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Home / Analysis / A Reliable Shield for Independence and Integrity

A Reliable Shield for Independence and Integrity

For a historically short period of time, Uzbekistan has built a national army capable to reliably protect its independence and territorial integrity, ensure the inviolability of its borders, and peaceful life of the people. On January 14, 2017, the country marked the 25th anniversary of the Armed Forces and the Day of Defenders of Homeland. Numerous festivities on the occasion of the holiday highlighted the prospects of development of the army. Much was said about those who will undertake the fulfilment of the goals.

In solemn atmosphere

The celebrations in honor of the military were held last week in all military units of the country. Initiated several years ago, the tradition of holding videoconferences was continued to give mothers the opportunity to talk with their sons, who undergo military service away from home in other regions of the country.

Under the Presidential Decree a group of the military was awarded the ‘Shon-Sharaf’ order of the 1st and 2nd degree, ‘Do’stlik’, ‘Mardlik’ orders, ‘Jasorat’, ‘Sodiq Hizmatlari Uchun’ and ‘Shuhrat’ medals, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdusattor Ubaydullaevich Mallaboyev was awarded the title the ‘Honored Mentor of Youth of the Republic of Uzbekistan’ for special merits in educating youth in the spirit of the idea of national independence and loyalty to country, training of highly qualified staff, for significant contribution to strengthening the defense power of the state, national security and active involvement in the political life.

The number of those who were mentioned for the heroic performance of duty was higher this year, the distinguished militarians because were awarded commemorative badges ‘O'zbekiston Respublikasi Qurolli Kuchlariga 25 yil’ along with the highest awards of the Motherland.

Progress toward the 25th anniversary

The outcomes of defense construction are traditionally summed up on the threshold of the holiday. The staff issue was a relevant issue on the agenda of establishment of the Armed Forces. In 1990, only 0.6% of the total number of military personnel accounted for local officers. Radical reformation of military education was initiated to address the problem. Several higher military education institutions were opened and started training highly qualified military staff. The words ‘This is my dear homeland, I will cherish it as the apple of the eye, and I am ready to sacrifice my life for the sake of it’ became the motto of their life.

Today, the higher military education institutions of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Uzbekistan educate highly qualified officers in almost 30 specialties. The republic has built an effective system of training, retraining and advanced training of officers and NCO personnel, including sergeant schools of military districts, higher military educational institutions and advanced training departments attached, officer retraining and advanced trainming courses at the Academy of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Academy itself. These educational institutions provide an opportunity for the military to advance their professional, theoretical and practical knowledge, experience and skills, improve service and combat skills.

The organizational and staff structure of the national army has been completely revised as a result of recent large-scale reforms in the Armed Forces system. A modern and efficient system of operational and strategic management of the Armed Forces was established with an eye to the peculiarities of a possible scene of operations. Measures have been taken to enhance the effectiveness of interaction of different types of troops. They were equipped with modern equipment and arms. The content and essence of combat, spiritual and enlightenment education was changed. Social support of servicemen has been streamlined.

Situation in the world has been changing rapidly. Confrontation and conflicts have been escalating in some regions, with concurrent growth of threat of international terrorism, extremism and radicalism. The complicated and hardly predictable situation requires maintaining high vigilance and constant readiness, more attention to the further reformation of our army, provision of modern arms and devices, enhancement of effectiveness of combat training, and generally the integrated strengthening of capacity and military viability of our Armed Forces.

Combat training programs have been reviewed and significantly changed in view of the requirements of the time. The new programs envisage the classes that are built on modern interactive approach. A rating system was introduced to raise the level of knowledge in servicemen through the continuous self-improvement of the military staff. Tactical and theoretical training sessions are conducted in the conditions close to the battlefield. Educational documentaries on various subjects are produced for each type of tactical exercises and practical training, and supplied to troop forces in order to ensure that personnel assets have fully and effectively mastered the innovations introduced in the process of training.

Great importance has been paid to practical training. For instance, training centers in mountains organize training sessions for mountain and airborne training with the involvement of military experts, practicing different techniques of landing. Involvement of all types of troops in the organization and conduct of special tactical exercises promotes the formation of their practical interaction skills.

The attention paid to the comprehensive training of combat platoons and groups with an eye to the growing requirements for the commanders of these units and professional training of entire staff in the process of ongoing reforms in the National Army produces positive outcomes.

Today, the process of training of platoons and groups spotlights the cultivation of strong skills on comprehensive assessment and analysis of the situation, non-standard decision-making, skillful management of units in implementation of independent combat assignments, mastering of the related specialties, new equipment and weapons in order to ensure interoperability and high coherence in units. Altogether, this helps to train the military staff, which is capable of successful implementation of missions in a current warfare.

It is appropriate to mention the role of the ‘Regulation on the procedure of military service of citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, which was approved by the First President of the country on January 14, 2006. The document plays an important role to the implementation by citizens, and particularly those who have chosen the profession of military defenders of the homeland, their constitutional rights and duties on the protection of independence, security and territorial integrity of the home country.

In accordance with the Presidential Decree ‘On measures to improve the conditions of compulsory military service in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan’ of November 20, 2008, the call to military service is carried out once a year - in February and March.

Founded on October 24, 2012, the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Uzbekistan deals with the development of an effective mechanism of civil control over the Armed Forces, ensuring transparency of operation of the Ministry of Defense, involvement of civic and public associations in the implementation and improvement of policy in the defense and military construction of the state, enhancement of the image of the military profession, strengthening of moral, military and patriotic feelings in the servivemen, and recruitment of young people.

The leadership of Uzbekistan has been constantly paying close attention to social protection of servicemen, adoption of important decisions and construction of new houses for them, repair of housing, construction of modern and reconstruction of existing military communities, allocation of long-term mortgage loans for the purchase of apartments and land plots for individual housing construction. As a result of this noble work, 15,000 servicemen were provided with housing in 2007-2015 under national programs. The fulfilment of the national program for 2016-2025 would fully provide housing for the military staff. This is a striking embodiment of the huge concern for the military, strengthening their social protection, and growing defense capacity of the national army.

Today, there is every reason to vow that the properly trained, mobile and fully equipped Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan are the guarantor of security in the state. Deep respect and sincere love of the people give strength to the brave men, who have devoted their life to the defense of the Motherland, ensure the inviolability of its borders, peace and tranquility of the people.

As noted by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in his speech at the ceremony of inauguration of the President of Uzbekistan at the joint session of both chambers of the Oliy Majlis, "We will always focus on pivotal tasks of ensuring safety and inviolability of borders of Uzbekistan, strengthening its defense capabilities, preventing any destructive forces at our doorstep. The ongoing reforms in our Armed Forces will be continued."

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Shavkat Mirziyoyev dwelled on the problems of defense construction in his congratulatory message to the defenders of the motherland on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The priorities come to raising efficiency of legislative regulation of such an important sector as national security. Most of the related documents do not meet modern realities.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized as follows: “We objectively need to build a clear state system of strategic planning to ensure the national security. The National Security Concept, which should be regularly renewed as and when necessary, must be central to this system. It should define the principle of flexibility and openness of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy, the priority of development of constructive relations with our closest neighbors. Along with that, there is a need to firmly pursue the preservation of sovereignty and independence of Homeland, as well as cultural and civilization identity of our nation.”

The commitment to the policy of non-alignment to any military and political blocs, prevention of stationing of foreign military bases and facilities in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan and non-participation of servicemen in peacemaking operations abroad remains the principal position of our country.

“Taking into account the dynamics of the situation in the world and in the region, the need for adequate response to emerging threats and challenges, as well as our priorities and capacities, there is a need to revise the Defense Doctrine of the Republic of Uzbekistan,” emphasized the President.

Only a system-based approach will allow us to develop a unified, coordinated and consistent strategy for sustaining national security, invest the resources and means available in the achievement of priority objectives, and prevent their scattering and distraction to secondary tasks.

A system of organizational structure of the Armed Forces needs to be further improved. Based on our experience of military construction, there is a need to clarify the structure and missions of each military district with eye to its purpose, specifics of troops and peculiarities of operations thrusts. The task of strengthening the capacity of our ‘air shield’ – the Air Defense and the Air Force trrops also needs a profound attention and concentration of resources.

Touching upon this issue, Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized: Their organizational structure, command and control system need to be improved in the short period of time along with supplying them with modern equipment and armament.”

There is a need to develop a new approach to planning the training of troops, which primarily must correspond to the tasks assigned to the units, as well as to the level of their preparedness and availability of equipment. The practical outcome, focus on the real increase of combat capacity and combat-readiness of the Armed Forces, as well as the high level of coordination and effective interaction is the untimate criterion for us in this work.”

“Improvement of the system of training of professional military staff at all levels should remain in the focus,” said the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, and explained as follows: “In this regard, our first step should primarily focus on the establishment of a brand-new Armed Forces Academy. It will incorporate glorious military traditions of the Tashkent Higher Combined Military Command School and the experience of the current Academy and leading scientific and educational institutions of the country. The Academy will continue training lieutenants, retraining active-duty officers and provide special training to command staff of our army.”

As part of implementation of this task, the process of training will be upgraded with the latest methods and technologies, classrooms will be equipped with modern simulators, learning, and laboratory and computer equipment. Favorable conditions will raise the general culture of the trainees, diversify their leisure and engage in sports.

Meanwhile, the requirements to the selection of candidates will be raised to identify the worthy young men capable of studying at a military school, with high intellect and leadership skills. With this purpose, the two or three colleges and lyceums will be selected in each region to provide an in-depth training of candidates for enrollment at higher military educational institutions, along with their main functions.

The state’s leader pointed out to the need for better use of the opportunities for training the faculty of all country’s military schools, including those at the leading foreign educational institutions.

Additional supply of troops with advanced armament and military equipment is our crucial task for today and the future.

In this regard, the ‘Integrated Program for 2017-2021’ will be developed as a primary task. The document will specify activities on procurement of military goods, repair and upgrade of military equipment, and ensure their targeted financing.

It is high time to embark on the construction of our own military industry. In this regard, we need to explore the issue of establishment of a relevant state body under the supervision of the First Deputy Prime Minister Achilbay Ramatov, which will be responsible for pursuing an integrated policy in defense industry, and shifting all repair plants of the Ministry of Defense, as well as the Chirchik Aviation Repair Plant and Research and Production Association Vostok under its jurisdiction.

In the future, along with raising the efficiency of their activity, we need to focus on establishing the research and production facilities, service centers and joint ventures, as well as on localization of production of specific types of military goods at the leading enterprises of the country, said the Supreme Commander.

There is a need to concentrate on raising the efficiency of social protection of servicemen. To this end, we will hasten the development of long-needed regulatory and legal acts aimed at improvement of the procedure of active duty, logistics, housing and medical support of servicemen. There is a need for the law on pension coverage of persons who served in the military, internal, customs bodies, and their family members’.

The new practice of allocation of long-term soft mortgage loans for construction of individual housing, which has positively recommended itself, should be better incorporated into the system of housing for servicemen. The construction of 56 three-storied apartment buildings for the families of servicemen through soft mortgage loans will be launched this year in all regions of the country.

The continuous work on patriotic upbringing of youth is another important vector of reformation of the Armed Forces. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that “patriotism is an obvious moral foundation of sustainability in any state, and is positioned as an important mobilizing resource for comprehensive development of society. Therefore, we must take specific steps to shape a strong immunity among our citizens against negative impact of alien ideas, and strengthen the feeling of responsibility for the fate of the Motherland. The young people, who have undergone the army school of courage, steadfastness and stalwart devotion to Motherland, may become a reliable pillar in this challenging work.

In this context, the departments and divisions of defense should keep in constant contact with them. It is important to expand their powers in this direction, and interaction with local state authorities. Another step comes to the establishment of the republican employment commission for the citizens, who undergone the compulsory military service and mobile conscription reserve, under the supervision of the Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, as well as the relevant commissions under regional, municipal and district administrations under direct supervision of governors.

Taking into account the progress achieved by the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense in patriotic education of youth, its capacities will be expanded through the establishment of regional subdivisions of the Council under regional administrations, which should closely interact with the command of military districts.
(As part of the social order of the Oliy Majlis Public Fund to Support NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions).
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