Sunday, May 17, 2020, 09:26 (GMT+7)
Promoting its heroic tradition, the Hanoi Air Defence Division remains strong on the new front

To meet the task requirements in the new period, the Air Defence Division 361 (aka the Hanoi Air Defence Division) has been promoting its heroic tradition to make itself comprehensively strong and capable of defending the airspace and assigned targets in all situations.

The Air Defence Division 361 - under the Air Defence - Air Force Service was founded on May 19th, 1965 (on the occasion of the 75th birthday anniversary of beloved President Ho Chi Minh). With such a great honour and pride, right after its inception, the Division won the first victory, shooting down a RF-4C aircraft of the U.S. when it first violated the airspace of the capital city of Hanoi on May 25th, 1965. In the resistance war against the U.S., for national salvation, the Division manoeuvred and fought the enemy in over 20 provinces and municipalities, engaging in more than 1,800 battles, shooting down 591 aircraft (including 35 B-52 aircraft). It is worth noting that during the Air Defence Operation in December 1972, the Division shot down 29 aircraft, including 25 B-52 aircraft, successfully fulfilled its assigned task, greatly contributing to the Victory of “Hanoi - Dien Bien Phu in the Air” together with the capital city’s people and troops, forcing the U.S. to enter into negotiation and sign the Paris Accords ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam as the basis for our people and Military to fulfil Uncle Ho’s instructions: “fight to drive the U.S. away and then fight to topple the U.S.-backed regime of Saigon.” With those brilliant feats of arms, the Division was given the title of “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces and many other noble awards by the State.

In the period of national construction and protection, the Division has been assigned to perform the training work, maintain combat readiness, manage and defend the airspace of Hanoi capital city, Hoa Binh Hydropower Plant, and many other key targets. When performing its task, the Division has been confronted with a lot of difficulties. Its stationed area is large. Its weapons and technical equipment are diverse. The development of aerial vehicles, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles imposes more demanding requirements on the Division’s combat readiness and airspace management. However, thoroughly grasping their assigned task, cadres and soldiers of the Division have been bringing into play the heroic tradition, weathering hardships, building a comprehensively strong Division, and readily undertaking and successfully fulfilling all assigned missions.

A cadre of the Division shares combat experiences with young cadres of the Regiment 236

First of all, the Division’s Party Committee and Command have attached importance to directing offices and units to well conduct the work of political and ideological education to build up cadres and soldiers’ political zeal and absolute loyalty to the country, the Party, the State, and the people as well as enable them to remain vigilant, active, proactive and creative in the performance of their tasks. Grounded on higher echelons’ resolutions, directives, regulations, and guiding documents as well as the tasks of the Military, the Service, and the Division, offices and units have improved troops’ knowledge of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, aroused their patriotism and national pride, and rendered them fully aware of the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” strategy and our strategy against “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. In the process, clearly perceiving their practical conditions, offices and units within the Division have adopted various methods of education for each group of troops in each type of area, namely urban area, rural area, plain area, midland, mountainous area, and border area. Significance has been attached to educating troops on the tradition of the Military, the Service, and the Division, organising trips to traditional houses, and inviting generals and heroes of the People’s Armed Forces who had ever worked in the Division to deliver speeches and share experiences. Doing so has enabled offices and units to strengthen troops’ faith in the existing weapons and technical equipment, the Air Defence Force’s combat method, and the new air combat method so that they would promote the Divisions’ tradition of “daring to fight, determining to fight, and determining to gain victories.” Besides, offices and units have effectively implemented the Determination to Win Emulation Movement, the Directive on studying and emulating Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics and lifestyle, and the Campaign entitled “promoting tradition, devoting talent, deserving to be Uncle Ho’s soldiers.” Consideration has been given to duplicating and commending effective models and typical examples as a spiritual incentive for cadres and soldiers to overcome difficulties and fulfil all assigned missions.

To raise the synergy and make contributions to defending the airspace and assigned targets, the Division has achieved a breakthrough in the quality of combat training. Based on the Division Party Committee’s resolution, party committees at all levels have issues their own specialised resolutions on leadership over the combat training work in accordance with their units’ conditions and tasks and adopted synchronous measures for this work. The Division has elaborately made necessary preparations, from training plans, programmes, facilities, materials, and grounds to refresher courses for cadres in charge of the training work. As the Division manages and uses many types of weapons and technical equipment for different groups of troops, it has directed offices and units to carefully develop training plans for each group of troops. Grasping the training motto of “basics, practicality, thorough grasp, safety, and thrift,” the Division has placed emphasis on organising synchronous and intensive training relevant to the task requirements, combat reality, objects of struggle, and the existing weapons and equipment. Due attention has been paid to providing training courses for combat teams so that they could master new weapons and technical equipment and improve individual and team skills. To achieve the title of “good training unit,” offices and units within the Division have enhanced the training of their cadres and given priority to holding military competitions and live-firing training and exercises, while encouraging their troops to surmount difficulties and reach the training targets. Moreover, the Division has strictly maintained the order and regulations for combat readiness duty at all levels in order to closely manage the airspace. Offices and units have frequently stringently executed and introduced their resolutions and higher echelons’ resolutions, directives, and commands on combat readiness and airspace management and protection to their troops. Due attention has been paid to closely managing flying activities, consolidating and maintaining committees and groups for researching enemies’ situation from the Division to detachment levels. Simultaneously, the Division has closely cooperated with the air defence forces of the military regions, army corps, and units in its areas in notifying and well dealing with air situations, thus avoiding falling into passivity.

In addition to raising the quality of combat training and readiness, the Division has always placed emphasis on military standard order and discipline management in the new situation, strictly maintained its regulations, and taken various measures for improving the quality of discipline management at its affiliates. As its units are stationed in many different areas, the Division has directed them to closely combine discipline education with measures for inspecting discipline management, with a focus placed on air defence stations and observatories and independent units stationed in the remote, isolated, mountainous areas. Great value has been attached to rendering cadres and soldiers self-aware to observe the State’s law, the Military’s discipline, and the Division’s statutes. Moreover, the Division has cooperated with local party committees and authorities in managing troops’ ideology and discipline. It has promoted the pioneering, vanguard role of cadres and party members, especially the key ones at all levels, while associating the responsibility of commanders with the quality of discipline management within its offices and units. In addition, units within the Division have mobilised resources to upgrade barracks and facilities so as to create a friendly, regular, green, clean, and scenic environment for cadres and soldiers.

Due regard has been paid to ensuring technical and logistics support for all missions. Since weapons and technical equipment of the Division have been in use for ages, the Division has considered the technical work as a central task. Besides, its units are stationed far from its headquarters; therefore, the demand for short-time technical support is extremely great. Against that backdrop, the Division’s Party Committee and Command have directed offices and units, particularly the technical offices to inspect, counsel, and step up the Campaign entitled “managing and exploiting weapons and technical equipment effectively, sustainably, safely, economically and ensuring traffic safety.” They have also been required to maintain the technical order and regulations. Besides, they have frequently improve technical cadres and employees’ professional competence and skills, while promoting collective knowledge and capability to deal with breakdowns of weapons and technical equipment and ensure materiel’s combat readiness.

As for the logistics work, the Division has directed its offices and units to provide sufficient military supplies, health care, petroleum, and transportation services for routine and unscheduled tasks, with priority given to training, exercises, and combat readiness for managing the airspace. Offices and units have been asked to actively take part in the emulation movement entitled “the Military Logistics Branch follows Uncle Ho’s teachings.” Due attention has been paid to improving troops’ health, daily life and diet via animal and crop husbandry. It should be noted that against the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division has adopted many measures for epidemic prevention and control, ensuring troops’ fitness for combat readiness, airspace management, training, and other unexpected missions.

Promoting the 55-year tradition of construction, combat and maturity, cadres and soldiers of the Hanoi Air Defence Division will continue devoting efforts to maintaining the ideological foundation and successfully fulfilling all assigned tasks so as to greatly contribute to defending the capital city’s airspace in all situations.

Sr. Col. NGUYEN VAN DAY, Commander of the Division

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