Dear the ranks and sergeants, officers and generals, veterans of Armed Forces!
I take a great pleasure to sincerely congratulate you, the ones who have devoted themselves to the noble deed of defending the Homeland, and all our compatriots on the momentous date in the life of our nation – the twentieth anniversary of formation of our Armed Forces and the Day of Motherland Defenders.
Wide-scale and profound, systemic and gradual strides have been made in Uzbekistan during independence years toward building modern, agile, well-armed forces capable of effectively addressing tactical and strategic tasks in ensuring the security and stability of the country and inviolability of its borders.
Given the contemporary requirements and the peculiarities of potential seats of war, the organizational and staff structure of the Armed Forces has undergone a fundamental transformation. An effective system has been instituted to command forces headed by Joint Staff that has come to be an indisputable core of operational and policy control, of organizing operational training and armed force application.
Military districts have been formed, as has a system of guarding state borders; mobile, self-sufficient units have been created on critical operational directions, first and foremost – battalions of Special Operations Forces, Terrorism Combat Corps capable of repulsing any aggressive rush by potential adversaries and armed bands willing to infringe on the inviolability of borders and shatter our people’s peace and quiet.
Provision of general brigades with helicopters has remarkably raised their combat capabilities, dexterity, firepower, their ability to conduct swift combat operations with lightning speed.
Wide-ranging efforts have been undertaken in equipping the armed forces with modern weaponry and hardware. Training of sergeants as well as strategically thinking and intellectually advanced officer corps of command staff has been organized on the essentially new technical and moral-ethical basis.
The conscription period has been reduced to one year. The induction itself takes place once a year. A service of mobilization induction reserve has been introduced. To date, more than half the total number of servicemen and women are sergeants and privates called up by contract. All this has helped cardinally transform the face and combat capabilities of our armed forces, the moral-ethical environment in military personnel.
We have attached vital importance to boosting social support, creating essential living conditions for service people and their families. Just within the last five years, monthly money allowance of servicemen and women of all categories has risen threefold on average, while that of conscripts, including their retirement benefit, has grown eight times.
Looking back and assessing the work undertaken, we have every reason to declare that our armed forces not only protect currently the boundaries of our native land, the peace and quiet of our people, but also are becoming a genuine school with a quenching power of forming a sturdy willpower, physical tenacity and noble human qualities, ability to think independently, to perfect practical professional skills. In a word, military service is truly becoming a school of nurturing courage, firmness and faithful service for the good of Motherland.
The significance of transforming and raising the operational readiness of the armed forces is currently conditioned primarily by the rapidly changing world, the continuing growth of tension in the Middle East and around the Persian Gulf, the complicated situation in the region given the mounting confrontation, variety of threats and challenges to security.
Given its geopolitical and geostrategic importance, enormous mineral resources, Central Asia is turning into a subject of keenest attention by major powers, and is characterized by the enduring tension and confrontation in Afghanistan where the war has been going on for more than thirty years.
The forthcoming declared withdrawal of US forces and the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan in 2014 may lead to a rising threat of terrorist and extremist expansion, growth of tension and antagonism in this wider region, to an emergence of permanent source of instability.
The deteriorating socio-economic situation in certain countries of the region has been posing a grave challenge to regional stability and security, creating an environment facilitating the growth of social discontent, the constant staffing and reinforcement of extremist forces with fresh recruits.
At the same time, it is essential to always bear in mind the cardinally transformed conditions and nature of contemporary military operations distinct with surprise and swiftness, application of small mobile units.
Analysis of combat operations in contemporary military conflicts and local wars demonstrates the application of fundamentally new battle systems of special designation, the growing frequency of contactless forms and methods of warfare with application of state-of-the-art information technologies and latest high-precision weapons systems.
In general, the evaluation of political, socio-economic and military-political situation shaping in Central Asia and the wider world underlines the mounting tendency toward expanding threats to peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.
All this requires the implementation of advance systemic measures aimed at further perfection and elevation of effectiveness of the entire system of defense and security of the country, persistence in efforts directed at comprehensive consolidation of capabilities and operational readiness of the armed forces.
In contemporary realities, Ministry of Defense, Joint Staff of Armed Forces, chiefs of military districts and forces, commanders of brigades, all the officer corps ought to regard as their critical task the execution of priorities and guidelines outlined in the Directive of Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted in honor of the twentieth anniversary of Uzbek Armed Forces.
A particular emphasis should be placed thence on the further accumulation of experience, perfection and enhancement of knowledge of basic principles and methods of conducting military operations in conditions of potential theater of hostilities in our region, on nurturing the ability in the troops to swiftly orientate oneself and take decisions in extreme and complicated conditions, on knowledge of the basics of application of modern and high-precision weaponry and other peculiarities of contemporary combat operations.
High commands of the armed forces and military districts should concentrate their most serious attention on the work toward raising the effectiveness of planning, organization and holding command-staff and tactical exercises that should become a school for elaborating diverse models of conducting combat operations in conditions of contemporary theaters of war.
We ought to keep concentrating on reequipping the units and subdivisions with latest weapons systems, their supply means, on setting up a robust repairs foundation necessary for maintaining the operational readiness and modernizing the existing arms and military hardware.
System of training, retraining and raising the proficiency of command and sergeant staff requires cardinal improvement. New quality of military education and combat training is a vital prerequisite for uplifting the capabilities of the armed forces.
We should continue to work toward advancement of commanding and leadership qualities in sergeant cadres, their proficiency in the latest forms and methods of military training, a skillful application of entrusted modern weaponry and military hardware by the personnel, along with strengthening the role of sergeants in the improvement of moral-ethical climate and discipline in primary subdivisions. An environment of competition, material and moral stimulus should be created for these purposes.
Securing a high level of combat readiness of platoons is the most critical task on our way to enhancing the agility and operational capabilities of the armed forces. Meeting this challenge requires revision of all policy, charter, planning and directional documents and regulations designed to identify the growing role and significance of platoons in conditions of changing tactics of conducting military operations, peculiarities of theaters of war.
Under circumstances whereby specter of tasks of platoons complicate and expand, the role they are assigned to sharply enhances, so do the requirements to commanders of platoons and their professional training. Today, a platoon commander should be a finely erudite and highly proficient officer, a person able to independently take unconventional decisions amid extreme situations, skillfully manage the entrusted subdivision both in combat and everyday activities.
We must remain focused on timely and complete execution of adopted government programs directed at providing the servicemen and women with housing, improving the social conditions of living and serving by the rank and file, sergeants and officer corps.
The social security of military service people ought to be considered as a task of special significance since in contemporary circumstances, only socially protected service people as well as well-trained, robust, comprehensively equipped armed forces are capable of ensuring the security of our nation.
On this festive day, greeting you on the twentieth anniversary of Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan, I express my earnest gratitude to all those who are having a hard time serving in the armed forces, who fulfill their official duty to protect the Motherland with their tireless labor and, when needed, at the expense of their health and life.
I would like to convey my words of sincere gratefulness to your families and close ones. They can rightfully take pride in their children, husbands and fathers for their reputable feat of arms for the good of Homeland.
I wish you all a sound health, happiness and the best of luck in the new year 2012!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces