|State President Truong Tan Sang hands over the Golden Star Order to the Viet Nam People's Air Force yesterday on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — The Viet Nam People's Air Force has been honoured with a Golden Star Order ahead of its 50th anniversary on October 22.
A ceremony to commemorate the landmark and present the award was organised in the capital city yesterday, with State President Truong Tan Sang and other Party, Government and high ranking army officials in attendance
In his speech, Sang highly appreciated the great contributions made by officials, soldiers, technicians and personnel working in the air force over the past 50 years.
"Defending and building the homeland are the twin strategic tasks of our country," Sang said.
"In the complicated global and regional present context, the mission of defending national independence, sovereignty, unification, territorial integrity and protecting the socialist homeland are the responsibility of the entire party, people and the armed forces, including the air force,"
He asked the Viet Nam People's Air Force to focus efforts on developing into an elite force, remaining loyal to the Party, the Fatherland and the people.
"To accomplish these tasks, you should pay attention to political training," Sang added.
The president called on Air Force officials and soldiers to master advanced science and technology, while staying ready to foil any dark schemes from enemies.
He also asked them to actively participate in economic activities.
"The economy must go hand in hand with national defence and vice versa, to improve the material and spiritual conditions of the soldiers and be worthy of the name "Uncle Ho's soldiers." Sang said.
On the occasion, State President Truong Tan Sang expressed appreciation for the great and invaluable support of international friends for Viet Nam and its Air Force.
"International support has been a very important factor for the Viet Nam People's Armed Forces in recording notable successes over the past 50 years," Sang said.
He recalled how, during the American war for national salvation, the Air Force had played a very important role in foiling the US air and navy attacks on northern Viet Nam. They shot down thousands of US aircraft, particularly during the 12 days battling the US air blitz in late December 1972.
Together with the armed forces and people of Ha Noi and other provinces, the Viet Nam People's Armed Forces shot down 81 US aircraft, of which 34 were B-52 bombers, forcing Washington to sign the Paris Agreement to end the war and restore peace to Viet Nam.
In addition, the Viet Nam Air Force also recorded resounding victories on the southern battle front, particularly during the Ho Chi Minh Historical Campaign in 1975 while also carrying out its international duties.
In the 50 years of development, the Viet Nam People's Air Force has received many prestigious awards from the Party and Government, including the titles "Hero of the People's Armed Forces" and the "Labour Hero" during the country's renewal process. — VNS