Revision of professional skills and competence of Belarusian army officers

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The system used to train military personnel in Belarus needs to be improved. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions during the revision of professional skills and competence of Belarusian army officers in the Obuz-Lesnovsky combined arms exercise area on 19 October.

The head of state said: “I am not going to dispute the notion that the system exists but it’s a fact that we haven’t shaken it up for a long time and haven’t adjusted it to modern warfare. We have problems with training time, curricula and instructors. We need to recruit highly skilled personnel from regular army units so that they could teach the rest what is needed during a war.”

The President made it clear that military personnel training practices have to be constantly adjusted to modern reality. The instruction applies not only to educational institutions dedicated solely to training military specialists and officers but also to military departments in civil universities. “The State Secretariat needs to set up a group of specialists to analyze everything, weed out the unnecessary things from the curricula, optimize training times, and take a look at part-time education in order to evaluate whether we need it or not. Officers have been known to criticize it,” noted the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also pointed out that the system used to train and check competence levels of Belarusian army officers needs a brush-up, too. “Formalism would be most dreadful. We don’t want to return to the state of affairs we had in the Soviet times,” said the President. “I want skills of officers tested. I don’t want prodigies but I myself spent time running, jumping, doing chin-ups, and training with soldiers. I know what officers should be like. Make them so.”

The head of state underlined: “We cannot indulge in self-complacency. We are not the country that can condone slipups and be satisfied with showing off. Officers must know how to train their subordinates. It is what matters.”

The report touched upon the performance of Belarusian military during the Tank Biathlon competition that took place in Moscow Oblast in August 2016. It was noted that Belarusian military won several awards during the tournament, yet their performance at some stages of the competition might have been more successful.

The President pointed out that the Belarusian team had lost a race to the Russian team. The Defense Minister explained that the Belarusian tanks had not been as powerful as to beat the Russian team. However, decisions have been made to modernize the tanks in order to demonstrate better performance next year.

Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that Belarus needs to win during such prominent competitions because the prestige of the Belarusian army is at stake among other things. “All the military elites and other elites turn up for such events,” added the head of state.

The Defense Minister said: “We demonstrated the best shooting results but we were not quite fast since our tanks had 840hp engines while Russians had 1,130hp engines. But even in these conditions our military managed to win some races ahead of Russians. As far as professionalism is concerned, we were on par with world armies and even surpassed them in some things.”

Andrei Ravkov also said that some military competitions can be held in Belarus, the relevant conditions are available. Aleksandr Lukashenko backed the proposal saying that such events add a lot to army training and represent a fair performance gauge.