Dear soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals, veterans of the Armed Forces!
I sincerely and from the bottom of my heart congratulate you - the patriots, who have devoted themselves to the greatest and noblest cause of defending the Homeland, and all our compatriots on the landmark date in the life of our country – the Day of Defenders of Motherland and the 25th anniversary of establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan!
Today, in this festive day I cannot but pay a due respect to the bright memory of the great statesman and outstanding politician – the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Abdughanievich Karimov. Everything we have achieved for over the past 25 years along the path of building our Armed Forces is inalienably linked with his name!
In the early days of Uzbekistan’s Independence, thanks to a principle position taken by Islam Abdughanievich and his political will, on January 14, 1992 all military formations stationed in the territory of our country were placed under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was this very date which became a benchmark for formation of the national army of Uzbekistan and was inscribed with golden letters to the annals of history of our Independence.
At that difficult period our First President confidently said that “the people of Uzbekistan, who are the worthy inheritors of their great ancestors and history, will be able to build an army capable to ensure the security of the country”.
And today we see that our Armed Forces fully justify this high trust.
In other words, today we have all grounds to declare that during historically short period we have created the national army capable to reliably protect the Independence, territorial integrity of the country, inviolability of its borders, peaceful and tranquil life of our people.
In uneasy conditions of formation of our state, when various armed conflicts and confrontations took place practically in the entire post-Soviet area, establishment of the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan served as a reliable guarantee of Independence of our Homeland, peaceful and tranquil life of the people, as well as successful implementation of reforms. Certainly, at the onset of Independence there were many acute problems in the military sphere as much as in other spheres of our life. Above all, the system of material and technical provision of troops didn’t meet the requirements, their structure and operational strength didn’t correspond to security threats. There was a shortage of qualified cadres due to which we had to elaborate the comprehensively thought-out and long-term strategy of consistent building and reforming the national army.
During a quarter of century based on this strategy and the National Security Concept and Defense Doctrine, as well as taking into account the real assessment of peculiarities of the possible theater of war and advanced foreign experience we have formed a compact, mobile and well-equipped national army with a high combat spirit.
In the short span of time we have formed the military districts, border regions, as well as the mission capable contingents of troops, in the first instance, the Interior Troops Corps and Special Operation Forces able to tackle the complex combat tasks. The effective system of military management, the mechanism of coordination and interaction of various types of troops and branches of Armed Forces is functioning.
The system of training, retraining and raising of qualification of military cadres acquired a principally new basis. In the early years of Independence the national officer cadres made up just 0.6 percent of the total number of servicemen in the ranks of our army and training of officers was carried out only at the three military schools on three military specialties. As a result of the accomplished work, three more military educational institutions were created and the education of cadets has been made multidisciplinary.
The Academy of Armed Forces established in 1995 took a special place in addressing the most important tasks in terms of training the higher command level officers, conducting the science research and development in the sphere of defense.
A significant attention was also paid to forming the sergeant corps as a basis of our army. Their training is conducted on 26 directions and specialties at the sergeant schools established in 2001 on the best world standards.
After gaining Independence a significant work was also accomplished in the sphere of reforming the system of calling up citizens for active military service. As a result, we have been able to cardinally change the attitude of society to the army.
Thus, in the early years of establishment of the national army there were the serious problems in terms of filling up its ranks with conscripts. It was required to overcome and eliminate the vestiges of the army of the old regime – the non-statutory relations which brought about extremely unhealthy moral and psychological situation in the military units.
In order to tackle these issues, for several years we carried out a consistent work on eliminating these negative phenomena. The term of active military service was reduced to one year. The social and communal conditions and food ratio of servicemen was radically improved. The system of benefits was introduced to the discharged servicemen in their employment and applying to higher educational institutions. All of this has encouraged a healthy moral atmosphere in the military units and raising the prestige of service in the army among youth.
The creation of the system for citizens to serve in the mobilization conscription reserve – the unique of its kind – became a logical continuation of these reforms. The young men not only go through necessary military training, receive spiritual and physical upbringing, but also raise their civic responsibility and get imbibed with an in-depth comprehension of their military duty as a defender of Homeland.
Today, we can speak with confidence that mothers see off their sons to the army not with tears in their eyes and not with alarm in their hearts, but with a feeling of pride and confidence in their formation as real and reliable defenders of Motherland.
As the national army develops, we have also been implementing the measures in terms of supplying it with armament and hardware. The troops are receiving the latest and modernized infantry and group armament, helicopters, aircraft, air defense systems, motorized and armored vehicles, and communication tools.
A special attention is being paid to social protection of servicemen and members of their families, establishing the modern social and communal conditions at the military towns. The set of programs in this sphere are being realized to provide the families of more than 15 thousand servicemen with housing. The systemic work in this direction will be continued.
During the years of Independence the effective mechanism of civil control over the Armed Forces has been elaborated. It provides for an transparency of their activity, broad involvement of civil institutions and public organizations to drafting and realization of the policy of military construction, upbringing servicemen and conscripts. The defense committees of both chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the Public Council at the Ministry of Defense established in 2012 actively interact with the Armed Forces.
All of the aforementioned serves to such an important goal as uniting our army with the people and the people – with the national army. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express a deep gratitude to all servicemen and compatriots who have made a commendable contribution with their diligent labor to the noble cause of creating the Armed Forces and consolidating their combat strength.
The rapidly changing military and political situation in the region and the world, growing threats and challenges to our security, and finally, the life itself require us not to stop with what we have achieved. Based on deep and critical analysis of all our achievements and mistakes it is important to continue the well thought-out and consistent efforts in terms of further development and improvement of our national army.
First, raising efficiency of legislative regulation of such an important sphere as the national security is among our priorities. Most of the documents in this sphere don’t correspond to modern realities.
We objectively need to form a clear state system of strategic planning to ensure the national security. The National Security Concept, which is regularly renewed as and when necessary, must take a central place in this system. The principle of flexibility and openness of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy, the priority of development of constructive relations with our closest neighbors must be placed in the Concept. Along with this, it is necessary to firmly maintain a guideline to preserve the sovereignty and independence of Homeland, as well as cultural and civilization identity of our people.
In this regard, it will be appropriate to declare once again that commitment to the course 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 principle position of our country.
Taking into account the dynamics of development of the situation in the world and the region, the need to adequately react 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.
Only such a systemic approach will allow us to develop a unified, coordinated and consistent strategy in the sphere of national security, direct available resources and means to achievement of priority objectives, prevent their scattering and distraction to secondary tasks.
Second, the system of organizational structure of the Armed Forces needs to be further improved. Based on the experience of development of military capability accumulated by us, the structure and tasks of each military district need to be clarified paying a special attention to its purpose, specifics of the use of troops and the peculiarities of line of operations. The task of strengthening the potential of our “air shield” – the Air Defense and the Air Force also needs a profound attention and concentration of resources. Their organizational structure, command and control system need to be improved in the short period of time along with implementation of the set of measures in terms of supplying them with modern equipment and armament.
Third, we need to develop a new approach to planning the training of troops, which primarily must correspond to the tasks assigned to the units, the level of their preparedness and availability of equipment. In the final outcome, the major criterion for us in this work must be the practical outcome, focus on the real increase of combat capabilities and combat-readiness of the Armed Forces, as well as the high level of coordination and effective interaction.
Fourth, improvement of the system of training of professional military cadres of all levels must remain in the focus of our attention.
In this regard, our first step will be establishment of a brand-new Armed Forces Academy. It will combine the glorious military traditions of the Tashkent Higher Command Combined Arms Military School and the experience accumulated by the present Academy and leading scientific and educational institutions of the country. The Academy will take a truly major place in the unified system of military education and become a real center of military science. It will continue training lieutenants, retraining the active-duty officers and provide special training to commanding cadres of our army.
In the course of implementation of this task, we must introduce the latest methods and technologies to the education process, provide classrooms with modern simulators, teaching, laboratory and computer equipment, create favorable conditions for raising the awareness of attendees, their leisure and engaging in sports.
Meanwhile, the requirements to the selection of candidates should be raised to identify the worthy young men capable to study at a military school and who possess high intellect and leadership skills. With this purpose, the two or three colleges and lyceums must be defined in each region which along with their main functions will provide an in-depth training of candidates for enrollment at higher military educational institutions.
Besides, it is expedient to use more broadly the opportunities for training the teaching personnel of all our military schools, including at the leading foreign educational institutions.
Fifth, re-supplying of troops with modern types of armament and military equipment is our crucial task for today and the future.
Unfortunately, this issue is not being implemented at a required pace.
In this regard, as a primary task we must develop the Comprehensive program for 2017-2021 which envisages specific activities on procurement of military goods, repair and modernization of available military equipment ensuring their purposeful financing.
I believe that it is a high time to start creating our own military industry. In this regard, we need to explore the issue of establishment under the supervision of the First Deputy Prime Minister A.Ramatov of a relevant state body responsible for pursuing an integrated policy in the sphere of defense industry and placing all repair plants of the Ministry of Defense, the Chirchik Aviation Repair Plant, as well as “Vostok” Scientific Production Association State Enterprise under its jurisdiction.
In the future, along with raising the efficiency of their activity, we need to focus on establishing the scientific-production basis, service centers and joint ventures, as well as localization of production of specific types of military goods at the leading enterprises of the country.
Sixth, we need to concentrate on raising the efficiency of measures on social protection of servicemen. Today, we have come across with an objective necessity to develop the new mechanisms of implementation of the state programs in this sphere.
With these goals, it is important to accelerate the development of much-needed regulatory and legal acts aimed at improvement of the procedure of active duty, logistics, housing and medical support of servicemen. The Law “On pension coverage of persons who served in the military, interior bodies, customs and their family members” must be adopted.
The new system of allocation of long-term soft mortgage loans for construction of individual housing, which has positively recommended itself, should be more broadly introduced into the system of providing servicemen with housing. This year alone, in all regions of the country, we will start the construction of 56 three-storied apartment buildings for the families of servicemen with allocation of soft mortgage loans.
Seventh, the continuous work on patriotic upbringing of our youth is urgently significant for us. It is an open secret that patriotism is a moral basis of sustainability of any state and stands as an important mobilizing resource for comprehensive development of society. Therefore indeed, we must take specific steps to nurture a firm immunity among our citizens against negative impact of alien ideas and strengthen the feeling of responsibility for the fate of Motherland. Young people, who have passed the army school of courage, steadfastness and stalwart devotion to Motherland, may become a reliable buttress in this challenging work. In this regard, the departments and divisions for defense affairs must maintain continuous links with them. It is important to broaden their authorities in this work and interaction with local state authorities. Another step would be the establishment under the supervision of the Prime Minister A.Aripov of the Republican commission for employment of citizens, who served in the military and mobile conscription reserve, as well as the relevant commissions under regional, municipal and district administrations directly headed by governors and mayors.
Taking into account the successes achieved by the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense in the issues of patriotic upbringing of youth, its capacities should be broadened by establishment of regional subdivisions of the Council in the structure of regional administrations, whose work must be organized in close interaction with the command of military districts.
The persistent and planned implementation of all aforementioned tasks requires from us the full mobilization of capacities to continue and deepen the systemic work in terms of further reforming the national army, increasing its potential and combat capability. Therefore indeed, this direction, along with other spheres of socio-political life of our country, will go into the Strategy of Actions of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 which is now being developed.
In accordance with this most important document, a set of specific measures will be adopted and implemented aimed at improvement of the legal framework in the sphere of defense, raising the efficiency of organizational forming-up, operational strength of contingents of troops, systems of manning and training of military cadres, supplying the troops with modern types of armament and hardware, as well as improving the issues of their comprehensive support.
In this festive day, I would like to express the words of sincere gratitude to mothers and fathers of those, who are serving with dedication in the Armed Forces and commendably fulfilling their honorable, noble and responsible duty on the protection of Motherland!
I congratulate you once again, my dear compatriots, your loved ones on the Day of Defenders of Homeland and the 25th Anniversary of establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan! I wish all of you a sound health, many successes in your service, happiness and well-being, strength and energy in serving Motherland!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan,
of the Armed Forces