Việt Nam Coast Guard maintains its core role in national security protection

August 29, 2023 - 17:12


Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Tân Cương (right), Deputy Minister of National Defence, presents the second-class Victory Medal to the Việt Nam Coast Guard in recognition of its achievements in the fight against drug-related crime. — Photo courtesy of VCG

HCM CITY — Throughout its 25 years of development, the Việt Nam Coast Guard (VCG) has always been the ‘core’ force in protecting national security, and in maintaining security, order and safety of the seas and islands of the country.

At a ceremony to mark 25 years of the traditional day of VCG (August 28, 1998 - August 28, 2023) held in Hà Nội on August 26, VCG received the second-class Victory Medal in recognition of its outstanding achievements in the fight against drug-related crime.

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyễn Tân Cương, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army and Deputy Minister of National Defence, attended the ceremony and highly appreciated the role, contributions, achievements and victories of VCG during the past 25 years.

He emphasised that VCG has done well patrolling, inspecting, controlling and enforcing the law at sea.

“Its law enforcement efforts have significantly contributed to success in the fight against drug-related crime at sea, and safeguarding sovereignty over the country’s seas and islands,” he said.

"Building an elite and modern coast guard force is necessary to meet all requirements," he added.

In the past, the coast guard force prevented thousands of foreign vessels from violating Việt Nam’s waters, detected hundreds of trade fraud cases, and busted many major drug rings.

The force has also provided support for fishermen who were in distress at sea, and strengthened the propaganda, dissemination and education of the law at sea for fishermen and other residents.

It has set up bilateral and multilateral ties, and hotlines with law enforcement forces of 20 countries in the region and the world, helping create an image of Việt Nam as a responsible nation in preserving maritime security, order and safety, and coping with non-traditional security challenges.

The units under VCG across the country are always proud of the title of Hero of the People's Armed Forces in the renewal period, as well as the VCG’s tradition of “being resolute and courageous, surmounting difficulties, ensuring unity and coordination, and strictly maintaining law.”

Many individuals and units of the force have been awarded with numerous medals and rewards for their outstanding achievements.

The Đồng Nai Province-based Coast Guard Reconnaissance Unit No. 2 under the VCG’s command is an outstanding example of the VCG contributions.

The unit is tasked with monitoring the sea from Cù Lao Xanh in the central coastal province of Bình Định to Hà Tiên City in the Cửu Long (Mekong) province of Kiên Giang, including the Trường Sa archipelago.

It provides information for the VCG Party Committee and Command to give advice to the Party and the State to formulate and implement policies and laws to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdictions, and to ensure the observance of the country’s laws and international laws and agreements to which Việt Nam is a signatory.

It is also assigned to directly detect and combat violations of law, such as national security crimes, smuggling, and trade fraud in the sea of its responsibility. 

Coast Guard officers discover a fishing vessel with more than 60,000 litres of smuggled diesel off the coast of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province on June 25. — Photo courtesy of VCG

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Phan Nhân Hậu, Party Committee Secretary of the Coast Guard Reconnaissance Unit No. 2, said the unit always proactively addressed the situation, kept a close eye on the waters it is assigned to manage, and promptly detected many cases of sea law violations.

“Building a strong ‘people-based security’ policy at sea is key to helping the coast guard officers and law enforcement forces at sea to promptly have valuable information sources to fight against crimes, and protect security and safety at sea,” he said.

Troops and officers of the Reconnaissance No. 2, Coast Guard Region No. 3 and the maritime law enforcement forces have contributed to ensure law enforcement and protection of national security, order and safety at sea.

In the peak period to attack and suppress criminals during the 2022 Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday alone, the unit coordinated with functional forces to arrest eight suspects committing 10 violations at sea, then handing them over to the coast guard regions No. 3 and No. 4 for further investigations.

For example, more than 60,000 litres of smuggled diesel were seized from a ship 309 nautical miles south-east of the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.

The Reconnaissance Unit No. 2 on June 25 stopped fishing vessel TG 93698 TS registered in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang and found the oil of unknown origin.

The vessel captain, Huỳnh Tấn Kiệt, 42, of the central province of Quảng Ngãi, and three crew members were on board.

Kiệt failed to furnish documents proving the origin of the oil, and none of the crew had the qualifications or certification required to be a sailor.

The coast guard force brought the vessel ashore and handed the case over to the Coast Guard Region No. 3 in Vũng Tàu city for further investigation.

In another case, the coat guard seized 50,000 litres of diesel of unknown origin from wooden ship KG-095945 TS registered in the Mekong Delta province of Kiên Giang.

Nguyễn Minh Thạnh, 41, the ship’s captain, of Kiên Giang Province, and four crew members were on board. He failed to furnish documents proving the origin of the oil.

The case was handed over to the Coast Guard Region No. 4 in Kiên Giang Province for further investigation.

Representatives of the Việt Nam Coast Guard High Command’s Reconnaissance Unit No. 2 present gifts to disadvantaged students in Đồng Nai Province’s Nhơn Trạch District in commemoration of the end of the 2022-23 school year. — Photo


The units of VCG across the country have effectively implemented a number of programmes such as “the VCG accompanies fishermen”, “the VCG with the ethnic minority and religious people”, “the VCG joins hands in cleaning the environment”, “the VCG joins hands with the poor  - no one will be left behind.”

Colonel Lê Văn Tú, secretary of the Party Committee and Political Commissar of the Coast Guard Command Region No.3, said the effective implementation of these programmes is raising public awareness of the Party’s guidelines, State’s policies, and VCG’s mass mobilisation movement.

The Coast Guard Region No. 3 Command has made important contributions in building a solid ‘people-based security’ policy at sea.

“Mobilising the full strength of the entire political system and the Vietnamese people in protecting security and safety at sea contributes to firmly defend the country’s sea and islands sovereignty,” he said.

The programmes and movements not only helped people better understand the role of VCG, but also allowed the coast guard officers to gain more experience needed to advance their tasks, he added.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Phạm Mạnh Ngân, leader of the Coast Guard Reconnaissance Unit No. 2, also agreed that the support of local fishermen in coastal provinces played an important role in the fight.

“They help the coast guard force to promptly grasp information, and detect and handle many cases of sea law violations,” he said.

Previously, a cultural programme marking the anniversary, was organised by the Reconnaissance Unit No. 2 on August 3.

The programme took place at the unit’s campus in Phú Hữu Commune in Đồng Nai Province’s Nhơn Trạch District, and attracted 17 performances in various forms from eight units based in the province.

It also aimed to strengthen the solidarity and close relationship between the local State units. — VNS