Wednesday, August 05, 2020, 02:51 (GMT+7)

Monday, February 11, 2019, 08:46 (GMT+7)
The whole Military continues to promote its core role in incident, disaster response and search and rescue

Incident, disaster prevention and response and search and rescue represent our Military’s political task - a combat task in peacetime. Grasping that, over the past years, the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA) has actively encouraged its core role in performing this important mission and obtained many impressive results.

Typically, the awareness and responsibility of party committees and commands of offices and units as well as cadres and soldiers towards incident, disaster prevention and control and search and rescue have been ceaselessly raised. The all-level Commands for natural disaster prevention and control and search and rescue have been regularly consolidated. The VPA’s offices and units have counselled, led and directed the implementation process closely, uniformly, opportunely and effectively. They have actively formulated, reviewed, and completed the system of projects and plans, proactively made elaborate preparations in personnel, material and vehicle terms, increased practice, training, and exercises, and strictly maintained the order for duty and the readiness for incident, disaster prevention and response and search and rescue. The coordination between the VPA and Central committees, sectors, ministries and localities in grasping and forecasting the situation, mobilizing forces and vehicles, and dealing with the situations and incidents has been maintained closely, proactively, and opportunely to respond to types of natural disasters and incidents. Thus, over the past years, in spite of the fact that natural disasters have become more and more complex, unpredictable, diverse and extreme in terms of scale and intensity across the country, the armed forces in general, the VPA in particular have proactively responded to them opportunely, effectively. Under the spirit of “all for the people”, cadres and soldiers have overcome all difficulties and dangers, always being present in the places where natural disasters and incidents occur, really playing the core role and acting as a reliable force of authorities and the people in disaster mitigation and search and rescue, being highly appreciated by the Party, State, local party committees and authorities, and the people. Those achievements have contributed to cementing the close-knit relationship between the Military and the people, bolstering the tradition and image of “Uncle Ho’s soldiers” in the new period.

Cadres and troops of the Regiment 98 under the Division 316, Military Region 2 provide food aid for the people of Yen Bai province isolated by a flood in 2018

However, besides the recorded results, the awareness and responsibility of a section of military staff members towards the task of incident, disaster response and search and rescue have yet to be full. Their capability, skills, and projects to deal with the situations, particularly emergencies have been limited. The work of grasping and forecasting the situation and the coordination between the Military and localities have yet to be effective.

In the foreseeable future, it is predicted that under the impacts of the climate change, the weather, meteorology, and hydrology will continue to be complex and unpredictable. Moreover, the rapid urbanization and the unsustainable economic development will increase the risk of incidents of all types. To continue to encourage its core role in performing the “combat task” in peacetime, the VPA’s offices and units should focus on the following measures.

First, to enhance the all-level party committees and commands’ leadership and direction over incident, disaster response and search and rescue. This is a matter of principle and a primary solution to fulfilling this important task. To do so, offices and units should further grasp resolutions and directives by the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) on incident, disaster prevention and control and search and rescue, particularly the Resolution of the 11th Party Central Committee’s 7th Plenum on “proactively responding to climate change, closely managing natural resources, and protecting the environment”, the CMC’s Resolution 689-NQ/QUTW, dated October 10th 2014 on incident, disaster prevention and mitigation and search and rescue until 2020 and beyond”. Grounded on those documents, they should build special resolutions and action plans/programs relevant to the characteristics of offices, units and areas. Offices and units should step up political, ideological education, better introduce the task of disaster response and search and rescue to troops, and disseminate their experience and results in the process, thereby making a huge change in the awareness and responsibility of military staff and locals towards this work. To that end, units should actively renew content, method and form of propagation and education, cooperate with press agencies, particularly military ones in propagating the VPA’s results and experience of disaster management and search and rescue, multiplying typical examples and commending cadres and soldiers who bravely helped the people in natural disasters. Moreover, it is necessary to inspect units’ performance of this task, well carry out the work of commendation, and proactively prevent and fight against subjectivity, fearfulness of difficulties, hardships and dangers as well as the signs of insensitivity to the people’s losses. The MND’s competent offices, particularly the Department of Rescue and Relief (DRR) should continue staying close to reality, actively give advice to the CMC and the MND on strategic issues in order to suggest proper guidelines and measures to the Government and the National Committee for incident, disaster response and search and rescue. At the same time, it should direct and instruct units to improve the performance of the task of disaster response and search and rescue in both long and short terms.

Second, to carefully make preparations, readily deploy forces and vehicles to deal with all incidents and disasters, resolutely avoid passivity. To opportunely settle the increasingly complex, unpredictable disasters, offices and units should proactively formulate, review, supplement and complete the system of plans and projects for natural disaster, forest fire prevention and control and search and rescue, typhoon and super storm response as well as the plans for communications, logistics-technical support, and coordination in accordance with reality. It is essential to strictly maintain the order for duty and the cooperation in grasping and forecasting the situation and providing information and warnings at all levels, particularly in the peak season of natural disasters. Offices and units, especially local military ones and the Border Guard Force should closely cooperate with local departments and sectors in counselling local party committees and authorities to build and complete the plan to respond to 12 national disaster situations set by the Prime Minister’s Decision 1041/QĐ-TTg on “passing the Master Plan for incident, disaster response and search and rescue until 2020” in accordance with the task requirements of each force and the particularities of each area. Notably, it is necessary to advise local party committees and authorities on perfecting the mechanisms for leadership, command, management, force mobilization, and information exchange, and the regulations on cooperation in disaster prevention and mitigation and search and rescue. Military units in their stationed areas should closely cooperate with localities in grasping the quality of dykes, embankments, reservoirs, rivers, and streams to make plans for disaster prevention and control.

In the upcoming time, the MND should continue mobilizing resources in acquiring vehicles and equipment, especially specialized ones in order to enhance units’ manoeuvrability and performance of the task of disaster response and search and rescue. At the same time, importance should be attached to consolidating the specialized force, cooperating with localities in building the on-spot force, particularly in key, remote, isolated areas, increasing training, practice, and exercises at all levels, and introducing experience and skills in disaster response and search and rescue to the forces. Emphasis should be placed on comprehensively training the grass-roots forces under the general search and rescue program and intensively training the specialized force. It is essential to well organize natural disaster and search and rescue exercises associated with defensive zone exercises while significance should be attached to practising responding to storms, floods, flash floods, land slide, and radioactive incidents, thereby improving the manouevrability, command and coordination capability and will of troops, ensuring the effective response to all situations.

Third, to strengthen international cooperation in incident, disaster response and search and rescue. International cooperation in incident, disaster response and search and rescue has been a major solution and an objective demand, aimed at mobilizing and combining the internal strength with the external strength to deal with the “hot” issues on environment, incidents, and natural disasters. Therefore, the entire Military, particularly the MND’s offices should continue to grasp the Party and State’s diplomatic guidelines and the MND’s regulations, proactively cooperate with relevant committees, ministries, and sectors in stepping up bilateral and multilateral cooperation with other Militaries in the region and the world in order to gain their support and exchange the information as well as build the system of warning. It is necessary to actively promote the mechanism for cooperation with regional countries’ armed forces in humanitarian relief, disaster mitigation, and search and rescue programs on land and at sea. In the medium term, focuses should be placed on making preparations for the VPA’s participation in the “Disaster and epidemic relief exercise” under the framework of the Vietnam-China Border Defence Friendship Exchange Program, the search and rescue exercise in the border area of the Military Region 7 between Vietnam and Cambodia (Military Region 2), ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise; on developing the plans for executing the SAR Convention 79 in the 2019-2025 period. By doing so, the VPA will have an opportunity to exchange information and experience in disaster management and prevention as well as measures for disaster response and mitigation; to step up cooperation on training high-calibre personnel and acquiring the modern equipment for search and rescue, thereby improving the VPA’s capability in incident, disaster prevention, response and mitigation and search and rescue, continuing to promote its core role in performing the “combat task in peacetime”, deserving the trust of the Party, the State and the people.

Lt. Gen. Ngo Quy Duc, Director of the DRR, Head of the Office of the National Committee for Incident, Disaster Response and Search and Rescue

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Promoting the role of the Military in protecting the Party, State, people and socialist regime
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.