Vietnam restructures military into ‘focused and lean machine’

By Hoang Thuy   January 4, 2019 | 11:24 am GMT+7
Vietnam restructures military into ‘focused and lean machine’
Vietnam's defense ministry is set to merge agencies with similar functions to cut down the number of staff by 10 percent in 2021 compared to 2015. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

The Ministry of National Defense has carried out a major overhaul of the military to make it a leaner fighting force.

Under instructions from the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, its 88 companies have been reorganized into just 17, reducing down the number of officers by 16,000.

"The ministry has also reduced the size of some corps and reorganized them into economic units in strategic defense and security areas, and they will not participate in purely economic tasks," Lieutenant General Do Can, deputy head of the ministry's general political department, said at a meeting on Wednesday.

The ministry is set to merge agencies with similar functions to cut down the number of staff by 10 percent in 2021 compared to 2015.

The ministry has also equitized, divested from, shut down, or transferred to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs its 22 vocational schools, withdrawing the military from vocational training and employment.

Military academies are already following a roadmap to stop providing training to civilians by 2020.

"Some military schools are still training several times more civilians than military personnel," Can said, adding that the Ministry of Education and Training has agreed with the decision to end civilian training by 2020.

The ministry has also given the military's 25 hospitals financial autonomy, significantly reducing the amount of money spent on them from the government’s coffers.

It has merged the army's five newspapers into a single newspaper under the General Staff of the People's Army of Vietnam.

The military's restructuring is being carried out under a directive issued by the Politburo, the Communist Party's top decision-making body, to "build a focused and lean machine" designed for "effective work," and follows a similar restructuring by the Ministry of Public Security last August.

It also includes the dissolution or revamp of a number of units under the High Command of the Border Defense Force, reducing the number of staff by nearly 3,000, and the dissolution of 14 reserve military engineer brigades under the military's general companies.

 
 
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