Vietnam's Naval Soldiers Guard National Seas and Islands
|Naval soldiers on Len Dao island protect the island's sovereignty. Photo: VNA|
“I have been on the island for 4 months. When I first came to the island, I was not used to the harsh sun and wind of the weather here. However, I feel proud. I feel that the spirit of youth can overcome all. It is pride and honor when young people are dedicated to protecting the sacred island of the Fatherland," said naval soldier Thieu Tan Duong, when asked about his ideals and ambitions when performing duties at Len Dao rock island, Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.
Protecting the sea and islands
In the (Spratly) Islands, naval soldiers in their twenties are guarding day and night to maintain Vietnam's sovereignty over the sea and islands.
Nguyen Phi Hoang (27 years old, Hai Phong), deputy captain of Truong Sa 20 Ship said that it has been nearly 2 months that he and his teammates have lived on the ship to guard at Sinh Ton Dong island.
The daily mission is to patrol around the island, within a range of 30-40km to chase away foreign fishing vessels that show signs of infringing on Vietnam's sovereignty over the sea and islands.
|Nguyen Phi Hoang, deputy captain of Truong Sa Ship 20 (right) and his teammate. Photo: VNA|
"There are many foreign fishing vessels, especially many ships gradually encroaching into our country's territorial waters. We see them infringing, we chase them away, remind and inform them.
In nearly two months, more than 50 foreign ships have been reminded by our navy, in languages such as Chinese and English,” said Deputy Captain of Truong Sa 20.
Hoang said that in addition to radios and documents provided by the regional navy, the officers on board were also trained in Chinese and English so that they can inform the violating fishing boats directly.
In particular, while on duty, ready to fight, Truong Sa 20 is always ready to support Vietnamese fishermen in accidents or emergencies.
A mission of Hoang and his teammates at sea is about 3-4 months. Although the time is long, the weather is harsh, they don't mind. They live on a ship far from their family, sometimes call home to check on the news. In their free time, they practice sports and read books.
Vietnam has the strength of having a coastline of over 3,260km stretching from north to south, and is ranked 27th out of 157 coastal countries, island nations and territories in the world.
Having witnessed the difficulties, people can understand the courage, sacrifice as well as love for the homeland and country of the naval soldiers.
The weather at sea is quite harsh. In the Spratlys, there are 131 stormy days a year, with winds of level 6 or higher, 13 to 20 strong wind days per month.
Those figures show that in the middle of the blue South China Sea, those who choose "sea and islands as their homeland" must make great efforts and be resilient to preserve the sea and islands.
|Nguyen Hoai Bac, businessman and overseas Vietnamese in Canada. Photo: VNA|
During his visit to the islands in the Spratlys and the DK1 rig, Nguyen Hoai Bac, businessman and overseas Vietnamese in Canada expressed his admiration for the steadfast will of the naval soldiers on the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.
Bac said that after a 4-day, 3-night trip at sea, the group set foot on Sinh Ton Dong island, Len Dao island, Da Tay B island and Big Truong Sa island. Witnessing the life and activities of the officers and soldiers on the island, the members of the delegation felt the spirit of the young soldiers for their homeland.
"Before coming to Truong Sa, most of the overseas Vietnamese did not understand the reality of naval soldiers of the Vietnam People's Army defending the country's frontline border. When coming to the islands, the members of the delegation felt the boundless sacrifices of the Vietnamese naval soldiers and people living on the island. We feel that Vietnam's sovereignty rights are still upheld," said Nguyen Hoai Bac.
Nguyen Hoai Bac said that trips like this help people feel the silent sacrifices of soldiers in the front line of the country. They want to contribute more to the construction of their homeland. This is a meaningful trip, a bold imprint in the hearts of each member of the delegation.
For the naval soldiers, they have accepted everything and are ready to sacrifice themselves for the sovereignty of the sea and islands of the Fatherland.
Even in the midst of many storms, far from the mainland, and life is still difficult, the soldiers of the Vietnamese People's Navy always think "the island is home, the sea is the homeland."
Today, naval soldiers continue to carry out the mission of protecting and preserving the country's sovereignty over the seas and islands.
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