To secure peace in the country we need a good army, so that nobody would want to intervene. If there are attempts of military intervention, or somebody tries to become a civil war, it will be crushed in the bud. To stop it at the later stage as in Ukraine is extremely difficult. Strong weaponry is a good argument, but the army also needs strong people. President Lukashenko personally visited the training site Obuz-Lesnovsky and checked the professional level of officers. Yulia Beshanova has more on the story.
Academy. It is here where the combat training is held for officers. Operational art, physical, tactical and shooting training of everyone who wears epaulettes - that is what determines the combat qualities of the Armed Forces. Then one can rely on equipment. This is why officers' training is paid very much attention. Young officers are being prepared in 123 professions. The system works but needs serious adjustment.
Stanislav Zas, the state secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus:
We do not fully take into account the experience of local wars, recent conflicts in our training. The essence is that these wars took place in cities (for example, in Libya or Ukraine). That is, we have to put emphasis on combat training of our troops so that they are able to fight in the city. Yes, the Armed Forces have made a relevant turn towards these trends but it is not fully reflected in the educational process.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I'm not going to dispute that a system exists, but that the system has not been reformed for years. We have problems with the timing and training programs and instructors. We need to look at teachers, we should really take only those people who know what a real war is. It is necessary to analyze everything, to clean out unnecessary things from our programs, adjust the timing. Also, please pay attention to distance learning, whether we need it. Officers criticize it.
The soul and backbone of the army is the officer corps. This is why the military educational institutions should teach not only how to shoot, drive tanks or manage a platoon. The main thing is the same fighting spirit, which is transferred from a superior officer to each soldier. The army must rely on officers. The head of state has high hopes on that.
The worst thing I hate and fear is big money, formalism. I know the army, I've been there. Do it in such a way that we can then check these officers. I'm not saying that they must be wunderkinds. I understand what an officer needs to have. I also he ran, jumped, did chin-ups and so on. I know from life what is required from an officer.
Today, all arguments about the absence of the need to spend huge money on army reform crumble in the face of the need to keep peace. Belarus bought in Russia a dozen new fighting vehicles. Upgraded Mi-8 is a helicopter that stood the test of time. The Head of State was shown two copies. One of them is designed to perform search and rescue missions, and the second helicopter is for transport.
During the exam, officers were to demonstrate how well they are able to hit targets using small arms. Another exam involved driving infantry combat vehicles. The troops were preparing for this exam the whole year. Exercises, tactical and theoretical lessons... More than a hundred events, both in Belarus and abroad, were conducted to this end.
Victor Khrenin, Commander of the Western Operational Command of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus:
Control activities that are underway go according to plan. The results shown by officers are good or even excellent.
At the training ground, the President touched upon the tank biathlon, the competitions akin to usual biathlon but involving tanks. Belarusian military were only 4th at the latest competition. The reasons lie in unequal technical equipment and biased refereeing. One of solutions is serious preparation and conduct of some of stages of tank biathlon in Belarus. For example, here, in Obuz-Lesnaya training ground.
I've already tried it myself and I see what your men are capable of. Therefore, we are doing the best we can. If we have poor staff, we need to learn and improve.
It is necessary to prepare for the real military action. No one wants a war but we must be ready for it every day. We are men, after all, aren't we?
NATO experts call the Belarusian army one of the most efficient in Europe. Of course, the Belarusian army cannot cope with the armies of the superpowers alone, but being modern, mobile, well-equipped, it can cause permanent damage to anyone who decides to test the strength of the Belarusian armor and encroach on Belarus' security and independence.