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Command from the heart of Vietnamese coast guards

by NDO25 January 2020 Last updated at 15:00 PM

VTV.vn - Despite a range of difficulties and dangers against the weather and harsh climate while performing their tasks, officers and soldiers from the Coast Guard Region 3 Command have always bravely and creatively accomplished their missions.

Sparing no efforts to overcome all difficulties

Major General Le Xuan Thanh, Commander of the Coast Guard Region 3, said that the Coast Guard Region 3 Command is assigned with the task of managing the sea area from Xanh Islet in Binh Dinh Province to the north shore of Dinh An Estuary in Tra Vinh Province, covering the Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago sea area and the nation’s southern continental shelf, which is an international maritime route crossing. Despite having to manage a vast sea area with heavy and complex tasks, officers and soldiers from the regional coast guard have always performed their tasks well, especially the missions regarding protecting national sovereignty, enforcing laws, protecting oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities, as well as search and rescue missions.

As soon as he returns onshore from his mission in the country’s southern waters, with his face darkened by the sea breeze, Captain Trinh Dinh Ngoc, the captain of CSB 4031 Vessel, under Squadron 301, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command, said: “We often operate on long-day journeys at sea, even with some trips stretching for nearly 100 days. In recent years, the waters under the regional coast guard’s management continue to witness complicated occurrences, as foreign countries intensify their activities of sovereignty claims in the East Sea that deeply encroaching on Vietnam’s waters. In the southern sea bordering area, Vietnamese fishing vessels have been regularly arrested by foreign official ships, while smuggling and trade frauds are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Performing the task of protecting the nation’s sovereignty over the southern sea area, the unit’s Party committee and ship commanders have strictly directed officers and soldiers to stay alert and maintain a key focus and strong determination. The unit’s officials, Party members, captains and political instructors are often present in the most difficult and dangerous positions to encourage soldiers to heighten their responsibility in handling any situations, in line with the views, and policy of the Party and the State.”

Captain Phan Ba Truong, the captain of Vessel 4034, under Squadron 321, Regiment 32, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command, said being assigned with the mission to monitor and supervise illegal activities of foreign vessels in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, officers and soldiers under the unit have always been prepared to receive and complete all the assigned tasks.

Senior lieutenant Chu Van Luan, from Dien Chau District, Nghe An Province, has a wife suffering from a mental disorder, but with the timely encouragement and support from the unit’s authorities, commanders and teammates, Luan successfully fulfilled his missions in 2019, and has been awarded by the Vessel 4034 Command with the title of Emulation Fighter at the grassroots level and is also to be awarded with the Certificate of Merit from the Ministry of Defence.

Building the people-based defensive stance on the sea

From the beginning of 2017 to date, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command has effectively implemented the mass mobilisation campaign of the "Coast Guard accompanying fishermen" in island communes and districts, such as Phu Quy Island District (Binh Thuan Province), Con Dao (Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province), Ninh Van Commune in Ninh Hoa Town (Khanh Hoa Province), and Thanh An Commune in Can Gio District (Ho Chi Minh City). Accordingly, the coast guards attach great importance to communications on sea and island laws, so that fishermen do not encroach on foreign waters, while encouraging them to strictly adhere to the provisions of law during fishing activities and actively participate in protecting the national sovereignty and marine environment resources. The force is always ready to promptly rescue and support fishermen in distress at sea, in addition to supporting them with equipment, supplies and fishing gear to operate at sea. With the motto of "A stable coast assuring fishermen are safe at sea", the Coast Guard Region 3 Command also deploys specific and practical social tasks to care for and support fishermen's families, policy beneficiary households and children of disadvantaged fishermen to overcome difficulties.

Major General Do Hong Do, Secretary of the Party Committee and Political Commissar of the Coast Guard Region 3 Command, affirmed that, with the spirit of activeness, creativity and sparing no efforts, for many years, the Command has always fulfilled its tasks. Especially, from April 2019 up to now, the unit has focused on protecting oil exploration and exploitation activities, propagating information to affirm Vietnam's sovereignty, sovereignty rights and jurisdiction, and preventing foreign ships from encroaching on Vietnam's waters, as well as maintaining law enforcement at sea in tandem with actively fighting against all kinds of crimes.

In particular, the Coast Guard Region 3’s authorities always identify that participating in search and rescue missions to protect and assist people and fishermen to operate at sea is its task in peacetime, an "order from the heart" of the coast guards.

Vietnamese coast guards make chung (square glutinous rice) cake to celebrate the traditional Lunar New Year on board. (Photo: Duc Dinh)

Captain Nguyen Van Hien, Chief Engineer of Vessel CSB 4031, recalled an unforgettable memory: In early 2019, the CSB 4031 was dispatched to Phu Quy Island (Binh Thuan Province) on duty to be prepared for its mission amidst strong northeast monsoon and rough sea. As the 2019 Lunar New Year (Tet) approached, fishing boats coded QN 94298-TS carrying eight fishermen from Quang Ninh Province unfortunately broke down and were hit by ferocious waves on the coral reef. Receiving orders from their commanders, the CSB 4031 promptly came to the site to rescue the distressed fishermen and property on the sinking ship. They were provided with clothes, noodles, rice and water, before being transferred to the Border Guards on Phu Quy Island.

Spring is in the air, overwhelming all corners of Vung Tau City (Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province). With the spring atmosphere blending in with the sunshine and the sea breeze, Major Do Hong Do's confession about the maturity and proud achievements of officers and soldiers from the Coast Guard Region 3 Command has consolidated the shining view of the coast guards under the unit, with thousands of trips made to protect the national sovereignty over its sea and islands, as well as maintaining law enforcement at sea and undertaking hundreds of search and rescue missions while helping vessels and over 200 fishermen in distress. In 2019, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command was honoured with the President’s third-class Feat Order for their outstanding achievements in prevention and combat of crimes and violations at sea. The unit has also been proposed by the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Defence to the President to be awarded the second-class Feat Order for its achievements in protecting the nation’s sovereignty over its sea and islands, as well as the third-class Fatherland Defence Order for achievements in construction of the national people-based defence.

To celebrate the 2020 Lunar New Year, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command has cooperated with Ho Chi Minh City’s Youth Union and other relevant forces and companions to organise gatherings for Tet for soldiers on Phu Quy Island District (Binh Thuan Province), Ninh Van Commune (Ninh Hoa Town - Khanh Hoa Province) and Thanh An Commune (Can Gio District - Ho Chi Minh City). In addition to the support from the Ministry of Defence, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command has also tried to ensure each of its officer and soldier to be granted with a Tet gift each.

Amidst winds and sunshine in the South combined with the bustling Tet atmosphere, boats under the Coast Guard Region 3 are always ready to head to the sea to carry out their duties during Tet.

A new spring has come to the children of the sea ...!

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