January 14, 2009
Address by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov dedicated to the 17th Anniversary of Establishment of the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan
Dear soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals, veterans of the Armed Forces!

It gives me an enormous pleasure to cordially congratulate you and all compatriots on the landmark date in the life of our country – the Day of Defenders of Homeland, the 17th anniversary of our Armed Forces.

For over the past seventeen years the systemic and step-by-step work enormous on its scale and unique on its depth has been accomplished in Uzbekistan to establish a compact, mobile, well-armed army able to effectively resolve the tactical and strategic tasks in terms of ensuring security, stability of the country and inviolability of its borders.

Based on the comprehensively thought-out Army reform program, deep study of external and internal challenges and threats to security of the country we have founded a principally new system of forming and administering the Armed Forces. The establishment of military districts, border regions, formation of combat-ready alignments of troops on the most important operational directions, establishment of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces, which combined in its structure the most important security, defense and law enforcement agencies, have allowed to create the defense complex of the nation linked with a single goal and tasks.

We have consistently and gradually improved the system of recruitment for the Armed Forces. The terms of conscription for an active military service have been decreased to one year; the service of mobilization conscription reserve has been introduced; the transition to contract-based service has been practically completed; and starting from this year conscription for an active military service will be carried out only once a year. All those measures promoted a significant rise of combat capability of the Armed Forces and changed as a whole the look of our army. And what is of particular importance, such measures provided for a significant growth of authority and attractiveness of military service among the population, and firstly, among our youth.

Not less has been accomplished during these years to better the system of professional training of sergeant and officer cadres. At the moment, almost the two thirds of sergeants have attended the prestigious sergeant training schools buttressed with modern academic basis. The sergeant staff of the Armed Forces is becoming a truly important factor of ensuring a high level of combat and political training of personnel, maintaining a healthy moral situation and military discipline at subdivisions, and putting it short, the main backbone of our army.

A particular attention was paid to supplying the army with armament and techniques, strengthening the material and technical basis of troops, improving the social and living conditions of servicemen and their families. Thus, for over the past 2008 alone the money allowances of servicemen were increased on average by 51 percent. For the young people who have completed an active military service an entire system of benefits has been created in terms of employment and entrance to the higher educational institutions. At the moment, over 22 thousand young people, who have completed the army school of courage and secured excellent results in combat and political training, are attending the higher educational institutions of the country.

Summing up the aforementioned, today we have all grounds to note that the deep systemic transformations in the sphere of defense building have resulted in significant growth of level of combat and political training, as well as the combat capability of our army, considerable rise of prestige of the military service, the growth of role and significance of the Armed Forces in society and state. Our army, which imbibed the best experience of the world military development, and at the same time, sacredly preserves the national traditions, has become a reliable guarantor of ensuring security of Homeland, peaceful labor and tranquility of people, progressive development of the country along the way of building democratic law-governed state and civil society.

My dear compatriots!

It is an open secret that the military and political situation in the Central Asian region continues to remain tense due to the war in Afghanistan which has already been going on for 30 years and recent growing of terrorist and extremist activity, as much as ever expanding scales of drug aggression.

The ongoing in various regions local wars, military confrontation, conflicts and manifestation of terrorism stand as a serious threat to global security in the world.

All this, and firstly, our chosen strategy on modernization and democratic renewal of the country makes us strengthen attention to further reforming our army, its equipment with modern armament and techniques, increasing efficiency of combat and political preparation of troops, and in the whole – consolidating potential and combat capability of our Armed Forces.

The followings are considered to be the most important points:

First, to provide for a further improvement of building and combat structure of our army, the system of commanding troops based on the deep assessment of real threats to the security of the country, nature of possible theater of war operations, as well as study of foreign experience of military development.

The analysis of modern wars and military conflicts demonstrates that today the Armed Forces must stand ready, above all, to conduct rapid and local combat operations, effectively confront illegal (irregular) well-equipped combat formations and subversive-terrorist groups which may use a wide variety of forms and methods of carrying out the armed acts aimed at inflicting a considerable damage to economy, the life supporting facilities of the country, life and health of innocent people.

In this context, the most important task of the Joint Staff, command of military districts is to further increase mobility, maneuverability, self-sufficiency of combat elements, their ability for a rapid deployment and effective reaction to any encroachments and threats to security of the country. It is important to expand and strengthen the operational and combat capabilities of the mobile formations and units of new types which were specially established in our army, namely the Special Operation Forces, Counterterrorism Corps, Search and Intelligence Platoons, as well as principally new types of subdivisions – the helicopter-striking platoons, to ensure their intensified training, as well as equipment with the latest armament and special tools.

The efforts of staff of branches of troops and types of Armed Forces must be directed to ensuring a close interaction to timely reveal and cover the vulnerable spots in the country’s system of defense, protection of the state border which could be used by destructive forces, subversive-terrorist groups to commit criminal acts.

Second, an unremitting attention must be paid to the work on further improving organizational and staff structure of formations and units, cutting down and streamlining the duplicating, low effective structures and officer designations at subdivisions of logistics and technical supplies, recruiting for the designations of commanders of groups at formations and units with sergeant personnel.

All this must lead to radical improvement of the organizational structure, above all, at the initial level of the army, consolidation of the role of sergeants in establishing a quality combat training of personnel, the daily activity of subdivisions, as well as increasing efficiency of service of the junior officer staff, system of management of formations and units.

Third, the most important task is to supply army with modern types of armament and military techniques to ensure its high mobility, maneuverability and necessary firepower.

Firstly it is necessary to pay attention to supplying our army with modern combat machines, electronic systems of intelligence and surveillance, mobile tools of high-precision weapon, effective means of communication, as well as reliable tools of personal and group protection.

Fourth, the activity of higher military educational establishments on training the intellectually developed, broadly erudite and strategically thinking officer cadres requires radical reconsideration.

The military schools must in practice become leading military-scientific centers of the Armed Forces on implementing, approbating modern systems of armament and techniques, effective methods of managing troops and conducting combat operations. For this they must be equipped with the latest simulators able to model the situation maximally approximated to war conditions, broadly use the methods of modeling and simulation in the study process. In this regard, it is necessary in the shortest time to establish the training subdivisions of the Special center for modeling and simulation of the Armed Forces at the Tashkent general and Chirchik tank command schools by entrusting them functions of head subdivisions on elaborating and introducing these methods, as well as information and communication technologies to training and retraining of the officer cadres, as well as sergeant personnel of the army.

Fifth, the transition to the system of conscription into the active military service once a year, increased requirements towards the level of pre-conscription training of youth, as well as expansion of contract-based service in the army require a radical reconsideration of work of divisions and departments for defense affairs. At those subdivisions, where to a significant extent the success of entire work to improve cadres staff and mobilization readiness of the Armed Forces is secured, the officers with the rich experience of service in the military, who are closely linked with the army, who know well its problems, essence and goals of reforms underway in this sphere, must work.

Sixth, it is important to provide for a full implementation of the set large-scale measures to increase efficiency of social protection of servicemen and their families, further improvement of the system of material incentives in the army.

In the forthcoming period we need to build and reconstruct the tens of modern military towns by creating the maximum social and living conditions, infrastructure which meets the highest requirements, as well as the needs of servicemen and their families. It is necessary to achieve an unconditional implementation of the approved state program of providing servicemen with housing set for the period until 2015, as well as implement measures in terms of improving their medical and recreation servicing.

Seventh, the moral, psychological and political preparation of servicemen requires further betterment. The activity of commanders of all levels must be directed to nurturing in officers, sergeants and soldiers of the high spiritual and moral qualities, active life position and patriotism, feeling of responsibility for the fate of Homeland, strengthening its independence and security. The army must become in practice a school of spiritual, physical and civil maturity of youth. It is necessary to remember that the combat capability of Armed Forces, security of the country and moral situation in society directly depend on successful resolution of those tasks.

Dear compatriots!

The power of our army is in its strong ties and inseparable link with people.

Our best sons and daughters deeply devoted to the interests of Homeland, standing on the guard of peaceful and tranquil life on our soil now serve in the Armed Forces. Their military and unselfish work is highly assessed as never before, enjoys a deep respect of all our people, and the serviceman himself is in practice fondled with care of state and society.

At this festive day I would like to express the words of sincere gratitude to the parents, mothers and fathers of those who are now on the difficult service in the Armed Forces and with dignity are fulfilling their honorable, noble and responsible duty – to defend Homeland.

My dears, once again I congratulate you, your kith and kin on the Day of Defenders of Homeland and the 17th anniversary of establishment of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan. I wish you all a sound health, successes in service, happiness and well being, power and energy for the good of serving your Homeland.

Islam Karimov,

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces


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