Over the past time, the unit has effectively performed its assigned missions in combination with defense and security tasks, contributing to firmly protecting the national sovereignty and security in border area. Deputy Director of Unit 716 Colonel Hoang Xuan Thang talked about the unit’s task performance during an interview granted to a reporter of the People’s Army Newspaper.

Deputy Director of Unit 716 Colonel Hoang Xuan Thang

Ten years ago, on March 4, 2014, the Ministry of National Defense issued Decision No.587/QD-BQP to establish Unit 716 by merging 12 production teams of two Companies 75 and 78 under Army Corps 15. It was tasked with developing socio-economy and enhancing defense and security in border area in Kon Tum province, together with the local authorities and armed forces to build the border area.

After its establishment, there were many difficulties facing the unit. However, it well performed its assigned tasks thanks to many effective solutions. In 2022, the unit’s entire rubber area of over 3,100 hectares was put into operation and achieved a yield of nearly two tons of dry latex per hectare, with production value, profit, and revenue all exceeding the set plan, bringing stable income to workers with more than VND 8 million per person per month.

Accordingly, the unit implemented the motto “develop and expand production in combination with attracting laborers and building infrastructure and residential areas.” It also mobilized and recruited thousands of local people.

Sharing difficulties with ethnic minority people

In addition, it also invested in infrastructure according to the criteria of new-style rural area, so as to both develop economy and ensure defense and security. It also optimized technical solutions, actively applied science and technology, and boosted management to improve labor quality and productivity.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the unit actively adjusted production plan, ensured business activities, while taking care of troops and laborers’ living conditions and health.

Especially, the unit also coordinated with localities and border posts in the area to effectively implement emulation movements, national target program to build new-style rural areas and reduce poverty, among others, so as to raise local residents’ living conditions and mobilize them to protect national sovereignty and border security early, from afar.

Colonel Thang also noted that over the past ten years, the unit has recruited and helped thousands of laborers settle down in the area, and coordinated with local authorities to build residential clusters, built the political system at the grassroots level. Currently, 12 production teams of Affiliate Unit 716 form five villages in Ia Dal commune, Ia H’Drai district. They all have been recognized as meeting new-style rural area criteria.

Helping local people harvest crops

In addition to working with local authorities to build socio-economic infrastructure, Unit 716 also implemented many models and social welfare programs to raise income and living conditions of laborers and local people. In the last five years alone, the unit has awarded more than VND 5 billion in bonuses to officials and workers exceeding rubber latex output; supported food and necessities during harvest time for 7,023 residents with an amount of more than VND 2.1 billion, to name but a few.

Since 2023, the unit has also offered 97 breeding cows to 97 poor and near-poor households in Ia Dal commune, and helped 33 households escape poverty. In addition, it also instructed local people to develop household economy, bringing the additional income from VND 200 million to 400 million per year.

Translated by Minh Anh