Strong army is pledge of safety

March 07. Kazpravda

By Yulia Mager

Strong army is pledge of safetyPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev held operational and strategic meeting at the Ministry of Defense.

The meeting was attended by the heads of the Defence Ministry and the General Staff of Kazakhstan Armed Forces and commanders-in-chief.

The President emphasized the importance of defense capability of the country and that Kazakhstanis should feel safe with the army, able to perform its mission. In recent years, he went on, funding has been steadily increasing to the army, whose cumulative three-year budget is approaching to 1 trillion tenge – and it is at a difficult economic situation in the world, with many countries forced to cut down not only the military spending, but also social programs. The servicemen are given social support: in the last year alone about 7 000 of them were provided with accommodation and another 5,430 were paid compensation for rented flats. The average size of allowances to officers of the armed forces is 170 000 tenge, and pensions to retired officers are the highest among all categories of citizens.

In return, N.Nazarbayev said, Kazakhstani people are entitled to expect high combat readiness from the army and crystal honesty and integrity from the military men. The leaders in the defense ministry and regional commands in different military branches are responsible to the people for the fulfillment of the tasks.

The President said that as Supreme Commander of the armed forces, he is concerned about cases of corruption in the Defense Ministry. The society sees it as a threat to national security. It is unacceptable to the armed forces. End has to be put to it, he demanded.

It is necessary to maintain intensive training and drilling in the forces, adequate to modern threats and keep the Army in permanent readiness, the checks of which must be duly carried out in the units. Coordination of all law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan needs be improved, as well as cooperation with allies and partners at the international level .

– We acquire military hardware not only from Russia, but other countries too. The army has the ability to rearm, using the most advanced world-class achievements. We should not fall behind in it. Military-industrial complex of the country started assembling helicopters, military optics, radar and electronic warfare, building ships for the Navy, repairing aircraft and armored vehicles. But still, it’s not enough; this work has to be expanded.

Construction of new defense plants is a most important direction in the country’s industrial development. They will stimulate development of other industries; orders will be coming from other sectors of the economy. Therefore, the Defense Minister and the Government should have a clear vision of what facilities need be constructed.

– It is necessary to increase the modernization pace in the army, expand the range of products manufactured by the military-technical enterprises of the country, to provide with them not only the armed forces , but also law enforcement agencies and special services , – N.Nazarbayev urged.

Personnel policies in the armed forces want corrections, such as retirement age to professionals, which in turn necessitates legislative amendments. The state funnels considerable sums on training flight crews, and it takes time to build experience and raise the level. But when pilots reach the age limit, despite good health and high level of professionalism, they are forced to resign. We cannot write off professional staff for the age reason alone, N.Nazarbayev emphasized.

He criticized over-indulgence in reorganization of troops, which creates an unhealthy atmosphere in the army, nervousness among the staff and entails expense of lifting and severance payments to the servicemen. But what’s worst, it downs combat readiness of the units. The President demanded to minimize the number of staffing measures, calling them a meaningless job creating a semblance of activity.

Kazakhstan has been consistently building its military education. It did not have a system of training officers, especially of senior staff, but we cannot possibly train the military personnel abroad all the time, it must be done in the country. For this end the National Defense University is opening this year in the capital.

The Caspian legal status is yet to be set, and there are certain risks in connection with the intended withdrawal of coalition troops from Afghanistan. In this regard, N.Nazarbayev instructed to continue the quality reinforcement of the units in the southern and western strategic directions.

Character and morale building work has to be enhanced in the forces – from soldier to general, – the President said.