knowledge, maintain the order for study and meetings, and raise the quality of execution of resolutions by party committees and organizations. In the Party building, it is necessary to take the building of a contingent of cadres as the key, render cadres, particularly the key ones fully aware of the principles and regulations of the Party, Military, and units, and improve their political zeal, morality, professional competence, and working method. At the same time, due attention should be paid to combining the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum with that of the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics, and lifestyle and the Campaign entitled “promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers” with specific targets in accordance with each group of troops.

Synchronously, effectively implementing the measures mentioned above will directly contribute to making the VCG really “compact, strong, highly professional” and capable of ensuring maritime law enforcement and safeguarding the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty.

Lt. Gen. Nguyen Van Son, Commander of the VCG
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1- The Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, the Resolution of the 11th Party Central Committee’s 8th Plenum on “the Strategy for Homeland defence in the new situation”, and the 12th Politburo’s Resolution 33-NQ/TW on “the Strategy for national border protection”.

2- The Prime Minister’s Decision 2048/QĐ-TTg on approving the Project to “build the VCG towards 2020 and beyond”.

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For the past nearly 75 years of establishment, combat and growth, under the leadership, education and training of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, the VPA has become increasingly strong; achieved various feats of arms and outstanding achievements, making significant contribution to glorious victories of the whole nation in the cause of national liberation, construction and defense.
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