Thursday, October 17, 2019, 14:26 (GMT+7)

Monday, November 19, 2018, 07:52 (GMT+7)
The Military Region 3 improves its strength to protect sea and island sovereignty

The Military Region 3 is a strategic area and central defensive direction of the country, having a coastline of over 450km; 5 out of its 9 provinces and cities are located in coastal areas with 4 island districts, over 3,000 islands, and many sea ports, such as Hai Phong, Dinh Vu, and Lach Huyen (Hai Phong city), Cai Lan and Cam Pha (Quang Ninh province), Diem Dien (Thai Binh province). The Military Region’s seas and islands have rich natural resources and great potential for tourism and sea port services, being the country’s major trade gateway to the world and holding a position of strategic importance to the Military Region’s defensive operations and strategic defence. The Military Region is also at the centrepiece of the hostile forces’ sabotage strategy. Perceiving that, over the past years, the Military Region 3’s Party Committee and Command have cooperated with localities and forces in the area in taking measures to consolidate the potential and posture of national defence and security in the sea and border areas, and achieved positive results.

Notably, awareness and responsibility of cadres, party members, armed forces and people from all walks of life in the area towards the position and role of seas and islands as well as the task of defending sea and island sovereignty have been raised. The Military Region’s potential and posture of the all-people national defence and people’s security in the sea and island areas have been consolidated. National maritime border sovereignty and security as well as social order and safety in the sea and island areas have been maintained. The combination of socio-economic development and defence-security in the coastal and island areas has been boosted and increasingly effective. Many socio-economic development projects in the coastal and island areas have been actively carried out, such as Bac Cua Luc (Quang Ninh), Con Vanh (Tien Hai - Thai Binh), Con Xanh (Nghia Hung - Nam Dinh), Binh Minh 3 (Kim Son - Ninh Binh) in parallel with economic- defence projects in island districts, such as Van Don, Co To (Quang Ninh), Cat Hai, Bach Long Hai (Hai Phong), coastal highway projects in the provinces of Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, and Ninh Binh, cross-island roads, docks, the Tonkin Gulf Fishery Logistics Centre, which have greatly contributed to strengthening the all-people national defence potential and posture in the sea and island areas of the Northeast of Vietnam. Due attention has been paid to building the Military Region’s armed forces, particularly the forces in charge of defending islands, with high synergy and combat strength. The militia and self-defence forces in coastal, sea and island areas have been developed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The work of coordination between the Military Region’s armed forces and competent forces, such as the Border Guard, Navy and Coast Guard in managing and protecting sea and island sovereignty has been conducted closely and effectively.

However, there remain weaknesses in sea and island sovereignty and security management and protection in the Military Region’s area. The awareness and responsibility of a section of cadres and people towards the protection of sea and island sovereignty and security has yet to be full. The coordination between competent offices and forces in state management of sea and island sovereignty and security has yet to be really close; the quality of the coastal militia and self-defence forces’ operation has yet to be high.

In the foreseeable future, the situation in the region and the world, particularly the situation in the East Sea continues to be complex and unpredictable, which will impose new, higher requirements on the whole Party, Military and people in general, the Military Region’s armed forces and people in particular. To increase the strength to safeguard sea and island sovereignty and security, the Military Region continues to adopt various measures, with a focus on the following points.

First, stepping up the building of all-people national defence and posture of all-people national defence associated with people’s security posture in coastal, sea and island areas. This is a matter of paramount importance to providing the basis and creating the synergy for the protection of sea and island sovereignty. Thus, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command continue to direct its units, particularly local military offices to grasp the Party’s military-defence lines and advise local party committees and authorities on building defensive potential and posture at sea and on islands. Learning from the 10-year in implementing the 10th Politburo’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW, localities should complete and strictly execute the mechanisms and regulations on the building and operation of defensive zones while improving the effectiveness of operation of organizations and building types of potential in the defensive zones. The Military Region’s armed forces should cooperate with localities in conducting the work of propagation related to sea and island, providing defence and security education for the people, particularly those living in coastal and island areas, and building a firm posture of “people’s hearts and minds”, thereby making a real change in sectors and people’s awareness of position and role of seas and islands. Also, localities should closely combine economy with defence and security and vice versa in sea and island areas, invest in infrastructure, and further develop marine economic zones, industries, tourism, and services in a dual-use manner. The Military Region should focus its resources on quickly building the Economic-Defence Zone in the cluster of Northeast islands, promote its role as “an army for work” to carry out the mass mobilization work and take part in consolidating the grass-roots level political system in coastal and island areas, while cooperating with localities in executing the program to bring people to islands for settlement and making islands and island districts strong in both economic and defence terms. Besides, the Military Region has worked with localities to adjust the Master Plan for defence disposition associated with socio-economic development in sea and island areas until 2020 and beyond. Notably, the Military Region’s armed forces have counselled localities to strengthen the state management of national defence, plan and closely manage defence works and system of natural caves on islands and in coastal areas. At the same time, the Military Region has actively mobilized resources to build the military posture in sea and island areas under the preset planning with a focus on the military posture of the defensive zones of the coastal and island districts. Priority has been given to building combat bases, logistics-technical bases, headquarters, campaign-level key positions, observation posts, combat works in coastal areas and on islands, particularly outpost ones, in order to establish an inter-connected, solid defensive posture for operations to protect seas and islands when necessary.

Second, building the Military Region’s armed forces, particularly the forces in charge of managing and protecting the sea and island sovereignty with high synergy and combat strength. To meet the task requirements for sea and island protection in the new situation, the Military Region’s Party Committee and Command have focused on making the three-category armed forces strong politically, ideologically, and organizationally with priority given to building the island defence forces, maritime transport forces, and local armed forces in coastal and island areas as the core. To do so, significance has been attached to consolidating the organizational structure of those forces, providing them with sufficient weapons and equipment, and making the maritime transport forces compact, strong, well-proportioned, and synchronized, particularly the forces stationed in key positions and on the offshore islands. Promoted the recorded results, the Military Region has continued directing provinces and cities to building the “strong and widespread” militia and self-defence forces in coastal and island districts and on islands both qualitatively and quantitatively. Notably, due regard has been paid to building and enhancing the effectiveness of operation of the coastal militia and self-defence forces. To overcome difficulties and issues arising from reality, the Military Region has cooperated with sectors and coastal localities in formulating mechanisms for direction, management and operation of the coastal militia and self-defence forces. In short term, local military offices should closely manage the personnel working in the sea as the basis for organizing the militia forces, and taking state-owned enterprises and cooperatives as the core to staff the coastal militia forces in accordance with each locality’s particularities and tasks.

In addition to building the forces, localities and units should renew and improving the quality of training under the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 765-NQ/QUTW. The Military Region has required units to adhere to the guidelines “basics, practicality, thorough grasp”, to set store by synchronous and specialized training to meet the task requirements, to improve cadres and troops’ political steadfastness and capabilities in command and combat coordination, to train troops on movement and skills in independent combat as well as on joint operations at sea and on islands. Units have been asked to maintain the order for combat readiness duty at all levels, review, adjust, and supplement plans for defensive zone operations, natural disaster prevention and control, search and rescue. At the same time, the Military Region has ordered island defence units, maritime transport units, and armed forces of coastal and island localities to increase training and exercise under combat situations and projects with a view to raising troops’ combat readiness level and capability as well as the coastal militia forces’ effectiveness of operation; to draw lessons and complete combat plans and projects in accordance with reality.

Third, enhancing the effectiveness of coordination between forces on the management and protection of seas and islands. The Military Region’s seas and islands are large while foreign vessels’ illegal fishing, geographical exploration and military reconnaissance are complex. To manage and defend sea and island sovereignty, there should be close collaboration among and promoted aggregate strength of all ground, coastal, marine, island forces. Learning from experience in coordination between the Military Region’s armed forces and relevant competent forces, units and coastal localities should actively review and supplement the regulations on coordination with forces, such as the Border Guard, Coast Guard, and Navy in information exchange, patrol, and management and protection of border, sea, and island sovereignty and security. The regulations must clearly identify principles and assign function and task to each force, while ensuring concentrated, uniformed direction and operation, particularly for the settlement of complex situations at sea and on islands. At the same time, units should maintain the order for regular meetings to exchange the information on the situation, inspect, verify and classify information, and then decentralize the settlement of the situation in accordance with each force’s task. Moreover, units should promote the work of defence diplomacy to opportunely handle incidents at sea and on islands, prevent hostile from complicating the situation, and safeguard national sovereignty, peace, stability and development in the sea and island areas of the Northeast of Vietnam.

Maj. Gen. Dao Tuan Anh, Deputy Commander of the Military Region 3

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