On the sideline of the see-off ceremony for the Engineering Company Rotation 1 and the Level-2 Field Hospital (L2FH) Rotation 4 held at a military airport run by Division 371 on April 27, the People’s Army Newspaper’s reporters had an exclusive interview with Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen, Political Commissar of the Engineering Company Rotation 1.

Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen, Commissar of the Engineering Company Rotation 1

Reporter: Vietnam is going to send a military engineering company to a U.N. peacekeeping mission for the first time. “The first step is always the hardest.” As pioneers, how has the company determined your duties?

Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen: We have always determined that we are pioneers in finding and paving the way to success in a new field of activity. Thus, it is sure that many difficulties and hardships are waiting ahead. However, with the bravery of trained soldiers, especially military engineers who always go ahead and face difficulties and dangers, participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations is a challenging duty but really a great honor and pride for us.

Members of the Engineering Company Rotation 1 are those who have firm political stance, high professional expertise, extensive working experience, and time for thorough preparation. We are equipped with modern materiel to perform specific jobs in the host country. We always believe that no matter where we take on the duties, even far from the homeland, we are military engineers maintaining the tradition of heroic Vietnamese military engineers of “Successfully paving the way.”

Reporter: Is there anything special that the military engineers taking on international duties bring along?

Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen: That is resilience and bravery in the face of difficulties and challenges and especially the tradition of "Successfully paving the way” of the military engineering force. Like other Vietnamese blue berets, indispensably we bring with us the good virtues of Uncle Ho’s soldiers. Taking on international duties, we wish to spread the humane and benevolent spirit of the U.N. blue berets. So, apart from the peacekeeping duties, we also stand ready to take part in other humanitarian activities and give assistance to people in the stationed area to have a better life. These will help popularize Vietnam, a peace-loving country rich in tradition of mutual love and affection.

Reporter: What will challenge a commissar of a unit like the Engineering Company Rotation 1 while performing duties in a harsh and novel area abroad?

Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen: When I was assigned the role as the  commissar of the Engineering Company Rotation 1, I felt honored and proud of being entrusted with important and glorious duties.

Commissar is a person presiding over all party and political work of a military unit. The Engineering Company is equivalent to a regiment and has 184 members. We operate independently and far from the homeland and away from the direct command of high levels’ leadership as well as direct instruction of specialized agencies. In the unit with such a large number of staff and only one political official, the implementation of the party and political work as well as the building of a stable unit standing united and victoriously completing all assignments really challenge me and other chains-of-command. However, conducting the party and political work is not a job of only a political official, but also all members of the whole company.

We have long lived and trained together and all members have exerted all-out efforts to promote their own responsibilities and duties with the highest sense of responsibility. I believe that with the spirit of solidarity, joint efforts, and consensus, we could gain achievements and complete all tasks, even the hard ones, anytime and anywhere.

Reporter: The official departure date of the Engineering Company Rotation 1 to the U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) is drawing near. Could you please share your feelings?

Major Nguyen Quang Tuyen: As scheduled, we will depart in May this year. With what we have acquired during the pre-deployment training sessions and support and attention from all-level departments, we are all excitedly waiting for the departure day to take on the peacekeeping duties and contribute our part to honoring the image of Vietnam and Vietnamese military in the international arena.

Reporter: Thanh you very much!

Translated by Mai Huong