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Viettel’s ‘wings’ in the middle of Truong Sa

At exactly 3:00 pm on April 19, the Fisheries Surveillance vessel KN 491 belonging to the 4th Fisheries Surveillance Sub-department – the Fisheries Control Department, the General Department of Fisheries, sounded 3 whistles to greet the mainland, starting the journey connecting the mainland with the mainland. Truong Sa.

The ship is 90.5m long, 14m wide, has a displacement of up to 2,200 tons, with an operating range of 5,000 nautical miles, bringing more than 200 members of Truong Sa Mission No. 4, gradually leaving Cam Ranh international port, starting the voyage. The voyage is more than 1,000 nautical miles (equivalent to 2,000 km).

At that time, the feeling of the immensity of the sea, bewildered before the long journey really begins. Someone has said that the ship, no matter how big, is just like a bamboo leaf on the sea. Fragile and lonely. The big ship quickly reached the mouth of the sea. We took advantage of contacting the mainland while we could still connect by phone.

“Journey of a Life”

“9 days with no deadline, no social media to start”. That was the first line I wrote in my Truong Sa diary. For each person, Truong Sa is a “trip of a lifetime”, for “Viettel people”, being present in Truong Sa, is even more meaningful. It was in the sea, the wind of this country, more than 15 years ago (2007) that Viettel’s delegations were present to survey the location and location of broadcasting stations (BTS) with determination. mobile carrier connecting Truong Sa to the motherland…

A few hours later, the fishing boat KN 491 brought us out of the coverage area. The distance to the first island is 6 times as long. That means more than 30 hours we will lose our “connection” to the mainland.

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The trip I dreamed and expected for a long time, but actually, I didn’t have much time to prepare. A lot of work has to be done, a lot of things have to be handed over, so the last minute before leaving is still meetings and documents that need approval. I thought it would be difficult, but it turned out not to be. During the cruise, many meaningful activities were organized.

The mission was introduced to each island in the Spratly archipelago; be given an exam to learn about the sea and islands; participated in a creative camp about the sea and islands. And a very meaningful event, it is the memorial ceremony for heroes and martyrs who sacrificed for the sovereignty of the sea and islands when passing through the area of ​​​​Colin – Gac Ma rock.

Having heard many people talk about the special ceremony at sea, but being directly involved in the ceremony, right at the place where the brave marine soldiers were determined to keep the island and heroically sacrificed, did they realize how small they are, so impressed. you.

When you see the island, you can also see the Viettel broadcast column

After 36 hours floating at sea, the delegation arrived at Song Tu Tay – the first island in the journey to 9 islands and 1 rig. At 3 am, while the ship was still asleep, the first signals of connection began to sound.

After more than 30 hours of loss of communication, those signals are strangely attractive. During the voyage, at night while everyone was asleep, the ship was still diligently crossing the ocean. Every morning getting up, going to the deck to watch the sunrise and connect to the mainland is the eagerness of any member of the delegation.

For the members present on the trip, seeing the broadcast tower towering on the island is like seeing comrades and teammates, like seeing their own home, strangely dear.

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To cover the sea and islands, Viettel’s experts had to spend a whole year looking for a solution to broadcast far away. There is a solution, they have to stay at sea for many months to survey and find the location to install the station. Floating islands are difficult, but with sinking islands, limited in location, the challenge is much bigger. Even, many island locations have to use a solution to relay waves from neighboring islands. The cost to build a BTS station to broadcast sea and islands is also many times higher than usual.

Right from the early days, Viettel experts have sought to design stations according to their own models to suit the harsh weather conditions in Truong Sa. The poles are galvanized, with additional layers of cords, ropes to ensure against wind storms and sea water corrosion. Along with that, Viettel regularly researches and finds new technologies to apply to stations in this area, to increase the lifespan and sustainability of the network.

Talking about the unprecedented storm that happened at the end of 2021, Captain Bui Minh Toan, information officer on Song Tu Tay island, said that the storm surged at level 17 on the island for more than an hour. 90% of the trees on the island were knocked down. Fortunately, the Viettel broadcasting station is still resilient to the storm. The island can still connect to headquarters, update the situation and receive tasks. In danger, just a phone call from the mainland is a great comfort and confidence for cadres, commanders and soldiers on the island.

The 9-day long voyage ended. When we returned to shore, the train to maintain the station of Viettel experts also left the wharf. They carry more than 40 tons of equipment, will be floating at sea for 4 months to ensure a smooth connection for the beloved Truong Sa, contributing to guarding and protecting the country where they spend their money.

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With Viettel’s wings, Truong Sa is not far away

Previously, communications at the island points were only short-wave military communication machines. Only a few large islands are equipped with VSAT satellite phones, and most are only used for military communication purposes. The 2-minute phone call home is the most precious reward for officers and soldiers with the highest emulation results in the month.

Currently in Truong Sa, all 21 islands with 33 island points and DK1 area, Rong mine drilling rig all have Viettel waves. Now, soldiers and people in Truong Sa can connect with relatives on the mainland every day.

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Lieutenant Vu Van Toan, an information officer on An Bang Island, was moved to talk about a phone call about his family more than 3 months ago. Because he was on duty, he did not bring his phone with him, so when he returned, he realized that he had missed 17 calls from his mother. Calling back Toan’s family was shocked to hear that his father had just passed away. Because of the epidemic, because of the mission, he was unable to return to his hometown to mourn his father. If it was the old days, it would take 6 months or a year for him to know the story. Although sad, but receiving the news early is also a consolation, having teammates by his side, and Toan’s filial piety from afar makes his heart warm too.

Rear Admiral Ngo Van Thuan, Secretary of the Party Committee and Political Commissar of Region 4 of the Navy, said: “Telephone waves are an important information channel in combat command and in daily life, contributing to motivating the CB, fighting the war. Soldiers and people of the island district have strong guns, rest assured to firmly protect the sovereignty of the sacred island of the Fatherland.

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Most of the people living on Song Tu Tay, Sinh Ton and Truong Sa islands said that they “didn’t feel far from the mainland”. Because every day, they can call their relatives, the grandchildren can talk to their grandparents. As for Major Do Tien Dung, information officer on Da Lon B island, for example, having a telecommunications connection on the island is like “having electricity to the village”.

Thanks to the Viettel wave, the calls and messages from the remote island are still sent daily, making Truong Sa still seem to be next to them.


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