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Thursday, October 24, 2019, 10:09 (GMT+7)
The Naval Zone 5 improves the work of defence diplomacy

To safeguard the national sovereignty over seas and islands under their responsibility, the Naval Zone 5’s Party Committee and Command have focused their leadership and direction on performing the tasks comprehensively and attached importance to defence diplomacy as a political mission.

The Naval Zone 5 whose forerunner was the Coastal Zone 5 was founded on October 26th 1975 under the Decision 141-QĐ/BQP by the Minister of National Defence. Over the past 44 years of construction, combat, and development, the Zone’s cadres and soldiers have achieved many typical feats of arms to protect the Southwest border and successfully fulfil the international mission in Cambodia. At the same time, the Zone has always proactively dealt with difficulties, consolidated its force, enhanced its synergy and combat strength, and fulfilled all assigned missions, including the work of defence diplomacy, thereby greatly contributing to managing and defending the Homeland’s sea and island sovereignty in the Southwest.

The 27th conference to review joint patrols between the Naval Zone 5 and the Royal Cambodian Navy’s Base

It should be noted that over the years, the Zone’s Party Committee and Command have always grasped and strictly implemented the Party’s guidelines on military diplomacy and the targets and requirements for the tasks of defence diplomacy and joint patrol assigned by the Navy. At the same time, they have grasped the regulations for joint patrol with the Royal Cambodian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy while frequently effectively maintaining the hotline to exchange and report the situation and well manage the issues at sea, particularly in the seas bordering other countries’ and the historical waters. During the joint patrols, the Zone’s cadres and soldiers have always heightened a sense of responsibility, proactively, creatively overcome all difficulties, and stuck to the plans. According to the regulations on joint patrol, up to now, the Zone have held 56 joint patrols and 28 conferences to review joint patrols with the Royal Cambodian Navy as well as 37 joint patrols with the Royal Thai Navy. Besides, the Zone has cooperated with other countries’ navies in conducting search and rescue, fire and sinking prevention, formation manoeuvrability, and radio communication operations, therefore enhancing the mutual understanding and trust and solidarity, building a peaceful and stable environment at sea.

Additionally, the Zone has successfully organized the Conference to review the Regulations on joint patrol, the information channel, and twining and exchange programs with the Royal Cambodian Navy’s Base, provided free medical examination and medicine for Cambodian Ream Base’s officers and soldiers, held the exchange programs with Thailand’s Naval Zones 1 and 2, and received Thai naval vessels on Phu Quoc island and Thai Deputy Prime Minister cum Defence Minister paying a visit to the Zone. Doing so has left other countries’ navies with good impressions and sentiment and helped maintain peace and stability in the Southwest sea as well as cement the friendship, trust, and mutual understanding as the basis for out fishers’ operation at sea.

In the upcoming time, it is predicted that the situation in the world, region, and East Sea will witness complex developments; the situation in the Southwest sea will be basically stable.  However, smuggling, piracy, and illegal fishing will continue to occur. The weather and climate will continue to be complex and have great impacts on the Zone’s task performance and its joint patrols with regional countries’ navies. Against that backdrop, the Zone’s Party Committee and Command determine to strengthen their leadership and direction over the tasks of military diplomacy and joint patrol via the basic measures as follows.

First, stepping up the work of propagation to improve cadres and soldiers’ political zeal, determination, and sense of discipline during the tasks of defence diplomacy and joint patrol. Defence diplomacy is one of the central political tasks aimed at raising the status of the Vietnam People’s Navy and the Naval Zone 5 and maintaining peace and stability of the Southwest seas, islands, and continental shelf. To render cadres and soldiers fully aware of that, the Zone has focused on educating and introducing higher echelons’ resolutions and directives as well as the targets and significance of the tasks of military diplomacy and joint patrol. At the same time, great value has been attached to educating cadres and soldiers on the viewpoints and principles for military international integration and diplomacy under the 11th Party Central Committee’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW on “the Strategy for Homeland defence in the new situation,” the 11th Politburo’s Resolution 22-NQ/TW on “international integration,” the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 806-NQ/QUTW, dated December 31st 2013, on “military international integration and diplomacy towards 2020 and beyond” and the Resolution 17-NQ/ĐU, dated February 15th 2019, by the Zone’s Party Committee on “leadership over the tasks of defence diplomacy and joint patrol.” Doing so has helped the Zone’s cadres and soldiers to grasp the Party’s guidelines on promoting the synergy, maintaining peace and stability for the country’s development, and protecting the Homeland from afar. At the same time, it has helped the Zone to closely manage the forces taking part in the tasks of defence diplomacy and joint patrol and to grasp and settle troop ideological developments prior to, during, and after these tasks.

The Zone’s Party Committee and Command have required the Zone’s units and forces to frequently manage all developments of the situation, particularly the political security in the region so as to avoid passivity. Due regard has been paid to improving troops’ knowledge of culture, history, customs, and information relating to other countries’ militaries and navies and their sense of observance of host countries’ law and regulations in order to preserve the qualities of “Uncle Ho’s Soldiers - Naval Soldiers” and the image of our country, people, Military, and Navy in other countries. Consideration has been given to furthering exchange programs, improving solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, and expressing a noble, pure international spirit with relevant countries’ navy during the tasks of military diplomacy and joint patrol. Besides, due attention has been paid to educating fishers not to violate other countries’ laws and maritime sovereignty and building a firm posture of “people’s hearts and minds” at sea.

Second, prepare the force and means for performing the work of defence diplomacy and joint patrol. To do so, the Zone’s Party Committee and Command have directed its affiliates to review and adjust the force, select and assign cadres, soldiers, and technicians with a high level of professional competence and foreign language, good health, and a sense of discipline to the work of military diplomacy. At the same time, the Zone has actively developed the plans, anticipated situations, designed the projects to deal with the situations in accordance with the Party’s standpoint and international law and practices, and proactively advised the Navy on adjusting the patrol formation and line so as to enhance the effectiveness of cooperation to settle the situations at sea. During the training process, importance has been attached to conducting search and rescue operation, protocol, formation movement, and the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) and combating piracy. Due regard has been paid to renewing training courses to improve cadres and soldiers’ capabilities in using foreign languages and their skills in dealing with the situations at sea and ensuring communications in all situations with other countries’ naval vessels in English and by international signals.

Besides, the Zone has always prepared sufficient food, drinking water, petroleum, and medicine for each joint patrol, while raising the quality of meals and ensuring food safety and hygiene for its vessels during operation. It has maintained the readiness of the medical force to deal with emergencies at sea and provide free medical examination and treatment at the Royal Cambodia Navy’s Base. It has ensured good technical condition of vessels and provided sufficient materials, spare parts, life jackets, and sinking and fire prevention equipment for military diplomacy, joint patrols, and conferences.

Third, frequently organizing conferences to draw lessons associated with twinning and exchange activities in conformity with the diplomatic regulations and the regulations on defence diplomacy and military and national secrets. Via those conferences, great value has been attached to well settling the issues arising from the joint patrols between the Naval Zone 5 and the Royal Cambodian Navy’s Base as well as between the Naval Zone 5 and the Royal Thai Navy’s Zone 1 and 2 in order to maintain peace, friendship, and mutual understanding on the basis of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and benefits. Grounded on the previous conferences, it is necessary that all parties should continue educate their naval units, cadres and soldiers on the friendship tradition and the requirements for implementing the Regulations on joint patrol. Moreover, it is essential to well organize the cultural, sport programs and visits on the occasion of each country’s national holidays. In each joint patrol, units of the Zone have launched emulation movements and encourage their cadres and soldiers to readily undertake and successfully fulfil all assigned tasks. Additionally, the Zone’s Party Committee and Command have closely directed the work of inspecting and assessing the tasks of defence diplomacy and joint patrol, clearly showed strong and weak points, opportunely rewarded collectives and individuals with good achievements in the tasks, and seriously settled violations as the basis for better performing other missions.

Well implementing the measures mentioned above will help make cadres and soldiers of the Naval Zone 5 capable of successfully carrying out the work of military diplomacy and joint patrol and well performing the assigned task in all situations.

Rear Admiral Nguyen Duy Ty

Commander of the Naval Zone 5

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